Arizona Guv Reverses Directive, Orders Welfare Checks Issued

AP

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) late Monday reversed her administration’s directive to not issue welfare checks due to the government shutdown, the Arizona Republic reported.

The state’s Department of Economic Security said last week that about 5,200 eligible low-income families with children would not receive payments under the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. Arizona appeared to be the only state to halt payments during the shutdown.

Brewer blamed lawmakers in Washington for the program’s funding gap.

“(Arizona) cannot afford to pay the federal government’s bills,” she said in a statement, as quoted by the Arizona Republic. “If the federal government remains at a stalemate come November, Arizona may be faced with catastrophic budgetary challenges and choices as we figure out how to salvage TANF and other critical programs. The failure of leadership in Washington is placing a heavy burden on our state, our core services and our citizens most in need.” 

Brewer didn’t indicate in her statement where DES would get the funding to cover the 3,200 families who still hadn’t received their benefits for October, according to the newspaper.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at catherine@talkingpointsmemo.com.

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