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Blogger/Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru & 2010 AFP National Blogger of the Year]
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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Republicans Move to Prohibit Obama Administration From Gutting Welfare Work Requirements

Today in Washington, D.C. - July 18, 2013:
Today, House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI), Education & Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline (R-MN), Republican Study Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH), and Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Orrin Hatch (R-UT) introduced legislation, the Preserving Work Requirements for Welfare Programs Act, that would prohibit the Obama Administration from unilaterally granting itself the authority to exempt states from the work requirements that were a critical element of welfare reform enacted in 1996 – potentially opening the door for activities like bed rest, smoking cessation and exercise to be counted as work for the purposes of complying with federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) requirements.

ARRA News Previously reported Friday the 13th: Obama Gut's Clinton's Welfare Reform which addressed the action last Thursday when the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued "guidance" to states that could undermine the critical work focus of welfare reform.  The guidance issued by the Obama Administration simply declares – despite specific statutory provisions to the contrary – that states may waive work requirements at the heart of the nation's successful welfare reform program.

The House reconvened today and took and has passed up H.R. 5872 ( 414 - 2) "To require the President to provide a report detailing the sequester required by the Budget Control Act of 2011 on January 2, 2013." The House is presently debating H.R. 5856 - Appropriations for the Department of Defense for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2013.

Yesterday the House passed the following bills:
S. 1959 (Voice Vote) "To require a report on the designation of the Haqqani Network as a foreign terrorist organization and for other purposes."
S. 2165 (Voice Vote) "To enhance strategic cooperation between the United States and Israel, and for other purposes."
H.R. 6018 (333 - 61) "To authorize appropriations for the Department of State for fiscal year 2013, and for other purposes."
S. 2009 (378 - 11) "To improve the administration of programs in the insular areas, and for other purposes."

The Senate reconvened and resumed consideration of the motion to proceed to S. 3364, Democrats’ latest messaging effort, this time on outsourcing.

When the Senate opened this morning, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell blasted Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) for suggested he might seek to curtail the filibuster by a majority vote and for blaming everyone other than himself for the Senate not taking up important legislation. McConnell said, “The Majority Leader is basically trying to convince the American people that it's somebody else's fault that the Senate is not doing the basic work of government.”

Reid has filed cloture on the motion to proceed to S.3364 and a cloture vote is likely tomorrow.

Politico reported yesterday, “The DISCLOSE Act has died again. Senate Democrats’ second attempt in less than 24 hours to advance the campaign finance bill failed Tuesday — even after at least 16 senators held the floor for six hours Monday night in support of the measure. On a strictly partisan 53-45 vote, it fell short of the 60 votes needed to break a GOP filibuster.”

Yesterday, Rob Bluey identified, “The Senate has gone 1,175 days without passing a budget. Taxmageddon and sequestration are threatening the economic livelihood of millions of Americans. And yet the top order of business for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) this week is the DISCLOSE Act, a blatant attempt by liberals to circumvent and restrict the First Amendment. Senate Democrats even staged a ‘midnight vigil’ [Monday] night to promote their cause. That’s when the follies starting flying. New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, the No. 3 Democrat, had the biggest whopper of the evening when he called for ‘limits on First Amendment rights’ during his Senate speech.” Schumer intoned that there need to be “certain limits on First Amendment rights” and that the absence of such limits, “destroy the equality — any semblance of equality in our democracy.”

And Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) was complaining to MSNBC’s Ed Schultz about Republicans blocking the DISCLOSE Act and vowing again to try to attack the rights of the minority in the Senate through weakening the filibuster if Democrats retain their majority next year.

Frustrated by this, Leader McConnell took to the Senate floor this morning to blast Reid for his comments and the way he’s run the Senate. He asked Reid why Democrats haven’t produced a budget, which isn’t subject to filibuster. He asked Reid why the Senate hasn’t even done its basic job of funding the government through appropriations bills and why it hasn’t been working on a Defense authorization bill to help the Pentagon. Each time, Reid dodged, blaming someone else for the inaction.

McConnell responded, “[Q]uit blaming everybody else. It's not the House. It's not the Senate. It's not the motion to proceed. Why don't we operate like we used to under leaders of both parties, and understood that amendments we don't like are just part of the process, because everybody here doesn't agree on everything?”

He summed up the problem: “[Sen Harry Reid] is basically trying to convince the American people that it's somebody else's fault that the Senate is not doing the basic work of government. And, you know, regardless of the blame game, the results are apparent. No budget, no appropriation bills, no defense authorization. We're not doing the basic work of government here.”

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