Letter of Support: Preserving Work Requirements for Welfare Programs Act

July 23, 2012 J,

Dear Chairmen Camp, Kline, Jordan and Ranking Member Hatch,

On behalf of more than two million Americans for Prosperity activists in all 50 states, I am writing in strong support of the Preserving Work Requirements for Welfare Programs Act (H.R. 6140, S. 3397). Your legislation would stop the President from waiving work requirements for welfare recipients, as outlined in the 1996 welfare reform law.

The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program in the 1996 welfare reform law included the “welfare-to-work” program, which requires welfare beneficiaries to have a job, or show proof that they are searching for one. The goal of the work requirement is to give welfare beneficiaries an incentive to participate in the workforce and encourage self-sufficiency. Last week, the Obama administration announced that it would grant waivers to states from these work requirements, gutting an integral part of the 1996 welfare reform.

Your bill would keep the work requirements in place. This program has been extremely successful in helping many low-income Americans pull themselves out of poverty. Under the program, for example, Washington State saw its case load decrease 37%, to 61,200 in March 2003 from 96,000 in September 1996, saving taxpayers $290 million in annual expenditures. The 1996 welfare law is a model for commonsense reform; instead of cutting work requirements, they should be expanded to similar state-based welfare program, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

In addition, your bill would uphold our system of checks and balances and stop the Obama administration from sidestepping the legislative process. This legislation ensures that neither the President nor unelected bureaucrats have the authority to unilaterally waive the requirements in the 1996 welfare reform law as they see fit.

Americans for Prosperity is proud to support H.R. 6140 and S. 3397, the Preserving Work Requirements for Welfare Programs Act. I urge your colleagues to support its passage, and I look forward to working with you in the future.


James Valvo
Director of Policy
Americans for Prosperity

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