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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. LEWIS of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, I would like to be crystal clear in my opposition to this terrible bill.

Instead of focusing on creating jobs or our nation's budget problems, this Congress is literally wasting time and resources. We are responding to an accusation that President Bush's advisor on welfare policy and a former Ways and Means Committee staffer said is just not true.

In 2005, 29 Republican governors including Mitt Romney requested increased waiver authority. The bipartisan National Governor's Association repeatedly asked for this same flexibility.

Let me be crystal clear--no one ever asked for or has been granted the ability to waive the TANF work requirement. There is a generation of Americans who watched their parents pull themselves up from poverty through education, work training, and child care support and become proud providers. They support the work requirements in TANF; in fact we all do. It works, and no one is trying to change that.

Not only is rhetoric around this bill pants-on-fire-false, but it is also another attempt to attack practically every possible bipartisan, pragmatic solution offered by this administration.

Mr. Speaker, I urge every American watching this debate to check the facts, and I urge every one of my colleagues to oppose this bill. Let's do the people's work and stop wasting time.

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