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Public Statements

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

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. PASCRELL. Mr. Speaker, the resolution before us today is an exercise in hypocrisy.

Mr. Speaker, just a few days ago, before coming down to D.C., we had a commemoration for Monsignor Vincent Puma, who started rehab for drug addicts and for those folks addicted to alcohol. One of his famous statements--he only passed 6 months ago--was: Treat each person with dignity.

With all of this talk and all that you've done, you not only make a political farce out of this--because I've heard a lot of political partisanship, which is not allowed on this floor apparently, supposedly--but you know what you do? You make people, the great majority of people who legitimately--legitimately--are on welfare and have sought a job--and have sought a job--you make them feel less than human.

But Monsignor said treat everybody, every person with dignity, and that's what this is all about.

And for you to put this sham up here in front of us only adds to the disgrace. But only if States show they will use that flexibility to increase workforce. It says it right in the law, quote and unquote.

Never mind that this is a policy that you folks on the other side of the aisle--including Mitt Romney, when he was back in Massachusetts, and our colleague, Congressman Ryan--have asked for.

I will quote the letter written by the Republican Governors Association in 2005, 8 years, at least, after the welfare reform was signed. Here's Governor Romney.

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Mr. PASCRELL. This is what Governor Romney signed in 2005, Mr. Speaker:

Increased waiver authority, allowable work activities, availability of partial work credit, and the ability to coordinate State programs are all important aspects of moving recipients from welfare to work.

I didn't say it; you didn't say it; he didn't say it. Governor Romney signed the letter.

The administration's policy has nothing to do with waiving the work requirement. If anything, you're increasing the work requirement, if you read the rules and not conjecture.

This resolution would block Governors across the country from putting more people back to work. How do you like those fish?

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