GOP Bill Would Can Welfare Work Requirements

Republicans have slammed Obama for "gutting" welfare reform
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 15, 2012 3:12 PM CDT
John Boehner, center, with from left, Rep. Virginia Foxx, Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rogers, and Rep. Judy Biggert, on Capitol Hill Friday, April 8, 2011.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
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(Newser) – Republicans have criticized President Obama for "gutting" welfare reform, but now they're working on a House bill that could gut welfare reform, Talking Points Memo reports. Introduced by Rep. Virginia Foxx, the bill would let states simplify workers' training by cutting and consolidating redundant programs. That means work requirements from the 1996 welfare law—which Republicans say they hold dear—"may no longer apply," according to a memo from the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service.

More specifically, the bill would let states consolidate programs with the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families welfare program into a single Workforce Investment Fund—which means "TANF program requirements (e.g., work requirements) may no longer apply to that portion of funding because the TANF funding would not exist," says the memo. The bill has already cleared a major committee and been cosponsored by six Republicans. And at least on the surface, it sounds similar to Obama's plan.

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