Montana's Congressman, Denny Rehberg, today joined the majority in the House in voting to pass H.J.Res. 118, a Congressional Disapproval of Waiver of Work Requirements. This resolution expresses disapproval of President Barack Obama's ongoing effort to weaken welfare reform and prevents him from implementing a plan to waive the work requirements included in the 1996 welfare reform law.
"President Obama and his allies are doing everything they can to fundamentally increase government dependence," said Rehberg. "The tremendously successful welfare reform work requirement was passed by a Republican Congress and signed into law by a Democratic President. It's a common sense success story and a triumph of bipartisanship. Unfortunately, the Senate refuses to fulfill its role as a constitutional check and balance against Executive overreach, and President Obama has taken the law into his own hands. The American people are not happy, and this resolution embodies that fact."
In 1996, a Republican Congress passed legislation that created the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. It was signed into law by President Bill Clinton. The centerpiece of the law was a new requirement that at least half of a state's welfare recipients work or prepare for work. These reforms were successful, with unemployment and welfare caseloads dropping.
Then, on July 12, 2012, the Obama administration announced that it was willing to waive the TANF work requirements that have been so overwhelmingly successful. H.J.RES.118 is a joint resolution disapproving of this "Information Memorandum" from the Department of Health and Human Services to a waive work requirements established by the Welfare Reform Act of 1996.