Sep 14, 2012 10:17 PM GMT
How A Bunch Of Republicans Accidentally Voted To End Welfare-To-Work Requirements
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/wp/2012/09/13/the-republican-bill-that-actually-would-gut-welfare-reform/The bill allows states to consolidate all state-federal aid programs, such as aid for Women, Infants and Children, food stamps and TANF into a single “Workforce Investment Fund.” But if they do, all the eligibility requirement for those programs fall by the wayside. “Thus, for example, if TANF funds were consolidated into the WIF,” CRS’ David Bradley explains, “TANF program requirements (e.g., work requirements) may no longer apply to that portion of funding because the TANF funding would not exist (i.e., it would be part of the WIF and thus subject to WIF program requirements).” Translation: State governors would be able to eliminate the welfare work requirement entirely by creating a Workforce Investment Fund. That’s a much bigger change than anything the Obama administration has proposed on welfare.
This isn’t unprecedented. The Bush administration pushed for a welfare “superwaiver” that would allow states to waive just about every requirement, including the work requirement. “The superwaiver proposal passed the House three times: in 2002, 2003, and 2005,” CRS’ Gene Falk writes (pdf). “The legislation would have had the effect of allowing TANF work participation standards to be waived.” All three times the proposal was backed by Paul Ryan, John Boehner, Rob Portman and most other Republicans in the House. (The relevant roll call votes are here, here and here.)