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States are exploiting a loophole in the federal welfare reform law enacted in 1996 in order to meet the state spending requirements to get a full dose federal welfare funds, Rep. Geoff Davis, chairman of the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on  Human Resources.

“Many States have scoured their budgets to find other current program spending–such as for Pre-K, child care, and after school programs–they could report as TANF spending,” Davis said at a hearing on Thursday. “Others began counting third-party spending–such as assistance offered by food banks and Boys and Girls clubs–as TANF spending.  One State even apparently found a way to count the value of volunteer hours by Girl Scout troop leaders as State TANF ‘spending.’

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