Washington, DC – Today, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI), Education and the Workforce Chairman John Kline (R-MN), Republican Study Committee Chairman Steve Scalise (R-LA), and Rep. Steve Southerland (R-FL) introduced the Preserving Work Requirements for Welfare Programs Act of 2013, prohibiting the Obama Administration from waiving the work requirements that were a critical element of welfare reform enacted in 1996.
“The welfare work requirements are essential to moving people from a government check to an actual paycheck and are supported by an overwhelming majority of the American people,” said Camp. “The President, however, wants to turn back the clock and undo the work requirement – that simply isn’t going to happen. Not only is it bad policy, but the President lacks the authority to erase the work requirements Congress wrote into the bipartisan law. This legislation makes it clear – the Obama Administration cannot undermine the work requirement that has resulted in higher earnings and employment for low-income individuals.”
“Welfare reform helped end dependency, reduce poverty, and strengthen the income security of millions of families,” said Kline. “President Obama’s waiver scheme will undo this bipartisan success by striking at the heart of the law’s work requirement, hurting families and taxpayers in the process. This important legislation will rein in the President’s overreach and preserve bipartisan policies that continue to help lift needy families out of poverty.”
“Work requirements were a central part of the welfare reforms enacted 17 years ago, and they were directly responsible for helping people to get back on their feet working to provide for their families while also decreasing welfare dependency,” said Scalise. “Because of the work requirements, family incomes increased, while poverty and dependency on government were reduced. Our legislation will help pull even more people out of poverty by ensuring that President Obama’s waiver of welfare work requirements is reversed immediately, and I encourage the House and Senate to swiftly pass this bill.”
“The President may think his work waiver helps Americans in need, but, in reality, all he’s done is rob them of their dignity and made it harder for them to lift themselves out of poverty,” said Southerland. “We can do better than what the President has to offer. That’s why House Republicans are working to turn back his administration’s efforts so our neighbors can look forward to higher earnings and a strengthened sense of self reliance.”
A summary of the Preserving Work Requirements for Welfare Programs Act is available here.
The text of the legislation is available here.