When Republicans controlled Congress and Bill Clinton sat as president of the United States, one of the signature bills of the era was passed: welfare reform. No longer could someone just sit around and collect checks. Someone receiving government assistance was required to work. The bill was touted as "the end of welfare as we know it." Guess what? It's back, and it's back because Barack Obama would rather have people sit around than work.
As noted in The Daily Caller:
The Department and Health and Human Services announced the agency will issue waivers for the federal work requirement of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program -- considered a central facet of welfare reform in 1996 -- Thursday.
The "Information Memorandum" states that the agency will be issuing waivers for TANF's work participation requirements for parents and caretakers as a way to find new approaches to better employment outcomes.
"While the TANF work participation requirements are contained in section 407, section 402(a)(1)(A)(iii) requires that the state plan '[e]nsure that parents and caretakers receiving assistance under the program engage in work activities in accordance with section 407,'" the memo, signed by HHS Director of the Office of Family Assistance, Earl Johnson, explained. "Thus, HHS has authority to waive compliance with this 402 requirement and authorize a state to test approaches and methods other than those set forth in section 407, including definitions of work activities and engagement, specified limitations, verification procedures, and the calculation of participation rates."
The Washington Examiner reports on Newt Gingrich's reaction. Gingrichs describes the move by the Obama administration as "almost certainly illegal."
"Obama's suspension of workfare requirements is almost certainly illegal, a sign of the jobs failure, and a reminder how liberal [O]bama is," Gingrich tweeted this morning following a report from the Heritage Foundation that the Health and Human Services Department had "released an official policy directive rewriting the welfare reform law of 1996."
Gingrich added that "President [C]linton and the [R]epublican [C]ongress created a bipartisan work oriented reform of welfare," in a second tweet. "Obama has single handedly destroyed it," Gingrich said.
Obama's new rule "allows the Department of Health and Human Services to waive the work requirement at the heart of welfare reform," as The Washington Examiner's Byron York explains. "That reform, originally vetoed but later signed into law by President Bill Clinton, is widely viewed as the most successful policy initiative in a generation. Under it, the growth in welfare rolls was reversed and millions of people moved from welfare to work."
Obama knows one thing for sure: let people sit around and receive "free" money, and they will just want to sit around and receive "free" money. Keeping people dependent on government is the only way liberals can stay in power.