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House Votes to Save Welfare to Work Law

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Today, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to stop the Obama Administration from "waiving' a key requirement in hallmark, bipartisan welfare reform. "A welfare system that doesn't work toward breaking the cycle of dependency and poverty fails every American -- especially those who are trapped in that terrible cycle," said Texas Congressman Kevin Brady, who believes this is why a recent poll found more than 80 percent of the American people support the work requirements at the heart of welfare reform and nearly two-thirds in a separate poll believe too many Americans are dependent on government aid.

"First and foremost, [welfare reform] should be about "moving people from welfare to work,'" as President Clinton said when he signed welfare reform into law. "Turning back the clock to the days where writing in your journal or reading Who Moved My Cheese? counted as work would be a huge leap backwards when the cold hard truth is the longer someone stays on assistance and without employment, the harder it is for them to get hired again," added Brady.

The 1996 welfare reforms are credited with a 57 percent drop in individuals receiving welfare; a 30% drop in the number of single mothers living in poverty; and significant increases in employment and earnings for single parent households.

The Government Accountability Office has made it clear that there is no legal precedent for the waivers the Obama administration is pushing. Current law provides limited and explicit waiver authority to the HHS Secretary and today, the House is making a stand to back up the law that no administration has previously claimed it can issue such waivers for. H. J. Res. 118 preserves the critical reforms that have helped lift millions of Americans out of poverty by preventing the administration from implementing its plan to waive work requirements in the 1996 welfare reform law and makes it clear that Congress will not support regulatory efforts to weaken welfare reform.

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