Preserving the Welfare Work Requirement and Tanf Extension Act of 2013by Representative Gene Green
Posted on 2013-03-13
GREEN of Texas. Mr. Speaker, today I rise in opposition to
H.R. 890--Preserving Work Requirements for Welfare Programs Act of
This bill prohibits the Secretary of HHS from using longstanding authority to issue waivers that allow states to conduct demonstration projects under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. It also reauthorizes the TANF program through December 31, 2013.
In Texas over 68,000 families receive TANF benefits. TANF is a block grant program to help move recipients into work and turn welfare into a program of temporary assistance.
In order to receive the maximum TANF benefit, families must be in compliance with work requirements and no one may remain on TANF for more than 60 months. Federal TANF law requires states to penalize families that fail to meet these requirements.
In response to a request from a bipartisan group of governors for more flexibility, the Obama Administration said the federal government would consider waiving existing work participation requirements for states that were experimenting with ``new, more effective ways'' of helping welfare applicants find work, ``particularly helping parents successfully prepare for, find, and retain employment.'' The Administration hasn't gotten rid of the work requirement or laid out a new theory of what it ought to include. It has given states the ability to seek executive branch approval for new methods.
This legislation is not needed, for no state has requested a waiver. This is the second time this bill has been introduced, as a solution to a problem that doesn't exist.
The House should focus on extending TANF benefits to needy families in the country.