With the media’s attention turned elsewhere this past week, a major policy revision by the Obama Administration.
Welfare reform replaced the old Aid to Families with Dependent Children with a new program, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). The Heritage Foundation played a pivotal role in building bipartisan consensus for the reform and providing many of the recommendations that became part of the law. The whole point was that able-bodied adults should be required to work or prepare for work as a condition of receiving welfare aid.
This reform was very successful. TANF became the only welfare program (out of more than 70) that promoted greater self-reliance. It moved 2.8 million families off the welfare rolls and into jobs so that they were providing for themselves. Child poverty fell, and single-parent employment rose. Recipients were required to perform at least 20–30 hours per week of work or job preparation activities in exchange for the cash benefit.
Now, Obama’s HHS is claiming that it can waive those work requirements that are at the heart of the law, and without Congress’s consent.
When it established TANF, Congress deliberately exempted or shielded nearly all of the TANF program from waiver authority. They explicitly did not want the law to be rewritten at the whim of HHS bureaucrats. In a December 2001, the non-partisan Congressional Research Service clarified that there was no authority to override work and other major requirements: “Effectively, there are no TANF waivers,” it reported.
But that did not stop the Obama Administration, which has been increasing welfare spending at an alarming rate already. President Obama has added millions to the welfare rolls, and his Administration has come under fire lately for its efforts to expand and add more Americans to the food stamp program.
“What Chief Justice [John] Roberts did for us . . . was put this issue — Obamacare, and the individual mandate — back in the hands of the people via our representatives,” the former Alaska governor said Thursday on Fox News’ “On the Record with Greta Van Susteren.”
“So now . . . Congress has an opportunity to act on this tax, as this has been deemed a tax [by the court ruling],” she said, adding, “After the July recess, I expect Congress to come in and rescind this tax. They have the power to adopt and enact a tax. They also have the power to rescind it.”
“I am deeply disappointed in this President’s abdication of leadership when it comes to prioritizing Americans’ hard-earned tax dollars. The decision to delay the release of his budget again could not come at a more precarious moment for our fiscal and economic future. This will mark the third time in four years the President has missed his statutory requirement to present a budget on time, while trillion-dollar budget deficits continue to mount. As the President announces another missed deadline, tomorrow marks the 1,000th day Senate Democrats have gone without any budget at all.
“Having buried Americans under trillions of dollars of debt, the President and his party’s leaders remain unwilling to account for their spending spree. The lack of credible budget plans from the President and his party’s leaders raises the question: What are they hiding? Given their refusal to advance serious spending restraints and reforms, the President seems unwilling to specify the extent of the job-destroying tax increases and disruptive health-care rationing required to make a dent in his borrowing binge. The merciless math of Washington’s current fiscal trajectory requires tough decisions and principled leadership, which leaders are supposed to offer in the form of budgets. Rather than tackle these challenges head-on, this President continues to punt, while his party’s leaders in the Senate have simply abandoned responsible budgeting altogether.
“While the President’s failures delay the Fiscal Year 2013 budget process, House Republicans remain committed to advancing solutions that get American back on track. We deserve better than a President unwilling to meet his legal and moral obligation to tackle our nation’s most pressing challenges. We deserve better than the President’s path to debt, doubt and decline.”
President Obama should be ashamed, as should all the Democrats in the U.S. Senate, of the continued failure to pass a budget. There should be extreme disappointment that not one of them wants to be held accountable.
The assault on the 2nd Amendment and the Constitution by the Obama administration continues.
Just a few days before Christmas, Obama served notice to all Americans that he will continue to abuse executive privilege by seeking new ways to vilify gun owners and further his anti-gun agenda.
Congress placed a provision in the $1 trillion omnibus spending bill for 2012 designed to bar the National Institutes of Health (NIH) from using any of its $30.7 billion taxpayer funds to “advocate or promote gun control.” However, upon signing the bill into law, President Obama issued a caveat of his own:
I have advised Congress that I will not construe these provisions as preventing me from fulfilling my constitutional responsibility to recommend to the Congress’s consideration such measures as I shall judge necessary and expedient.
In other words: “Congress may pass laws, but I decide which of its laws are constitutional and which I can simply choose to ignore.”
Of course, the Constitution doesn’t actually give the president this power, but Obama won’t allow a little thing like the U.S. Constitution get in his way. And in the present case, Congress is right to try to prevent him from using a federal health agency, not to mention our tax dollars, as a weapon in his ongoing war against the Second Amendment. As The Washington Times reports, NIH has wasted over $5 million since 2002 producing deceptive studies aimed at furthering gun control — including one study that tried “to prove that a home without firearms was essential to a child’s safety and well-being.”
Even more importantly, Congress knows that there is no scheme too radical, or dangerous, for the Obama administration when it comes to using federal agencies to push its anti-gun agenda.
In other words the administration of President Obama has no qualms with bypassing Congress when it comes to his agenda.
Last month, email exchanges surfaced between employees at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (BATFE) that show the administration helped illegally transfer guns to violent Mexican drug cartels in order to manufacture a case for gun registration. Now gun dealers in four Southwest border states must abide by a new gun registration requirement, courtesy of BATFE, that forces them to register the sales of any law-abiding American who purchases more than one semi-automatic rifle within five business days.
Congress never passed any law like this. Rather, Obama’s BATFE orchestrated the deadly “Fast and Furious” gun-walking scandal to give cause for its unconstitutional gun-control edict. Given this, how hard is it to envision the Obama administration issuing a phony “health” study that maligns gun owners?
Yet another reason why in 2012 the American people must vote President Obama out of office.