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Committee Approves Legislation to Block Controversial Welfare Waiver Scheme

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 13, 2012
The House Committee on Education and the Workforce, chaired by Rep. John Kline (R-MN), today approved legislation to prevent President Obama from implementing his plan to waive the work requirements at the heart of the 1996 welfare reform law. 

"Today the committee has taken an important step toward preserving policies that help American families in need," said Chairman Kline. "The president’s controversial action tarnished the bipartisan spirit of welfare reform. We did not ask for this fight, but House Republicans will not stand by while the Obama administration reverses years of progress moving low income families out of government dependency and into the workforce. I look forward to a debate on this resolution on the House floor as soon as possible, and working with my colleagues to rein in this disturbing executive overreach and protect bipartisan welfare reform."

On July 12, the Department of Health and Human Services issued a rule that invites states to seek a waiver of welfare reform’s work requirements. Under the guise of state flexibility, the president is unilaterally weakening efforts to assist needy families. The nonpartisan Government Accountability Office determined that the administration’s waiver policy is a rule and therefore subject to Congressional disapproval under the Congressional Review Act (CRA). Pursuant to the CRA, House Republicans are advancing H.J.Res. 118.


As passed by the committee, H.J.Res. 118 will:

  • Express Congress’s disapproval of the Obama administration’s regulatory effort to weaken welfare reform;
  • Prevent the administration from implementing its plan to waive the work requirements of the 1996 welfare reform law; and
  • Preserve critical reforms that have helped lift millions of American families out of poverty.

To learn more about Republican efforts to preserve the 1996 bipartisan welfare reform law, click here. To read opening statements or watch an archived webcast of today’s markup, visit

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