Rep. Cohen seeks answers from Gov. Lee on welfare surplus

Trump Russia Probe
Posted at 3:57 PM, Nov 07, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-07 16:57:02-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen of Tennessee is demanding answers from Republican Gov. Bill Lee surrounding a large surplus of a federal welfare program for families with children.

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In a letter sent this week, the Memphis Democrat says he wants to know the state's plan for addressing its $732 million welfare reserves. Cohen also wants the state to justify why Tennessee has some of the lowest cash-assistance benefit levels in the United States.

The large surplus of federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families funds has come under scrutiny after first being flagged last month in a report by the Beacon Center of Tennessee, a conservative think tank.

Lee's spokeswoman Laine Arnold declined to comment on Cohen's letter.

Cohen said Lee's office has five business days to respond.