Congressman Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), senior member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, today voted in opposition to H.J.Res. 118, a Republican bill that would restrict states' ability to improve their welfare-to-work programs. The bill blocks a waiver policy announced by the Department of Health and Human Services in July, which gives states more flexibility when designing their welfare policies. The decision to grant the waivers follows years of advocacy from Republican leaders who have called for more state flexibility in designing their welfare-to-work programs. Rep. Markey released the following statement:
"House Republicans are more committed to getting President Obama fired than in getting Americans hired. This bill is nothing more than election politicking from House Republicans. Last week, the Majority decried federal spending on loan guarantee programs while supporting billions in government loans to coal and nuclear interests. This week, Republicans are opposing welfare waivers that provide exactly what they have always called for -- increased state flexibility. It is the height of political cynicism to attack a work program for struggling Americans while failing to offer a comprehensive jobs package or vote on extending the middle class tax cuts. This is wrong for struggling Americans and wrong for our country."