President Barack Obama released a policy directive yesterday that essentially rewrites the 1996 Welfare Reform Law passed under former President Bill Clinton. Although largely “unnoticed” by many media outlets, the landmark directive “allows the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to waive the work requirement at the heart of welfare reform,” The Washington Examiner reports. A Department of Health and Human Services memo confirms that the agency now has the authority to waive compliance with verification procedures, the calculation of participation rates and work activities of welfare recipients.
The 1996 Welfare Reform Law, which President Clinton initially vetoed but later signed, is viewed by many as the most “successful policy initiative in a generation,” The Blaze reports. The welfare rolls decreased steadily as millions of able-bodied Americans moved from the taxpayer supported entitlement program to the workforce. Heritage Foundation welfare policy experts Robert Rector called Obama’s alterations to the Welfare Reform Law as the “end of welfare as we know it.”
“Despite its success, however, many liberals remain opposed to reform. For example, in the years immediately after passage of the law, Barack Obama himself pledged to do all he could to undo it,” Bryon York of the Washington Examiner noted.
Republican Study Committee Chairman Jim Jordan is also extremely displeased with Obama’s changes to the Welfare Reform Law. “Today’s action is also a blatant violation of the law. After immigration, education, marriage and religious conscience protections, we can now add welfare reform to the list of laws President Obama refuses to follow,” according to Jordan’s statements republished on The Blaze.