Rep. K. Michael Conaway (R-TX) issued the following statement today on passage of the Congressional Disapproval of Waiver of Work Requirements (H.J.Res. 118).
"This summer, President Obama unilaterally gutted the most effective antipoverty program this nation has seen. He did so on the flimsiest legal basis and over my strident opposition.
"The bipartisan welfare reform law gave an incentive and an avenue for millions of American families to get off the welfare merry-go-round and escape the trap of generational poverty. The work requirement was not included as a punitive measure, it was included because work is the only proven route out of poverty.
"I am disappointed in his decision and today's vote is the first step towards restoring a safety net that lifts Americans up instead of ties them down."
On July 12, 2012, the Department of Health and Human Services issued a memorandum allowing states to seek a waiver from the work requirements imposed under the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996. According to a recent GAO report, HHS had previously held that it lacked the authority to waive work requirements under TANF.