Below is from a news letter that my Republican Congressman sends out vie e-mail. He is on a bill to stop COLA raise for congress and to stop the use of welfare funds from being accessed at strip joint, casinos, or liquor stores. WTF, cut a brother off from using his FREE taxpayer funded money that he gets to NOT work from being used for life's simple pleasures!!!! This will have a triple down effect. I can see it now, liquor store emplyees being laid off, casino workers laid off, and the worse of all is the strippers have to be "laid" off from taking it all off!!!! Read the whole story please but make sure you are not drinking anything, it is funny and no I cannot make this crap up. Weekly Column: Closing the Strip Club Loophole One of the most important responsibilities of Congress is to ensure that taxpayer funds are spent appropriately and effectively. The Ways & Means’ Subcommittee on Human Resources, which I chair, has jurisdiction over a number of major social welfare benefit programs and am always looking for ways to improve them. Temporary Assistance for Needy Families is one of those programs. TANF provides support for low-income families and children that helps them to move from welfare to work. Since it replaced the New Deal-era welfare program in 1996, TANF has been recognized as one of the most effective reforms of our social welfare system, with a success of cutting welfare dependence by fifty-seven percent. TANF is an important hand up, not a handout. Even more importantly, by promoting work among single parents who are the most common welfare recipients, it helped to significantly reduce child poverty in female-headed families over time. Even at today’s elevated unemployment rates, TANF continues to promote more work and earnings – and less poverty. Despite this overall progress, there are still areas where TANF can and should be strengthened. Recently, concern has been raised about TANF benefits being withdrawn and used at strip clubs, liquor stores, and casinos. This is an inappropriate use of taxpayer dollars and an outright abuse of taxpayer trust. Many local news investigations and exposés around the country have verified this unfortunate abuse of a well-intended program. In Seattle, Washington, King 5 News discovered through an investigation that 13,000 TANF recipients withdrew approximately $2 million at casinos just in 2010. In California, an investigation by the Los Angeles Times found that $1.8 million in TANF funds were withdrawn in casinos, and $12,000 was accessed in strip clubs. An investigation in Arizona found TANF cash benefits were accessed in liquor stores over 100 times in a three month period. Some States, like Washington, New Mexico, and Texas, have begun to take action, but oversight and enforcement can be sporadic. ABC7 in Denver, Colorado found that TANF cash benefits were being withdrawn in strip clubs, casinos, and liquor stores even though Colorado has a law to prohibit such transactions. To help ensure taxpayer confidence in this program, there should be a nationwide solution since the program is funded primarily with federal dollars. A member of the Human Resources Subcommittee, Rep. Charles Boustany [LA- 7], introduced H.R. 3567, the Welfare Integrity Now for Children and Families Act of 2011, to address this issue. H.R. 3567 would close this so-called “strip club loophole.” Within two years of enactment, States would be required to block welfare benefit card transactions in casinos, liquor stores, and strip clubs. In plain language, welfare benefits could no longer be accessed at any of these facilities. The bill passed the House by a vote of 395-27. This bipartisan, bicameral program integrity provision will safeguard taxpayer funds from abuse and ensure that TANF benefits continue to provide a helping hand to families in need. The Senate should pass H.R. 3567 without delay.