- Judge’s order preserves NSA surveillance records
- Refurbished Pollock masterpiece goes on display
- Iditarod becomes mad dash for Nome
- ‘Burger King baby’ now seeks birth mom on Facebook
- Study: 2 percent of Americans have new hips, knees
- Friend: Pistorius shot gun out car without warning
- States wrestle with developing, restricting drones
- Japan marks 3rd anniversary of tsunami disasters
- Ukraine’s Crimea seeks to become independent state
- Ex-Gov. Christie aides to judge: Quash subpoenas
MILLER: GOP: Get off the couch
Making welfare recipients have to work, despite Obama
With the presidential campaigns entrenched in hand-to-hand fighting, Democrats are looking for a way to capture the voters’ attention. They think they’ve found the edge with new policies designed to increase government dependency. The latest gambit would relieve benefit recipients of any personal responsibility. Fortunately, the battle isn’t over.
On Wednesday, a group of congressional Republicans led by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp and Senate Finance Committee ranking member Orrin G. Hatch introduced a bill to block the Obama administration from its attempt to exempt states from the work requirements for welfare recipients. Without consulting Congress, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) last week issued guidance allowing states, for the first time, to seek such waivers.
Faced with intense blowback, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney did his best to deflect criticism, saying “only waivers with compelling plans to move more people off of welfare and into work will be considered.” The Republican legislation would block HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius from implementing her directive and prevent future efforts to do away with work requirements. Late Wednesday night, Mrs. Sebelius responded to a letter from Mr. Hatch and Mr. Camp in which she attempted to justify herself, insisting HHS would approve only “good” waivers.
Mr. Obama’s move to let people sit around and receive a government check fits a growing Democratic Party policy trend. New York Rep. Charles B. Rangel introduced the Public Tenants Housing Respect Act, which would repeal requirements for public-housing residents to do community service. Currently, adults younger than 62 who don’t have a child under age 13 are required to perform just eight hours a month.
Mr. Rangel cited the 14th Amendment, which prevents people from being deprived of life, liberty or property without due process as the constitutional authority for doing away with this modest service. Apparently, the housing recipients are fine with receiving discounted rent, but giving back to their community is too much of a burden.
Rep. Henry C. “Hank” Johnson Jr., Georgia Democrat, has legislation that would amend the 1964 Civil Rights Act to prohibit discrimination on the basis of employment status. The bill has 56 co-sponsors — almost a third of the Democratic caucus — and would add the phrase “unemployment status” next to every mention of “national origin.” By this reasoning, you’re as blameless for not having a job as you are for your sex, religion or race.
The bipartisan welfare reform of 1996 went a long way toward changing the mentality for those receiving welfare benefits from entitlement to earning. The changes put the needy on a path toward full employment and self-sufficiency instead of a lifetime of unemployment and dependency. A Rasmussen poll released this week found that 83 percent of Americans support a work requirement as a condition for receiving welfare aid.
In September, the entire Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program will come up for reauthorization. Members of Congress should take the opportunity to strengthen the existing legislative language to prevent a backward slide into solidifying a permanent dependent class.
Emily Miller is a senior editor for the Opinion pages at The Washington Times.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Emily Miller is senior editor of opinion for The Washington Times. She is the author of “Emily Gets Her Gun … But Obama Wants to Take Yours” (Regnery 2013). Miller won the 2012 Clark Mollenhoff Award for Investigative Reporting from the Institute on Political Journalism.
- MILLER: Donald Trump says he’s a Tea Party member
- MILLER: CPAC debates Tea Party or moderate for 2016 Republican presidential candidate
- MILLER: Huge majorities on East Coast support national gun registry
- MILLER: NRA to score Senate vote on Obama’s nominee for surgeon general, Vivec Murthy
- MILLER: New Jersey bill is outright gun ban on .22-caliber rifles and leads to confiscation
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
By David Keene
Conference showed that the values Reagan cherished still endure
Get Breaking Alerts
- FCC targets black conservative in TV station fight
- Hillary Clinton campaign received funds from Jeffrey Thompson
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
- Senate Democrats, Republicans spar over restoring unemployment benefits
- Redskins free agency: 5 positions to watch
- EDITORIAL: Senate Democrats pointless all-night global warming talkathon
- CARNES: Kissinger's flawed and offensive analysis of Ukraine
- SAUERBREY: Taxing Marylanders until they flee
- CPAC 2014: Despite Ben Carson's speech, gay marriage mostly took a back seat at CPAC
- Bill Clinton poses for photo with Bunny Ranch prostitutes
- EDITORIAL: Senate Democrats’ pointless all-night global warming talkathon
- EDITORIAL: Enforce the Law Act aims to hold Obama accountable
- EDITORIAL: Relief from 'homeowners association nightmares'
- EDITORIAL: Lawyers encouraging pursuit of jackpot justice
- EDITORIAL: As jobs vanish, Obama wants more of same