McCrory denies discontinuing TANF programs during shutdown

Earlier this month, three of North Carolina’s Democratic congressmen sent a letter to Governor McCrory questioning North Carolina’s decision to suspend TANF programs during the government shutdown despite a promise of reimbursement from the Office of Family Assistance. North Carolina was the only state to stop processing TANF applications.

In response, Gov. McCrory writes that the congressmen are “simply wrong” about the guarantee of reimbursement, arguing that the reimbursement offer was not a sure promise, and insists that North Carolina did not in fact suspend TANF operations.

Your letter incorrectly stated that North Carolina had decided ‘to discontinue the operation’ of the TANF programs. North Carolina, like other states, was able to use carry-over funds for the TANF programs during the shutdown. However, because of the dysfunction in Washington, even after two weeks, Washington still had not authorized federal funding or reimbursement of the states for state expenditures. North Carolina acted responsibly and notified the service providers that federal funding for Work First programs may not be available in November.

Reps. Butterfield, Price, and Watt responded with a letter Monday, correctly stating that the administration directed providers to stop processing new applications:

Your assertion that you did not discontinue the operation of the TANF program is simply not credible. Your administration did not merely ‘[notify] the service providers that federal funding for Work First programs may not be available in November.’ The notice that your administration sent to county social services directors on October 10th (copy attached) expressly directed them to cease processing new applications for benefits ‘until federal funds become available.’ In addition, the notice stated unequivocally that the state would be ‘unable to make any Work First Family Assistance payments in November 2013′ absent congressional action.