Don’t look now, but Nevada Representatives Amodei (R-NV2) and Heck (R-NV3) just voted to usurp the power of governors in our 50 states to implement ‘welfare to work’ programs designed to increase the number of persons finding employment who are now receiving public assistance. [vote 589] Voting against new programs to move more people from welfare to work doesn’t sound like a traditional GOP position — However, that’s what happens when guns are jumped and propaganda replaces position papers.
Here’s what the House Republicans passed:
HJRes 118 Providing for congressional disapproval of the rule submitted by the Office of Family Assistance of the Administration for Children and Families of the Department of HHS relating to waiver and expenditure authority under the Social Security Act with respect to the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program…
Here’s what the Department of Health and Human Services actually said:
“HHS is encouraging states to consider new, more effective ways to meet the goals of TANF, particularly helping parents successfully prepare for, find, and retain employment. Therefore, HHS is issuing this information memorandum to notify states of the Secretary’s willingness to exercise her waiver authority under section 1115 of the Social Security Act to allow states to test alternative and innovative strategies, policies, and procedures that are designed to improve employment outcomes for needy families.” (emphasis added)
Note: The states only get the waiver on the work rules IF their new policies Improve Employment Outcomes — translation — IF more people are moved form the welfare rolls to the employment rosters.
Who requested the waivers? Nevada and Utah, both with Republican Governors.
“Nevada is very interested in working with your staff to explore program waivers that have the potential to encourage more cooperative relationships among the state agencies engaged in economic stimulus through job creation, employment skill attainment and gainful employment activities. Nevada is also interested in exploring performance measures that ensure program accountability and also increase the probability of families becoming self-sufficient by providing meaningful data as to the services or combination of services with the best outcomes. [Nevada Department of Health and Human Services, 8/2/11, via The Huffington Post]” (emphasis added)
So, congratulations Representatives Amodei and Heck, you’ve both voted in favor of less program accountability, and against innovations that might increase the probability families in Nevada currently receiving public assistance could become self sufficient.
An unsolicited suggestion — next time turn off the cable TV broadcast and read the relevant statutes before voting? Just Sayin’