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.”
President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are entering negotiations over — or seeking ratification of — five treaties that could radically limit our national sovereignty and the reach of our democratic institutions. Particularly scary is that the treaties, once signed and ratified, have the same status as constitutional law and cannot be altered or eclipsed by Congress or state legislatures. And their provisions must be enforced by U.S. courts.
Those who wish to preserve our sovereignty and democratic control over our future must rally to block these treaties, either by pressing Obama and Clinton not to sign them or by blocking their ratification.
One of the treaties deals with offshore oil drilling.
The Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST) has been signed, and the Obama administration — with the aid of RINO Sen. Richard Lugar (Ind.) — will push for its ratification as soon as Lugar’s primary in Indiana is over this year. LOST requires that the United States pay an international body half of its royalties from offshore drilling. The body would then distribute the funds as it sees fit to whichever nations it chooses. The United States would only have one vote out of 160 regarding where the money goes. LOST will also oblige us to hand over our offshore drilling technology to any nation that wants it … for free.
A second treaty deals with children.
Rights of the Child — Even more fanciful is a treaty Clinton plans to negotiate setting forth a code of rights for children, to be administered by a 14-member court set up for the purpose. The draft treaty obliges rich nations to provide funds for shelter, food, clothing and education for children in poor nations. This provision could create grounds to litigate to challenge the level of foreign aid we give as inadequate to meet our treaty obligations. Already, leftists in the United Kingdom are using the treaty to attack welfare cuts by the Cameron government.
Head over to the source to learn about the other treaties being worked on that could threaten our sovereignty.