Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick (PA-8) voted to protect the critical "Welfare to Work" reforms of 1996 while ensuring that Federal funding for needy families is extended through the calendar year via H.R. 890.
"Today, I voted to extend funding for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) through the rest of the calendar year while protecting the popular "Welfare to Work' reforms instituted in 1996," said Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick.
"Last year, the Administration proposed waiving the work requirements for welfare recipients," continued Fitzpatrick, "I thought this was misguided as waiving welfare work requirements would weaken welfare to work programs by reducing work and increasing welfare spending."
"Today's vote protects the intent of the Welfare to Work program and ensures it will serve as a hand up, not a hand out," closed Fitzpatrick.
According to a House Ways and Means report, since welfare reform was instituted, employment of single mothers increased by 15 percent; earnings for female-headed households remained higher in 2009 than in 1996 despite shifting economic conditions; TANF caseloads decreased by 57 percent through December 2011; and child poverty has decreased dramatically and continues below levels in the 1990s. Allowing the Administration's rule to move forward would significantly undermine this progress.
H.R. 890 reauthorizes the TANF and related programs through December 31, 2013 at baseline levels. Furthermore, the bill prohibits the Secretary of Health and Human Services from waiving work requirements in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. Specifically, the legislation prevents the Secretary from finalizing, implementing, enforcing or otherwise taking any action to give effect to the Information Memorandum that was issued on July 12, 2012 by the Department of Health and Human Services, as it relates to the TANF program and its work requirement. The prohibition includes any administration action that relates to the work requirement or any similar policy.