This is the biggest story of the week, according to the Heritage Foundation…
The Foundry, Morning Bell reports the astonishing news:
The imperial Presidency has overturned Congress and the law again. Not content to stop at rewriting immigration policy, education policy and energy policy, yesterday, President Obama’s Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released an official policy directive rewriting the welfare reform law of 1996. The new policy guts the federal work requirements that were the foundation of the Clinton-era reform.
While this real news occurred yesterday, most of the media remained fixated on political ads and speeches, letting a major and unilateral shift in America’s welfare system go nearly unreported.
Welfare reform replaced the old Aid to Families with Dependent Children with a new program, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). The Heritage Foundation played a pivotal role in building bipartisan consensus for the reform and providing many of the recommendations that became part of the law. The whole point was that able-bodied adults should be required to work or prepare for work as a condition of receiving welfare aid.
This reform was very successful. TANF became the only welfare program (out of more than 70) that promoted greater self-reliance. It moved 2.8 million families off the welfare rolls and into jobs so that they were providing for themselves. Child poverty fell, and single-parent employment rose. Recipients were required to perform at least 20–30 hours per week of work or job preparation activities in exchange for the cash benefit.
Now, Obama’s HHS is claiming that it can waive those work requirements that are at the heart of the law, and without Congress’s consent.
So it hath been decreed, so it shall be done.
Allen West was absolutely right...Obama would ‘rather you be his slave and economically dependent upon him’.
Byron York of the Washington Examiner reports that the Romney campaign “is looking carefully” at the new policy (which some Romney aides found “stunning”) and could make it become a significant part of Romney’s case against the president.
Friday morning, with Obama’s action still largely unreported, Romney released a statement calling Obama’s move “completely misdirected.”
“President Obama now wants to strip the established work requirements from welfare,” Romney said. “The success of bipartisan welfare reform, passed under President Clinton, has rested on the obligation of work. The president’s action is completely misdirected. Work is a dignified endeavor, and the linkage of work and welfare is essential to prevent welfare from becoming a way of life.”