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Preserving the Welfare Work Requirement and TANF Extension Act of 2013

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. ANDREWS. I thank my friend for yielding.

It is, and I think should be, the law in this country if you're able-bodied, you can't get welfare unless you work. That became the law in 1996.

Last year, two Republican Governors approached the administration and said, Before we send people to work full time, what we'd like to do is get them some training. So instead of simply getting a job, a person gets a career so they make some more money and don't wind up back on the welfare rolls because they're in a string of entry-level jobs. And the administration said to those two Republican Governors, Well, we'll let you do that, but only if you can prove that the result of this experiment will be more people are working, not fewer. The only way you can get this waiver is if you can prove that there will be more people moving from welfare to work than under the present system. This makes perfect sense to me.

It's said around here all the time that Washington should not dictate the rules, that one size does not fit all, and that some of the best ideas come from our State capitals and local officials. If you believe those things, as I do, then you should vote against this bill. Because what this bill says is there will be no waivers, under any circumstances, for any Governor, whether it makes sense in their State or not. Keep this in mind.

Under the administration's policy, you can't get a waiver unless you can prove that more people move from welfare to work than under the present system. This is common sense. It's federalism. It lets the States do what they think is best under the right circumstances. And we should vote "no.''

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