In February, Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) 100% introduced the Welfare Reform and Upward Mobility Act (S. 2015). This bill would “address the deep problems in the federal government’s welfare programs that make it more difficult for low-income Americans to work their way into the middle class and stay there.”
Unlike President Obama and the liberals in Congress who think that raising the minimum wage is the only way to address poverty, this bill actually takes aim at helping America’s low-income individuals. By implementing new work requirements for the food stamp program and capping welfare spending, S. 2015 works towards increasing self-sufficiency and reducing government dependence.
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) 95% shared inspiring ideas about how to cure poverty in America at Heritage Action’s Conservative Policy Summit earlier this month.
“Successful welfare programs are those that make poverty more temporary, not more tolerable, and we need to move current policy in that direction,” said Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) 100% in a press release regarding the introduction of his bill, the Welfare Reform and Upward Mobility Act.
The Welfare Reform and Upward Mobility Act corrects and strengthens current welfare programs by restoring work incentives for individuals and families, improving state administration of welfare programs, rewarding states that transition beneficiaries from welfare to work, and imposing greater transparency in means-tested welfare spending.
This legislation is based on sound research and on the realities we face today as a nation. The government spends nearly $1 trillion annually on 80 federal means-tested programs that provide cash, food, housing, medical care, and targeted social services for poor and low-income Americans.
We support H.R. 890, a bill that will repeal the Obama administration’s July 12, 2012 memo allowing states to seek waivers for welfare work requirements. The House vote will appear on our scorecard.
The Obama administration should not have tried to circumvent the law by waiving the work requirements. The work requirement, established under the 1996 welfare reform law, has been hugely successful in helping people – especially children and female headed families – to get themselves out of poverty.
Use the form here to email your Representative in support of this bill.
In 1964, President Lyndon Johnson declared a “War on Poverty.” Nearly five decades later, our political dialogue is still riddled with rhetoric that demagogues success. Clearly, the so-called War on Poverty has failed to reduce the causes of poverty and, like most big-government solutions, created numerous unintended consequences.
After decades of failure, Washington successfully transformed one welfare program. The 1996 welfare reform law – commonly referred to as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families or TANF – implemented a work requirement for participants that said able-bodied adults should work or prepare for work while in the program.
The law restored human dignity by ending government paternalism and dependency. The Heritage Foundation’s Jennifer Marshall summarizes the results:
For four decades prior to reform, welfare rolls saw no significant decline and child poverty remained persistently high. Following the historic reforms of 1996, the welfare caseload fell by half. Nearly 3 million Americans achieved independence from government. Poverty among children and single mothers decreased significantly; poverty among black children reached its lowest level in U.S. history, as did the poverty rate for single mothers.
But in July, President Obama unilaterally gutted the law’s work requirements. In doing so, he ignored the law’s success and his past support for such requirements. Heritage’s Robert Rector – considered by many the man behind the 1996 welfare reform law – explains the stakes: