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Public Statements

Introduction of the Welfare Integrity Act of 2013

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

Mr. FINCHER. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to discuss the importance of Washington ending the cycle of drug abuse by allowing states to perform random drug tests to receive the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) benefits.

The time is now to stop the cruel cycle of drug abuse. Currently, Washington enables people who are addicted to drugs by allowing them to participate in the TANF program while still abusing drugs. This program was designed to provide a safety net for families and children in their time of need. Instead Washington is enabling the drug abuse cycle to continue because Washington does not demand folks who use the program to be drug free.

If Washington wants to help families move toward economic stability it must end the cycle of drug abuse and encourage individuals to become healthy. By allowing for random drug checks, it can ensure that families receiving TANF benefits use the funds for the intended purpose of feeding, clothing, and providing shelter for children while cutting the ties that enables the cycle of drug abuse.

The Welfare Integrity Act of 2013 requires each state participating in the TANF program to certify that applicants and current recipients are being randomly tested for illegal drug use. In order to pass constitutional muster, the Welfare Integrity Act of 2013 requires states to provide a consent and waiver form where applicants are given the choice to waive their Fourth Amendment Rights and submit to a random drug test. The Supreme Court has ruled several times individuals have the right to waive their Fourth Amendment rights. Bottom line, the choice is yours.

Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues in the House to support me in passing the Welfare Integrity Act of 2013 to eliminate abuse and ensure the benefits are used for the purpose intended, to protect children.


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