On March 13, the House of Representatives passed legislation overturning the Obama Administration's rule allowing states to "waive" the 1996 welfare reform's law requirements that welfare recipients either obtain full-time work or participate in job training . Whatever one thinks of the work requirements, or of the wisdom of giving states waivers from the requirements, the 1996 law explicitly stated that the Executive Branch cannot issues waivers for the requirements. So it is another example of Obama overreach. Simple vote for members of Congress, right?
Well, it would seem not... because the leadership snuck into the bill a provision renewing the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program for the rest of the year at a cost of $16.5 billion. The new bill, with the added language reauthorizing TANF, was introduced two days before the vote but was hidden on the rules committee website –the link was put in between two versions of the bill that did not contain the TANF expansion provision.
So the debate on the bill focused on Obama's changes to the rules, instead of whether it was wise to just renew this welfare program without even considering whether there are reforms that could save taxpayers money. Also ignored was whether this unconstitutional program should continue or whether poor people would be better off if the responsibility for charity was returned to local communities, churches, and other private institutions.
Sadly, most Republican members of Congress were bamboozled by the GOP' leadership's focus on the work requirement issue that they overlooked questions about the TANF reauthorization. Only three fiscal conservatives voted no: Justin Amash, Thomas Massie, and Jim Bridenstine. These three deserve the gratitude of all Campaign for Liberty members for not being bamboozled by the GOP leadership's shell games.