America's independent, non-partisan advocate for overburdened taxpayers.

Vote Alert

NTU urges all Representatives to vote “YES” on H.J. Res. 118

September 19, 2012

NTU urges all Representatives to vote “YES” on H.J. Res. 118, a resolution to preserve the existing work requirements for welfare. H.J. Res. 118 upholds Congress’ prerogative after the Government Accountability Office’s finding that a rule allowing states to waive certain work stipulations under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Program should have been submitted first to the procedures of the Congressional Review Act.

H.J. Res. 118 prevents the Administration from circumventing the law by expressing Congress’s disapproval of the regulatory effort to weaken welfare reform. The legislation blocks implementation of a plan that would weaken some work requirements to receive aid, thereby leaving intact the work-for-welfare reforms that have a 16-year track record of success.

The extraordinary action on the part of the Obama Administration, in the form of an Executive Order, undermined the monumental welfare reforms of 1996 - threatening to reverse a decade and a half of steady improvement in federal cash assistance procedures for poor Americans. One of the major cornerstones of the 1996 welfare reforms enacted under President Clinton were stricter “workfare” guidelines that encouraged TANF recipients to be more self-reliant, expedited the return of many to the workforce, and removed counterproductive incentives that discouraged seeking full-time employment.

This important overhaul of the way the federal government provided cash assistance has had remarkable and lasting outcomes both for benefit recipients and taxpayers. Overall, welfare reform has seen measurable improvements in employment and earnings for low-income Americans. Rather than chipping away at the bipartisan approach of 16 years ago, Congress should be applying that model to other entitlement programs so that aid recipients and taxpayers alike can reap the rewards.

Roll call votes on H.J. Res. 118 will be significantly weighted in our annual Rating of Congress and a “YES” vote will be considered the pro- taxpayer position.

If you have any questions, please contact
NTU Federal Affairs Manager Nan Swift at (703) 683-5700