The House of Representatives voted 246 to 181 today to block White House efforts to roll back bi-partisan welfare reforms that cut welfare rolls by half and increased incomes for single mothers living in poverty.
Last year the Obama administration attempted to bypass Congress by signaling it would grant waivers to allow states to weaken the requirement that welfare recipients work toward new job skills, training or employment.
"Rather than encourage more dependency of the government, the bi-partisan reforms of 1996 successfully encouraged people to be more independent and self-sufficient," said U.S. Congressman Kevin Brady (R-Texas). "The House acted forcefully today to protect these reforms and block the White House from weakening the work requirement in the future."
Brady notes that states already have the flexibility to substitute other activities for work, including temporary employment, attending training programs or pursuing new educational skills.
"Let's not return to the bad, old days when those on welfare could read a self-help book, keep a journal or go for a walk as a substitute for work. Every taxpayer who works knows that's not work."