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Public Statements

Preserving the Welfare Work Requirement and TANF Extension Act of 2013

Floor Speech

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Mr. STUTZMAN. I thank the gentleman for yielding, and I appreciate his hard work on this.

Mr. Speaker, Hoosiers understand that welfare checks are not a substitute for paychecks. Last year, President Obama's administration really undermined commonsense and time-tested reforms by trying to weaken work requirements that were created in the 1996 bipartisan welfare reform law. These work requirements helped lift Americans out of poverty and into the workforce. In just 5 years, welfare dependency was nearly cut in half, more single mothers found jobs, and child poverty fell drastically. Unfortunately, President Obama's decision to reverse course will drive up government spending without doing anything to lower unemployment.

Growing up on a farm in northern Indiana, I learned at a very young age that a good neighbor is someone who will roll up their sleeves to help someone pick themselves back up, that neighbors look out for neighbors, friends look out for friends, and family looks out for family. And that's exactly the commonsense approach that Chairman Camp's bill takes.

This legislation extends assistance to fight poverty by restoring the work requirements that made welfare reform a success in the 1990s. I appreciate and applaud Chairman Camp for introducing this legislation to help American families without creating a permanent subsidy. Americans want to work, but we need to make sure that they have the skills and they're capable and willing to perform the jobs that are provided to them in their communities.

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