GOP Trying to Put an End to Obama's Welfare Waivers

Posted: Feb 28, 2013 5:10 PM

So, remember last summer when the Obama administration unveiled its new plans to completely change requirements to receive welfare, yeah well Republicans are finally taking up efforts again to put a stop to it. This policy “allows states to apply for waivers under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, or welfare reform, in order to test new ways to increase employment among welfare recipients.” In essence, that means that a state could make its way around the Welfare to Work policy. Welfare to work requires welfare recipients prove that they are making an effort to find work in order to receive benefits.

With the Obama policy revealed last year, states would be able to, in essence, allow people to mooch from the system. States would be able to count activities such as bed resting or journaling as work, and therefore granting them welfare benefits. The House voted to block it when it was first introduced, but the Senate failed to do so and therefore the efforts went nowhere.

Today, Representatives reintroduced a bill that “makes it clear — the Obama administration cannot undermine the work requirement that has resulted in higher earnings and employment for low-income individuals," said Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) in a statement. Several committees are now working on this because this policy is just not good for the country in these tough economic times.

This was a hot topic in the Presidential election in November when Mitt Romney questioned President Obama’s dedication to supporting an effective assistance program. He rightfully claimed that this program would allow people to just claim they were doing enough to receive welfare checks and didn’t really need to work or be training for work. So who else wants free money from the American taxpayers?

Not only is this a bad policy economically, but legislators are also worried that this policy gives too much power to the president concerning a law written by Congress in a bi-partisan fashion. It seems that HHS should not be able to grant these waivers without congressional approval. It’s about time the House Republicans take this issue up. With sequester cuts upon us, this especially pressing. Wasteful spending is Washington’s problem.