Policymakers across the political spectrum continue to debate the merits of the Obama administration’s issuance of waivers to forgo the work requirement packaged into the 1996 welfare overhaul.
The landmark welfare reform law, officially termed the “Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act,” passed a Republican-led Congress and was signed by Democratic President Bill Clinton. One of the act’s central reforms is a prerequisite that public assistance recipients work or actively seek employment.
Officials at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced a federal waiver from the work standards in July. However, a September Government Accountability Office (GAO) report sided with Republican lawmakers saying that the White House’s attempts to waive participation rules are subject to congressional approval as required by the “Congressional Review Act.”
The president’s attempt to circumvent Congress exceeds executive privilege and ignores the law. This is why I supported a resolution of disapproval that prevents the Obama administration from implementing its work waiver and preserves the key polices of the 1996 welfare law that has helped struggling Mississippians get back on their feet.
Member of Congress