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House Votes to Protect Welfare Work Requirements

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Congressman Bob Goodlatte issued this statement today following House passage of H. J. Res. 118, a resolution overturning the Obama Administration's waiver of welfare work requirements:

"In 1996, Congress and the Clinton Administration succeeded in overhauling the nation's failed welfare system, imposing real work requirements to help break the welfare cycle of dependency. However, the Obama Administration's latest attempt to circumvent Congress threatens those very work requirements that helped decrease the number of individuals receiving welfare in the years following passage of this bipartisan reform.

"This resolution clearly expresses Congress' disapproval of the Obama Administration's effort to weaken welfare reform and prevents the implementation of their plan while preserving critical reforms that have helped lift millions of American families out of poverty. Our nation has a choice -- a future where those in need have the opportunity to succeed or a future dependent upon welfare. Instead of making more Americans dependent on the federal government and moving the welfare system backwards, the Obama Administration should focus on job creation and spurring economic growth."


A memorandum released on July 12, 2012 by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) allows states to seek a waiver from the work requirements established in the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, enacted by the Republican-led Congress and President Clinton. Not only is the administration claiming to have power not granted in the law, it is attempting to do so by circumventing Congress. The nonpartisan Government Accountability Office determined that the administration's waiver policy is a rule and therefore subject to Congressional disapproval.

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