WASHINGTON, D.C. – Top Republican on the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Worker and Family Support Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-IN) highlighted the success of Republicans’ 1996 welfare reform and addressed new ways Congress can better support working Americans.
In an op-ed for the Washington Examiner, Rep. Walorski writes:
“In 1996, Congress passed landmark bipartisan welfare reform, which included the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program. These block grants were designed to empower states to end open-ended entitlement and provide a temporary safety net for those in need. Since then, some states have manipulated the program and outright ignored its work requirements. A quarter of a century later, we have the opportunity to return that program to its intended purpose — addressing the underlying barriers to work and equipping families to succeed.
“We can’t keep throwing money at the problem. No number of endless government payments can address the challenges that could be holding a family back from success, which could include addiction, abuse, or unaddressed mental health issues. While Democrats want to keep paying people to stay home, Republicans are putting forth pro-work, pro-growth solutions that help individuals find and keep family-sustaining jobs.”
Welfare reform’s work requirements drove down welfare caseloads and reduced child poverty.
- This month, Ways and Means Republicans reintroduced the “JOBS for Success Act” to help low-income families find work by providing training and other resources to help parents secure good paying jobs.
Thanks to unleashing jobs and wages, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act reduced poverty to a historic low.
- After the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (2017), real wages grew 4.9 percent, the fastest two-year growth in real wages in 20 years.
- Incomes for black, Hispanic, and Asian Americans saw record increases and unemployment fell to all-time lows under TCJA.
- More than 6 million people were lifted out of poverty, and the poverty rate fell to 10.5 percent, the lowest level in U.S. history.
- President Biden’s corporate tax increases would reverse these gains, resulting in slower growth, fewer jobs, and lower wages.
The last thing Americans need is higher taxes to pay for Democrats’ untargeted welfare-without-work policies.
- We’re already seeing the consequences of Biden’s economic blunders: cash-strapped families are falling behind as real wages decline.
- With more than 9 million job openings, and far too many Americans on the sidelines, the families who are hurting the most need good-paying jobs.
Read Rep. Walorski’s full OP-ED HERE. Excerpts are below:
The Dignity of Work Uplifts Families
Rep. Walorski (R-IN)
July 27, 2021
Our nation has been built and forged by generations of hardworking people. Since our country’s founding, the dignity of work has been vital to our culture and to the American dream itself.
Time and time again, meaningful jobs and work have been the key to ending the cycle of poverty and lifting struggling families into success. As we mark the 25th anniversary of welfare reform this summer, we must reaffirm our commitment to supporting our neighbors in need, strengthening the workforce, and growing our economy.
We can’t keep throwing money at the problem. No number of endless government payments can address the challenges that could be holding a family back from success, which could include addiction, abuse, or unaddressed mental health issues. While Democrats want to keep paying people to stay home, Republicans are putting forth pro-work, pro-growth solutions that help individuals find and keep family-sustaining jobs.
This week, Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee introduced the JOBS for Success Act to restore the promise of welfare reform by reauthorizing the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program to strengthen accountability and measure work outcomes. This legislation includes important provisions to invest in workers, to modernize the welfare system, and to streamline assistance to social services through effective case management.
At the same time, big-government intervention is not the answer to our economic challenges. Inflation is the cost of Democrats’ reckless spending, and Hoosier families are paying the price. From the gas pump to the grocery store, skyrocketing costs have real consequences. Instead of perpetuating the Democrats’ outrageous plan to keep spending and exacerbating this crisis, we can take a step forward toward fiscal responsibility and personal responsibility.
Incentivizing work and eliminating barriers is proven to uplift families from poverty to prosperity. By reforming welfare for the first time in the 21st century, we can take commonsense action today to secure tomorrow’s success. Restoring the dignity of work will not only strengthen our national fabric but also will unlock the American dream for families now and for generations to come.