From the Chairman
The welfare reforms of 1996 achieved great success thanks to a two-part strategy. Strong work requirements were the first half of the equation. Second, Congress replaced the open-ended entitlement formula for cash welfare with something known as a block grant. In the old system, states got a blank check from the federal government. More people on welfare meant more federal money for the state to pass out. Block grants, on the other hand, provide states with predetermined funding. In return, the states get flexibility to design programs around the needs of their own citizens.
Despite the success of and enormous public support for work requirements, the Obama administration wants to waive these work requirements. That’s not only illegal; it will hurt the very people the president claims he wants to help. That’s why the House voted last week to block this action.
As important as the 1996 reforms were, they only dealt with 1 of about 70 different federal welfare programs. In the Farm Bill alone, 6 different programs exist to provide food and nutrition assistance. The largest is commonly known as Food Stamps, which still operates like an open-ended entitlement. The more people who sign up, the more money the federal government gives to the states. The number of people receiving Food Stamps is now at an all-time high. In fact, the number of people added to the Food Stamp rolls between April and June is greater than the number of jobs created.
Last week, RSC members introduced a bill to finally apply welfare reform to Food Stamps and the other 5 food welfare programs in the Farm Bill. By implementing a block grant and strong work requirements, the State Nutrition Assistance Flexibility Act will make food welfare more effective and more affordable. And that’s the best outcome for everyone.
Congressman Jim Jordan
Chairman, Republican Study Committee
RSC Media Activity – RSC members work hard to ensure that the conservative viewpoint is well-represented in all corners of the media. Visit our Media Center for more.
- Rep. Doug Lamborn (CO-05): Why the Wind Energy Tax Credit Must Go; Human Events, September 17.
- Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle (NY-25): Medical device Tax Will Cost Local Jobs; The Auburn Citizen, September 17.
- Rep. Lamar Smith (TX-21): Foreign Graduates in STEM fields Can Boost U.S.; Politico, September 18.
- Rep. Darrell Issa (CA-49) with Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA-14): Declaration of Internet Freedom; Politico, September 18.
- Rep. Randy Neugebauer (TX-19): A $447 Million Consumer Alert; Wall Street Journal, September 19.
- Rep. Bill Johnson (OH-06): Rep. Johnson Speaks on Fox Business about the "War on Coal"; Fox Business, September 19.
- Rep. Tom Price (GA-06): Where Leading From Behind Leads; Daily Caller, September 19.
- Reps. Dave Camp (MI-04) and John Kline (MN-02): Obama’s Illegal Scheme to End Welfare Work Requirements; Washington Times, September 19.
- Rep. Peter Roskam (IL-06): Rep. Roskam Speaks on CNBC about Capital Gains Rates and the Fiscal Cliff; CNBC, September 20.
- Rep. Allen West (FL-22): Still Time to Save Small Businesses; Politico, September 20.
- Rep. Paul Broun (GA-10): How Well Do You Know the Constitution?; The Hill, September 20.
- Rep. Jason Chaffetz (UT-03): Why Oversight Matters; The Salt Lake Tribune, September 22.
RSC Member Activity – RSC members make it a priority to introduce productive, conservative solutions for America’s future.
- Rep. Bill Posey (FL-15) introduced H.R. 6423, the Insurance Consumer Protection and Solvency Act of 2012, which explicitly excludes insurance companies from the FDIC’s Orderly Liquidation Authority, ensuring that federal regulators cannot look to insurance policyholders as a source of cash for bailout funds to cover failed Wall Street firms.
- Reps. Raúl Labrador (ID-01), Lamar Smith (TX-21), and Bob Goodlatte (VA-06) introduced the STEM Jobs Act of 2012, which would prioritize visas for foreign graduates of American universities in the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics).
- Rep. Dennis Ross (FL-12) sent a letter to the White House asking the President, in light of the looming tax crisis, to define, numerically, what he believes every American’s “fair share” of taxes is.
- Reps. Tim Huelskamp (KS-01), Paul Broun (GA-10), and Steve Chabot (OH-01), along with RSC Chairman Jim Jordan (OH-04) introduced the State Nutrition Assistance Flexibility Act to combine Food Stamps and the five other food welfare programs in the Farm Bill into a single block grant to states.
- Rep. Robert Hurt (VA-05) introduced H.R. 6520, the No Taxpayer-Funded Lobbying Act, which would protect taxpayers’ dollars from being used by recipients of federal funds for lobbying activities.
- Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle (NY-25) led 49 other Members of Congress in urging Senate leadership to oppose a treaty that would allow the U.N. to interfere with U.S. policymaking for persons with disabilities.
House Floor Activity – The following key legislation came through the House of Representatives recently.
- On September 20, the House passed H.J.Res. 118, legislation co-authored by RSC Chairman Jordan which would prevent the Obama administration from ignoring the clear language of the 1996 law that implemented work requirements for the TANF welfare program.
- Also on September 20, the House voted on the STEM Jobs Act of 2012, H.R. 6429. Although a majority of Representatives voted for the legislation, it did not receive the two-thirds support necessary to pass under suspension of the rules. House conservatives look forward to this bill returning to the House floor this fall under procedures requiring just a simple majority to pass.
- On September 21, the House passed the Stop the War on Coal Act, H.R. 3409, which would rein in the EPA’s costly job-killing regulations on that industry.
Outlook – A quick look at what’s on the horizon.
- The House will reconvene on Tuesday, November 13.
- An RSC Policy Brief published last week highlights examples of voter fraud reported in the media and legislation that would increase the integrity of elections nationwide.
- RSC Updates are now online! Looking for one of our recently released charts and graphs? Click here.
- Stay up to date on budget and spending news with reports from the RSC Budget and Spending Task Force.
- Check out the RSC Sunset Caucus’ work to shrink the size of government and the Repeal Task Force’s work to eliminate bad laws and regulations.
- House rules now require sponsors of legislation to provide a Constitutional Authority Statement that explains how Congress has the constitutionally-derived authority to enact their proposals. Click here to see liberals’ highly questionable attempts.
- Read the RSC Money Monitor to track how bills passed by the House affect budget authorizations, mandatory spending, and federal government revenue.
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House Republican Study Committee
Rep. Jim Jordan, Chairman
Paul Teller, Executive Director
Brad Watson, Policy Director
Joe Murray, Professional Policy Staff
Curtis Rhyne, Professional Policy Staff
Ja’Ron Smith, Professional Policy Staff
Derek Khanna, Professional Policy Staff
Brian Straessle, Communications Director
Michael Tate, Deputy Communications Director
Wesley Goodman, Director of Conservative Coalitions and State Outreach
Yong Choe, Director of Business Outreach and Member Services
Rick Eberstadt, Research Assistant
1524 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
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