The investigative arm of Congress has found that the Obama
administration circumvented Congress in removing the work
requirement from welfare reform.
The findings from the Government Accountability
Office were trumpeted by members of the House Ways and Means
Committee, who are upset with the removal of the work requirement
(see earlier story). The findings echo
those reached by The Heritage Foundation, which started issuing
materials on this matter in July.
Heritage research associate Rachel Sheffield shares the
information discovered by her organization.
"The Obama administration on July 12th issued these
waivers to the work requirement, part of the TANF [Temporary
Assistance for Needy Families] law, and essentially by doing so was
sidestepping the law, sidestepping the Congress and promoting their
own policies, which are gutting the successful welfare reforms of
1996," she details.
Sheffield offers a few examples of these successes.
"After welfare reform was passed in 1996, we saw the welfare
rolls drop by 50 percent within just five years," she notes. "We
also saw the poverty rate decline. The child poverty rate
plummeted, particularly the poverty rate for African-American
children, which declined to its lowest level in U.S. history."
Critics of the work requirement removal have also pointed out
that President Obama said he was in favor of the work requirement
during his 2008 campaign for the White House. A video of those remarks began making its way
around the Internet following the administration's recent changes
to welfare reform.