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House and Senate Leaders Request Overdue HHS Report on Welfare Dependence

Dear Secretary Sebelius:

As you are aware, under current law the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is required to issue an annual "Indicators of Welfare Dependence" report. Past issues of this report have provided Congress ant the public valuable information about Americans' dependence on various public benefit programs, including the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF or cash welfare), the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly called food stamps), and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). These reports also provided detailed data about employment, educational attainment, health coverage, teenage births, non-martial births, child support collection and poverty, among other matters related to welfare dependence. 

Since its initial release in 1997, the report has been regularly updated and issues by HHS. Through 2008, with the sole exception of 1999, this report was faithfully issued on an annual basis by Republican and Democratic Administrations alike. However, the most recent version of this report was issued by the prior Administration on December 30, 2008. Since then, HHS has failed to issue even one of these annual reports required by law during the nearly four years you have been Secretary. It also means that the 2009 annual report is now more than 1,000 days overdue.

To read the full letter, click here

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