With new changes, Obama administration accused of 'gutting' Clinton-era welfare reform

New HHS waivers focus on job requirements in 1996 Welfare Reform Act

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  • Chris from Rose Park PROVO, UT
    July 16, 2012 3:24 p.m.

    I haven't done much research on this particular Obama decision yet, besides reading this article but I do like the idea of more welfare authority being put to the states.

    The big question I have, which if you know the answer please respond, is with this decision, do states immediately have the rights to reinforce all work related requirements to giving welfare and maintain the status quo? If so, then I'm glad Obama released this responsibility to the states. If not, then what can states actually tinker with in determining the best welfare programs?

  • WHAT NOW? Saint George, UT
    July 14, 2012 11:22 a.m.

    Conservatives tell us returning rights to the states is a good thing.

    Then we read...

    "...According to the memo, new waivers relating to the work participation requirements will authorize states to "test alternative and innovative strategies, policies and procedures that are designed to improve employment outcomes for needy families."...".

    So, authorizing states to test alternatives and innovative strategies is a gutting the program?

    "..."States led the way on welfare reform in the 1990s — testing new approaches and learning what worked and what did not," Earl Johnson, director of the Office of Family Assistance, said in the HHS memo. "The secretary is interested in using her authority to approve waiver demonstrations to challenge states to engage in a new round of innovation that seeks to find more effective mechanisms for helping families succeed in employment."...".

    Challenging states to engage in a new round of inovation is gutting the program?

    "...According to The Associated Press, states will not be able to escape the work requirements of the landmark 1996 federal welfare reform law...".

    So, the feds are asking the states for inovation which cannot escape the work requirements of the landmark 1996 federal welfare reform law.

    Gutting the program?


  • UTAH Bill Salt Lake City, UT
    July 14, 2012 11:08 a.m.

    Hmmm... the states requested changes to the Welfare policies and the Obama administration complied. Yep, that outrages me too (not). Utah's leadership is behind the changes. But, why let facts get in the way of an opportunity to slam the Obama administration?

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    July 14, 2012 9:39 a.m.

    Mitt Romney and a slew of other leading Republicans on Friday slammed the Obama administration's decision to relax some welfare requirements, despite the fact that Republican-led states sought the policy change.

    Utah and Nevada were the states most aggressively seeking it, submitting detailed requests to Health and Human Services.

    Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch (R) complained in a joint statement with Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.) that the HHS decision was a "power grab." The two are the top Republicans on the committees that oversee welfare programs.

    In February of 2011, Kristen Cox, executive director of Utah Workforce Services, testified to the House Ways and Means Committee that employment programs could use greater flexibility. "If unemployment is one of our largest issues, why not give states more flexible options to help re-employ job seekers?"

    Just two weeks later, the Obama administration ordered the executive branch agencies to start looking for ways to help states identify and overcome barriers in federal programs that prevent states from doing the best job.

    Utah responded with a string of requests, including for flexibility in administering the work requirements in the TANF program, better known as welfare.

  • ParkCityAggie Park City, Ut
    July 14, 2012 9:38 a.m.

    This is the only news outlet where I've seen this article... but I don't read "Faux" so that maybe why. No one else is talking about it, no one cares. The only thing I've seeing out of all the major networks is how much trouble Romney seems to be in with all the various versions of when he really left Bain, and all of his offshore accounts he seems to have no recollection of. Oh but back to this story, I though Obama was a secret Muslim socialist/Marxist/communist? This doesn't sound very "socialistic" to me LOL. And I love the anecdotal post from the guy who did some "work" in the inner city some place back east and saw first hand that government handouts are terrible and destroy society. I love the disdain for our fellow Americans on hard times under the guise of "these are all lazy people looking for handouts" yea keep telling yourself that if it makes you feel better about your political ideology.

  • peter Alpine, UT
    July 14, 2012 9:38 a.m.

    Gullible people who think that government is the solution to all their problems along with all the problems government created in the first place will have to learn from their own decisions. What big government does is unsustainable? If any one of us did what our federal govt is doing would be sent to prison for running a ponzi scheme.

  • Kathy. Iowa, Iowa
    July 14, 2012 7:30 a.m.

    I am curious what it will take for Clinton era Democrats to abandon Obama. Hopefully they do it vocally instead of in secret in the voting booth in November.

  • DaveRL OGDEN, UT
    July 14, 2012 7:01 a.m.

    Not surprising all of the right -wing publications paint a bad view of the changes. I am surprised by all of the hateful comments posted, where is the compassion for your fellow man /families who are struggling? When there are so many still unemployed and companies are not hiring, unless you will work for minimum wage with no benefits - which is impossible to survive on. Not everyone is stealing/cheating to get a free ride, feeding one's family is a big consideration. Even here in Utah I know of families who have lost work and are unable to find work that pays enough to survive on . Helping people struggling to stay alive is never bad. You haters should be ashamed of yourselves.

  • RedneckLefty St. George, UT
    July 14, 2012 3:21 a.m.

    Also, I couldn't write a more editorially slanted headline if I tried. Yet another "Let's pick through the news and find the stuff that agrees with us" glorified blog post news "compilation" from the Deseret News.

  • RedneckLefty St. George, UT
    July 14, 2012 3:20 a.m.

    Wow. Lots of conservatives on here complaining about the federal government getting out of the way and letting states do their own thing! I don't get it!

    Oh wait. I do get it. Obama did it, so now you're against it.

  • A1994 Centerville, UT
    July 13, 2012 10:23 p.m.

    He wants it all. He wants his government's claws into as many people as possible. It's getting more and more oppressive. He's as socialist, at heart, as it gets. He wants as much power as possible. How can liberals call themselves 'liberal' and accept this kind of growing, intrusive power? The Democratic party is the anti-liberty party.

  • deep in thought Salt Lake, UT
    July 13, 2012 9:29 p.m.

    Remind me why anyone who:

    1. Balances their own checkbook

    2. Pays any amount of taxes

    Votes for a socialist...? This is not what the founding fathers had in mind I guarantee it.

  • Californian#1@94131 San Francisco, CA
    July 13, 2012 8:22 p.m.

    If you are the president and you don't like a law, and you can't manipulate Congress into changing it or pack the courts with judges who are politically indebted to you to invalidate it, you simply ignore it.

    • Opening the country and all the benefits and opportunities enjoyed by citizens and legal immigrants to young people whose parents entered the U.S. illegally.

    • Trashing DOMA and DADT.

    • Now this flagrant bid for the votes of people who won't pull their share of the community burden because the rest of us have always done it for them for the last 2 or 3 generations.

    How come I can't pick and choose the laws I want to follow?

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    July 13, 2012 7:50 p.m.

    So, the states are getting more flexibility--aren't we all about state's rights?

    Isn't that how Romney justifies/differentiates Romneycare from Obamacare?

    How many states are headed by Republican legislatures and Governors?
    29 states have Republican governors. So, go for it. Let's see what you can do with more flexibility!

  • Wildfan Ogden, UT
    July 13, 2012 7:26 p.m.

    While I would love it if the states were given more control over where and how the welfare dollars are spent, that would only work if they all agreed to the same principle of getting able bodied people back to work ASAP. I guarentee that's not the top priority in many states. Obama is clearly purchasing more votes with our tax dollars.

  • floridadan Palm Bay, Fl
    July 13, 2012 6:54 p.m.

    I imagine former President Clinto is REAL happy with President Obama now !! It will be interesting to see how much support he give the president now ??

  • FreeMan Heber City, UT
    July 13, 2012 6:29 p.m.

    I spent a couple year working in inner city Baltimore and Washington DC. I've seen first hand what government programs do to society. They utterly destroy the foundations of a free society.

  • Ex Pat Salt Lake City, Ut
    July 13, 2012 5:51 p.m.

    And so we get more people who are content to sit home and raise children who never see their parent do an honest days work.
    So he has pandered to the gays, the hispanics, the blacks, and the welfare class.
    We are doomed as a nation if we don't get rid of this administration.

  • SLars Provo, UT
    July 13, 2012 5:27 p.m.

    We don't need Congress anymore.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    July 13, 2012 5:15 p.m.

    Meanwhile, the National Park Service, administered by the U.S. Department of the Interior, asks us to "Please Do Not Feed The Animals." They say that this is because the animals may grow dependent on handouts and not learn to take care of themselves.

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    July 13, 2012 4:59 p.m.

    Even a blind person could see that this is nothing more than a cheap and cynical ploy to buy votes from his career welfare recipient vote base. Coupled with Obama's recent orders to halt deportation of illegal aliens, it proves that he considers himself above the law, and that he will do ANYTHING to buy votes to win reelection!

    Welfare, something that is nowhere even specified as one of the functions of the federal government, has truly gone from being an essential safety net for temporary emergencies for the most needy among us, to being a lifetime hammock for the most lazy among us.

    And, to do this at a time when we are basically bankrupt shows that he cares only about his reelection, and desires the destruction of the economic and societal foundations that made this country the greatest land of opportunity on earth.

    "Socialism works well until you run out of other people's money to spend." said Lady Thatcher, but the liberals refuse to admit the disaster they are creating, nor lift a finger to delay, let alone prevent it.

    Obama MUST be defeated in November before his policies and appointments destroy everything!