WASHINGTON – House Republican Conference Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) issued the following statement today in support of H.J.Res. 118, “Providing for Congressional Disapproval of the Administration’s July 12, 2012 Waiver of Welfare Work Requirements.” The resolution expresses the House’s disapproval of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) memo undermining the bipartisan welfare reform law of 1996 and would prevent the Obama administration from weakening the law’s federal work requirements.
“One of the most monumental and effective bipartisan achievements of the last two decades is being undone by this administration. Today’s resolution makes it clear that President Obama’s attack on welfare reform betrays the bipartisan spirit which made the law possible and puts the law’s successful reforms – and the people they’ve helped – in jeopardy. It is crucial that we remain a society which cherishes the dignity of work and promotes the happiness that comes when individuals are able to climb the ladder of earned success.
“Republicans and Democrats got it right when they worked together in Congress and with the White House to craft and pass the historic welfare reform law that improved the lives of countless families and individuals. Welfare reform’s success makes it all the more shameful that just 16 years later, we have a president who not only opposed the law at the time but actively disagrees with its widely supported premise that the best escape from poverty is a job, not permanent reliance on government.
“In a sad way, it’s ironic that the president whose administration sought to enable increased government dependency is the same president whose policies have been so destructive to job creation and opportunity that more people have been forced to depend on government. Under President Obama, more Americans are on food stamps than ever before, roughly half the nation is in or near poverty, and 23 million men and women are still struggling to find full time work. More than 7 Americans million have given up looking for work altogether.
“House Republicans strongly disagree with the president’s agenda which puts dependency ahead of opportunity, tells business owners and innovators that credit for their success belongs to government, and divides Americans through envy and distortion. We believe ‘fairness’ is not limiting opportunities but expanding them. That’s why we’ve passed more than 30 jobs bills which would lift government off our citizens’ backs and give our economy the strength it needs to recover and restore jobs, hope, and opportunity for the American people.”