September 12, 2012
Enzi joins resolution to block gutting of welfare work requirements
The Obama Administration’s recent decision to unilaterally grant itself the authority to waive federal welfare work requirements is the target of a congressional resolution of disapproval that U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., is supporting.
The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) work requirements – a central element of bipartisan welfare reform enacted in 1996 – require that welfare recipients engage in work or work related activities while receiving government aid.
“The welfare work requirements have been very successful at moving people from dependency on government to sustainable work,” said Enzi. “By granting itself the authority to waive whatever provisions of a law it does not like, the Administration is saying that it knows better than Congress and is relying on constitutional authority that does not exist.”
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently released an analysis that waiving the work requirement qualifies as a rule and must be submitted to Congress for review and potential disapproval, under the Congressional Review Act.
“Encouraging people to rely on a government that is already $16 trillion in debt isn’t good policy, it’s an election year distraction that doesn’t create a single job or put a single person back to work.”
The Congressional Review Act gives Congress the ability to disapprove of rules and regulations pushed by the Administration. The legislation was introduced by Senator Orrin Hatch and Rep. Dave Camp. It requires a simple majority for passage in the Senate. It is the only legislative vehicle available to stop the welfare work requirement change from moving forward.