U.S. Congressman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, issued the following statement today in support of the Preserving the Welfare Work Requirement and TANF Extension Act of 2013 (H.R. 890). H.R. 890 prohibits the Obama Administration from waiving the work requirements in the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program, which was an essential element of the 1996 welfare reform law requiring states to ensure 50 percent of their welfare caseload is engaged in or preparing for work, and reauthorizes the TANF program through the end of 2013:
"The historic 1996 welfare reform law was based on the premise that the best escape from poverty is a job with a future, not permanent reliance on government. This reform law -- which ensured a strong safety net for those who are too old, too young, too disabled to help themselves and those who are temporarily down on their luck -- improved the lives of countless families and individuals.
"The Obama Administration's removal of work requirements undermines this historic achievement and puts dependency ahead of opportunity.
"'Fairness' comes not from limiting opportunities, but from expanding them. The bill passed by the House today preserves the success of the 1996 welfare reform law and ensures we remain a society which cherishes the dignity of work and promotes the happiness that comes when individuals are able to climb the ladder of earned success."