Today, the United States House of Representatives passed the Preserving Work Requirements for Welfare Programs Act of 2013 (H.R. 890). Congressman Tim Huelskamp voted for this bill; he believes strongly in the effectiveness of work requirements and that these requirements should be extended to other federal programs as well.
In July 2012, the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) announced that it would consider waiver requests from states that found the work requirements for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program to be overly burdensome. DHHS Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, decided to consider waiver requests despite the evidence that work requirements help people move from dependence on TANF benefits to gainful employment. While President Obama and Secretary Sebelius may choose to define success in terms of the number of people receiving government handouts, program success should be based on the number of people who no longer need assistance. By waiving work requirements, this Administration is wrongly seeking to undo the tremendous gains achieved through bipartisan welfare reform in the late 1990s. H.R. 890 rescinds the order, and prohibits any Administration from waiving these successful work requirements in the future.
Huelskamp released this statement following the passage of H.R. 890.
"Last year, President Obama gutted welfare work requirements in an election year bid to garner more votes. And apparently that did help the President's re-election efforts. However, waiving these work requirements not only harms the hard-working American taxpayer, it harms those on welfare. We should send welfare recipients the message that getting a job and working is a good thing -- not that welfare dependency should be a way of life. This new bill will reinforce work requirements, increase productivity, enhance the pride and character of those on welfare, and lessen Americans' dependence on Washington."