WASHINGTON -- Senior Republicans are pushing for votes in Congress to block the Obama administration from waiving some provisions of the nation's landmark welfare-to-work law.
House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp of Michigan and Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch, ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, said Tuesday they plan to use a special procedure to force a simple majority vote in the Senate, where most legislation requires 60 votes.A law called the Congressional Review Act allows lawmakers to overrule administration regulations, requiring only 51 votes in the Senate. The nonpartisan Government Accountability Office says the waiver plan is a regulation subject to the law, but the administration disputes that.
"It is unfortunate, but not surprising, that the Obama Administration has refused to withdraw their illegal 'guidance' undermining the critical welfare work requirements," Camp said in a statement. "This resolution will restore these requirements that have led to more work, higher earnings, less welfare dependence and fewer impoverished Americans."
The administration says it will not waive work requirements, only bureaucratic barriers keeping states from putting more welfare recipients to work.
Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.) called the Republican resolution a political stunt, noting that several media outlets have reported that Republican claims the Obama administration removed welfare work requirements are false.
"This resolution wastes precious legislative time when we should be working together to provide solutions for the real problems confronting American families, not fabricated ones," Miller said. "It is just another example of Washington Republicans' failed leadership on jobs and the economy."