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Public Statements

Rokita Votes to Oppose Administration's Rollback of Welfare Work Requirements

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

U.S. Rep. Todd Rokita today voted in support of H.J. Res. 118, a resolution he cosponsored to disapprove of the Obama administration's July decision to allow states to seek waivers of the work requirements in the 1996 welfare reform law. Rokita serves on the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, which last week approved the resolution and sent it to the full House for today's vote.

"In America, we've always believed that work is a good thing, and that earned success -- creating value in your life and in the lives of others -- is something that makes us exceptional. An unlimited welfare system is destructive to those ideals and to our dignity as human beings, and the 1996 welfare reform law rightly acknowledged this," said Rokita. "The administration is taking a major step backwards by offering waivers of the work requirements for able-bodied welfare recipients -- something they don't even have the legal authority to do -- and we simply can't allow that to happen."

In July, the Department of Health and Human Services began allowing states to seek a waiver of work requirements for welfare recipients, weakening the efforts to assist needy families contained in the historic 1996 welfare reforms. According to the Government Accountability Office, because the administration's waiver policy is a rule, it is subject to Congressional disapproval under the Congressional Review Act (CRA).

The legislation approved today (H.J. Res. 118) will:

Express Congress's disapproval of the Obama administration's regulatory effort to weaken welfare reform;
Prevent the administration from implementing its plan to waive the work requirements of the 1996 welfare reform law; and
Preserve critical reforms that have helped lift millions of American families out of poverty.

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