Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Romney Ad Attacks Obama On Welfare Flexibility Romney Championed


A new ad by Mitt Romney attacks President Obama’s directive to let states test new ways to implement welfare reform. But as governor of Massachusetts, Romney himself pushed the federal government for a similar policy.
“On July 12th, President Obama quietly announced a plan to gut welfare reform by dropping work requirements,” a narrator in the Romney ad says.
In 2005, Romney and 28 other Republican governors wrote a letter to Congress requesting even more flexibility than Obama has offered, for the purpose of “[e]mpowering states to seek new and innovative solutions to help welfare recipients achieve independence.”
“Increased waiver authority, allowable work activities, availability of partial work credit and the ability to coordinate state programs are all important aspects of moving recipients from welfare to work,” read the letter, which was co-signed by prominent GOP governors like Tim Pawlenty, Rick Perry, Mitch Daniels, Jeb Bush, Haley Barbour, Mike Huckabee and Jon Huntsman.
Last month, the Department of Health and Human Services moved to achieve a narrower goal administratively by granting states the option to “test alternative and innovative strategies, policies, and procedures that are designed to improve employment outcomes for needy families” under the work requirement component of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program. As HHS made clear, states must demonstrate that their alternate strategy better serves the goal of moving people from welfare to work or their waiver will be denied or rescinded.
The spot, released Tuesday by the Romney campaign and RNC, declares that Obama has “gut welfare reform by dropping work requirements,” pointing to a July 12 shift in administration policy. It was supplemented with a lengthy campaign memo.

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