U.S. Rep. Tom Reed, R-Corning, recently voted in support of the Preserving the Welfare Work Requirement and TANF Extension Act of 2013.
The legislation ensures that work requirements remain a central part of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program and prohibits the administration from waiving work requirements for welfare recipients. The bill also extends the TANF program through Dec. 31, 2013.
"Work activities like on-the-job-training, vocational training, community service, and education in a job field are central to lifting families and communities from poverty," Reed said. "By waiving the requirements that welfare recipients engage in these types of work activities, the Administration is discouraging recipients from gaining the valuable skills needed to gain meaningful employment to help their families."
Current welfare requirements encourage TANF recipients to engage in full- or part-time employment, education and training. But in July 2012, the Obama Administration's Department of Health and Human Services announced it would seek to eliminate the requirement that welfare recipients be preparing for or engaging in work.
Speaking on the House floor in support of the bill, Reed said work requirements empower the unemployed and underemployed with the skill sets and resources necessary to decrease welfare dependency and provide for their families.
"The 1996 welfare reform law, which created TANF, represents bipartisan desire to help welfare recipients out of poverty and into a working environment," Reed said. "With the passage of the Preserving the Welfare Work Requirement and TANF Extension Act of 2013 we set the stage for a comprehensive debate on bipartisan welfare reform."