- Obama military downsizing leaves U.S. too weak to counter global threats, panel finds
- Sen. Tom Coburn vows to slow down budget-busting bills ahead of recess
- Obama fantasizes about more executive power, signs new order on federal contractors
- Clintons call Klein, Halper, Kessler ‘a Hat Trick of despicable actors’: report
- Boehner accuses Obama of ‘legacy of lawlessness’
- Pro-marijuana group claims responsibility for Brooklyn Bridge flag swap
- Young adults shun Obamacare mostly due to cost: survey
- Stabbing attack on transgender girl, 15, was ‘bias motivated,’ police say
- LGBT adults still lean overwhelmingly toward Democratic Party
- Lawmakers rattled by Syria genocide horrors, call on Obama to act
MILLER: GOP: Get off the couch
Making welfare recipients have to work, despite Obama
Question of the Day
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: Mark Witaschek tax investigation follows D.C. conviction for muzzleloader bullet ammunition
- MILLER: Harry Reid's hypocrisy on 'Equal Pay Day': No women on top leadership staff
- MILLER: Maryland bathroom bill for transgenders is part of LGBT lobby for sex-change rights
- MILLER: Mark Witaschek surrenders to D.C. police 'Gun Offenders Registry'
- MILLER: Exclusive - Mark Witaschek takes the stand in D.C. shotgun shell trial
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
Both parties recognize the Democrats' scam
Get Breaking Alerts
- Inside the Ring: Israel surprised by Hamas tunnel network
- CRUZ: A tale of two hospitals: One in Israel, one in Gaza
- Chicken pox outbreak puts illegal immigrant facility on lockdown
- Israel surprised by Hamas tunnel network
- Report: 40% of weapons sent to Afghanistan are unaccounted for
- Catholic League slams Obama: 'Do Christian lives mean so little to you?'
- GOP leaders delay border bill, leave Obama in control
- CIA admits improperly hacking Senate computers in search of Bush-era information
- Sarah Palin's online channel hits snag as Stephen Colbert buys similar URL
- 'Big Bang' star Mayim Bialik helps send bulletproof vests to IDF
- EDITORIAL: Pols' misrepresentations fuel public's cynicism about politics
- EDITORIAL: 'Operation Choke Point': A noose for business
- EDITORIAL: For too many gays, 'tolerance' is a one-way street
- EDITORIAL: The real Lois Lerner exposed in newly released emails
- EDITORIAL: Meriam Ibrahim's happy immigrant story