Amodei, Heck: Fire, Ready, Aim on TANF Waivers

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’

1 Comment

Filed under 2012 election, Amodei, Heck, Nevada economy, Nevada politics, nevada unemployment, poverty

One response to “Amodei, Heck: Fire, Ready, Aim on TANF Waivers

    WELL… DUH!
    This self-explanatory Appeal (below) is being filed against the Nevada Unemployment INSURANCE Agency (name left off for good reason):
    XXXX, A United States Marine Corps Veteran
    APPEAL of Nevada Unemployment Insurance Agency Decision to Deny Hearing

    Subject: Appeal of Denial of Appeal – Employee versus Nevada Unemployment Insurance Agency

    In 2012 I attended an Appeals Hearing concerning my denial of Unemployment Insurance payments that I should have received during the period I was out of work and trying desperately to look for a job.
    The hearing officer did not allow me to present the powerful evidence I have that would have almost assuredly overturned their cursory, unjustified, and rather ruthless denial of my relatively small claim for financial assistance. (Assistance that I had paid for either directly or indirectly during my 1 ½ years of work.)
    Instead she relied on the minutia of the technicality that I was a few days late filing my appeal.
    (She must live in a different world from the citizens she is supposed to be overseeing. When we lose our jobs, our main focus should be to find a new job… rather than watching the mail with a fine-tooth comb.)
    The fact that I was a few days late (while I was very busy looking for a job) did not change the merits of the situation one iota. Nobody gained and nobody suffered by my obviously irrelevant and intangible tardiness.
    All I had done “wrong” was to be a mere few days late filing my appeal of the Agency’s perfunctory denial of the Insurance funds that, as a long time employee, I had the need for (and a right to).


    1. I am appealing because of extenuating circumstances.
    2. I was denied my rightful Unemployment Insurance funds.
    3. I was denied my rights solely due to bureaucratic minutia.
    4. The merits of the case are all on my side. The Vice President of my former company was at the hearing to speak on my behalf and had already recommended to the Agency in writing that I receive Insurance coverage.
    5. I was spending my time trying to look for a job; instead of checking the mailbox with spy glasses.


    For the above reasons (and many others) I request that I be allowed my rightful hearing in order to challenge the Agency’s wrongful denial of financial aid.
    Or more pragmatically I request that the Unemployment Agency look at the evidence and acknowledge the fact that the Vice President of the company I worked with for 1 and ½ years, himself, adamantly supports payment of my justified remuneration.
    They should just do the right thing and provide my badly needed assistance.
    After all, it is “INSURANCE”. Not a handout.

    Signed, __________________ date:_____________