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Disapproving Rule Relating to Waiver and Expenditure Authority with Respect to the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. THOMPSON of California. I thank the gentleman for yielding, and I rise in opposition to this political poppycock.

I've got a real personal interest in this issue in this legislation. When I was in the State senate, I wrote California's welfare reform legislation, and the work requirement was a major part of that. It was a bipartisan effort in California. It was signed by a Republican Governor, Pete Wilson; and today it's still being followed by Democratic Governor Jerry Brown.

Welfare reform has worked. Fifteen years later, the program caseload in California is roughly 60 percent of what it was in 1998--even in the face of this terrible recession that we're looking at today. Waivers were an important part of that, as they are in every State across the Nation. Those waivers allow flexibility to Governors to run Federal programs in the most effective and the most efficient way possible. One size does not fit all, and that's why we have these waivers. In this case, they work because they move more people from welfare to work, and that's what we want.

This bill should be roundly defeated.


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