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JONES WANTS REVERSAL OF ADMINISTRATION DECISION TO EASE WELFARE WORK REQUIREMENT
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Last week the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued an “information memorandum” that allows mandatory work requirements for recipients of welfare benefits through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program to be waived. In a letter to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Congressman Walter B. Jones (NC-3) and 75 of his Republican colleagues emphasized their disappointment with the Obama administration’s unauthorized decision to waive the mandatory work requirement. TANF work requirements were included in the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 – the landmark “welfare reform” bill which Congressman Jones voted for and was signed into law by President Bill Clinton.
The letter states: “We are disappointed to see that the Administration, through this action and others, seems intent not on helping Americans get back to work, but rather on increasing their reliance on welfare and other government programs.”
Congressman Jones is also a cosponsor of H.R. 6140, the Preserving Work Requirements for Welfare Programs Act. This legislation would prohibit the HHS Secretary from implementing the “information memorandum” waiving TANF work requirements. It also prohibits the Secretary from authorizing or extending any pilot project that waives compliance with TANF work requirements. H.R. 6140 has been referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means and the House Committee on Education and the Workforce for further consideration.