The Obama administration has taken the extraordinary step of unilaterally gutting the work requirements at the heart of President Clinton’s historic welfare reform law, a signature bipartisan achievement of the Clinton administration and Republican-led Congress of the 1990s. Why? Because of the lack of jobs in the Obama economy.
Speaker John Boehner released the following statement:
“By gutting the work requirements in President Clinton’s signature welfare reform law, President Obama is admitting his economic policies have failed.
"While President Clinton worked with Congress in a bipartisan way on welfare reform and economic opportunity, President Obama has routinely ignored Republican proposals, rejected House-passed jobs bills, and imposed an agenda that’s helped keep the unemployment rate above eight percent for 41 months. Instead of working with Republicans to boost job creation, the president is simply disregarding the requirement that welfare recipients find work.
“Welfare reform was an historic, bipartisan success – this move by the Obama administration is a partisan disgrace.”
The Heritage Foundation says the “rigorous new federal work standards that state governments were required to implement” were the core of the welfare reform law. Whereas “[i]n the four decades prior to welfare reform, the welfare caseload never experienced a significant decline,” the work requirements were “very successful” in reducing welfare rolls and getting Americans back to work.
In an op-ed marking welfare reform’s 10-year anniversary, President Clinton said the law and its work requirements “create[ed] a new beginning for millions of Americans.” Welfare rolls “dropped substantially, from 12.2 million in 1996 to 4.5 million” in 2006, and “more than 20,000 businesses hired 1.1 million former welfare recipients.”
But with the Obama economy hung over from a failed ‘stimulus’ spending binge, job creators handcuffed by excessive regulations, and small businesses frightened by the president’s tax hike plan, jobs are hard to come by. So the White House simply gutted the work requirements that have been so successful. Instead of creating new jobs, the Obama administration is creating more dependency.