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Disapproving Rule Relating to Waiver and Expenditure Authority with Respect to the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Ms. RICHARDSON. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong opposition of H.J. Res. 118. This resolution expresses opposition to a condition that does not exist. Republicans, led by their presidential nominee, have been spreading the falsehood that the Obama administration has weakened the work requirement of the Welfare Reform Act of 1996, one of the landmark achievements of the Clinton administration. The claim is false, and has been conclusively refuted by the foremost authority on welfare reform, former President Bill Clinton himself.

Here is what really happened. When some Republican governors asked for waivers to try new ways to put people on welfare back to work, the Obama administration listened. The administration agreed to give waivers to those governors and others only if they had a credible plan to increase employment by 20 percent, and they could keep the waivers only if they did increase employment. As noted by President Clinton, the waivers actually ``ask for more work, not less.''

The claim that the administration weakened welfare reform's work requirement is just not true. This is simply a political stunt for the fall campaign that wastes precious time that could be spent working together on solutions for the real problems confronting American families like creating jobs and strengthening the economy.

Mr. Speaker, it seems to me that H.J. Res. 118 is purely a messaging bill and not a bill for the American people. This is an effort to distract Americans from the Republicans' dismal job record. Republicans should be passing the administration jobs package, middle class tax cuts, and a comprehensive deficit deal to stop sequestration instead of engaging in this election-year maneuvering as they leave town. This bill is a waste of time and shouldn't have been introduced on the floor. I strongly oppose H.J. Res. 118 and urge my colleagues to do so as well.


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