Obama administration welfare-to-work waiver threatens future success.
Sept. 11, 2012, Fairfax, VA—Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson today issued the following statement on President Obama’s gutting of the welfare work requirements under the federal welfare law:
“Obama’s unilateral gutting of the welfare work requirements under the federal welfare law renews his attempt to create an entitlement society where individuals are dependent upon the largesse of government rather than on their own initiative to live and thrive.
“In looking closely at the specific changes that Congress will attempt to overturn in the weeks ahead, one ramification is that Obama’s changes would leave the door open for states to not only not require work, but could even go so far as to make college students eligible for government aid.
“This potential expansion of government dependency of students when they are supposed to be experiencing the growth that the independence of college provides is a disaster waiting to happen.
“Our young people are our next great hope in this nation. To put them into the cocoon of government entitlement when they should be struggling through the growing pains of independence is disastrous for the individual students and our nation as a whole. The struggle of college independence, making budgets, making mistakes and learning from them forges character and the confidence that a person can overcome adversity.
“This is the fundamental quality that defines success, and Obama’s changes open the doors for transforming our college students from strivers to dependents. This is just one reason why Congress must overturn Obama’s attempt to waive the welfare work requirement under the law.”
Morna Murray, Special Counsel to Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA), suggests in the Huffington Post that states may use this waiver to expand what qualifies as a “work activity” to include post-secondary education. (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/morna-murray/welfare-work-the-facts_b_1855286.html) HHS’s Guidance states as much where it says the Administration would consider “[p]rojects that improve collaboration with the workforce and/or post-secondary education systems to test multi-year career pathways models for TANF recipients that combine learning and work.” (http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ofa/policy/im-ofa/2012/im201203/im201203.html) This would be accomplished by—instead of waiving the mandatory work requirement section of the law (42 U.S.C. sec. 607), which is not allowed under 42 U.S.C. sec. 1115—waiving a state’s requirement to submit a written plan, under 42 U.S.C. sec 602, for how it will comply with the work requirement section. This tenuous legal justification is merely a facade that masks the Departments attempt to disregard the law.
Interview Availability: Please contact Rebekah Rast at (703) 383-0880 or at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange an interview with ALG President Bill Wilson.