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  • Heritage Legal Memo: Welfare Reform's Work Requirements Cannot Be Waived

    The Obama Administration is denying that it has gutted the work requirements from the 1996 welfare reform law, despite all evidence that it has. Heritage is going in-depth with analysis of the law and the reasoning Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius gives for rewriting it.

    A new Legal Memo by visiting legal fellow Andrew Grossman lays out the details of the HHS argument and pointedly states that there is no basis in law for the changes the Administration has made.

    The centerpiece of the 1996 law—and the center of controversy in the HHS action—is a part of the original law called Section 407, which set an absolute requirement that state welfare programs achieve specific work-participation rates or forfeit federal funding. It was a hard-fought battle, Grossman recalls: “Even after President Bill Clinton twice vetoed welfare reform legislation, Congress refused to budge on the core requirement of Section 407, insisting on strong work incentives to discourage abuses and to help lift recipients off of welfare and out of poverty.”

    Grossman explains that Section 407 is very specific about what “work” means and how much would be required:

    Section 407 enumerates 12 “work activities”—including subsidized and unsubsidized employment, on-the-job training, and vocational training—that satisfy the state and individual work requirements. It specified the number of hours per week that family members would be required to work to be considered “participating in work activities.” It put a hard cap of 30 percent on the proportion of a state’s welfare recipients who could participate in educational activities and still be counted as engaged in work. Finally, the law requires HHS to oversee and verify states’ compliance with all work requirements.

    Obama’s HHS now claims that it has the authority to waive the requirements of Section 407. Grossman spotlights the department’s twisted legal reasoning, exposing its flaws.

    What’s more, Grossman says that waiving the work requirements “is not only terrible policy, but also a violation of the President’s constitutional obligation to ‘take care that the laws be faithfully executed.’”

    Read the Legal Memo: Welfare Reform’s Work Requirements Cannot Be Waived

    Posted in Featured [slideshow_deploy]

    10 Responses to Heritage Legal Memo: Welfare Reform's Work Requirements Cannot Be Waived

    1. SoapInYourMouth says:

      Our society has spun out of control due to lack of values in today's day and age. This country has become the country of "We want it, because we are entitled to it." If a major overhaul is not made with welfare and many other public dependancy issues the USA will become a second rate country. How can we allow people to get free money for doing absolutely nothing? If everyone did that there would be no one working to pay for the lazy people. I wrote a perspective article addressing the same issues at soapinyourmouth.com.

    2. who's going to SUE HHS and the administration to rectify this??????????

    3. Renaus says:

      The Republicans in the House and Senate are exceedingly weak OR they are in on it. Either way the Establishment Republicans, (ie. John Boehner, Mitch McConnell), need to be voted out of office or turn in their Republican card and switch to Democrat. For example, it was just a few months ago that Mitch McConnel remarked that maybe Obamacare won't be able to be overturned now that SCOTUS has deemed it constitutional. It's that kind of thinking and strategizing that will KEEP Obamacare as the law of the land and against the will of the people.

      Vote TEA Party! Vote Conservative!

    4. Daver says:

      What Linda said!
      I mean, do taxpayers have "standing" to protect their rights to avoid funding for people to sleep or read books in pursuit of employment?

    5. Lloyd Scallan says:

      Amy, in case you missed it, Obama did exactly what you report he could not do and no one seems to be able to do anything about it. The Democrats cheer him on while the Republicans don't have the guts to speak up. When will you and HF admit that Obama has become this nation's first dictator? He does respect the rule of law nor the wishes of the American people. He has an agenda to drive this nation into
      socialism and he will not stop until we stop him.

    6. Dan LaCamp says:

      The Obama administration has put in place – with the help of super majorities in both chambers – a system to completely bypass congress if Obama is re-elected. Huge laws like Dodd-Frank and Obamacare give power to presidential appointees who then make the rules – without the ability congress to stop them. This is totally out of line with the way the country was founded with a system of checks and balances in the 3 branches of government. If this mini-dictator is reelected, his power will have virtually no limits despite who has the majority in the house and senate – the rules will be made by his appointees. This blatant abuse of power by HHS just the beginning of what awaits this country if he is reelected. I will do all in my power to help Mitt – thus helping to save this country.

    7. Rand says:

      Amy Payne is one of the best writers at Heritage. She does not write with redundant adjectives, and she never lapses into latinated constructions. Hooray for her demonstrations of clarity thru declarative brevity! Amy knows how to sharpen the point!

    8. Roy S. Mallmann II says:

      This is just one more impeachable offense but we have a House of Representatives that does nothing. They are either Democrats in Republican Clothing or are dishonest at heart. This is with the exception of Darrell Issa, Eric Cantor and a few others. This is pathetic and will go down in history as the biggest failure of our government. I hope the first thing that the new congress addresses media malpractice

    9. KCliberty says:

      EVERYONE should be up in arms about this…WHY?? Because what are laws for if one person can just do what he wants? What happens when its a law you support and he does this, will it still be Okay then?? Laws are laws for a reason and the only way they can be overturned is to be voted on. This president has done this time after time and thinks he is above the law and the constitution. Some sad times for AMERICA!!!

    10. FmrUSMCRnTX says:

      Quoting from Amy's fine article: "The Obama Administration is denying that it has gutted the work requirements from the 1996 welfare reform law,"…..what this radical administration does is they LIE constantly & consistently! No surprise here. Not only do we need to oust this radical "campaigner in chief" and his minions in the upcoming election, we need a thorough house-cleaning of both houses of Congress. We need people who have the courage to stand up for the American people and for the founding principles that made this country great. With some exceptions, we lack said courage in the halls of our current Congress. Throw the bums OUT! God Bless America, Keep Her Free and Strong! Semper Fi!

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