Washington, DC – In anticipation of tomorrow’s anniversary of the signing of the historic, bipartisan 1996 Welfare Reform law, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) today released a report detailing the Obama Administration’s efforts to undermine work requirements in multiple government benefit programs as well as encourage expanded dependence on a variety of government benefits. In July, the Obama Administration proposed allowing States to “waive” the work requirements included in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program that were central to the success of the 1996 reform law.
Upon releasing the report Camp, who served on the conference committee that secured these changes, stated, “The 1996 welfare reforms led to more work and earnings and less welfare dependence and poverty among low-income Americans. However, President Obama recently took steps to undermine the work requirements that were an essential part of those reforms. As this report shows, eliminating work requirements as a condition for receiving government benefits has been a recurring theme during the Obama Administration. This has led to a massive increase in the number of Americans receiving some form of taxpayer-funded benefits.
“It’s bad enough that the Administration has failed to propose policies that will help the almost 13 million unemployed Americans find the jobs they need. But, to make matters worse, this report shows how their policies have actively undermined the few work requirements that existed in benefit programs, while expanding eligibility for government benefits instead. The President should stop this attack on work requirements that have helped lift so many families and children out of poverty and instead take action to enact policies that create job opportunities for the unemployed.”