Did you hear President Obama wants to give you welfare for nothing? Apparently the Republicans do too! House Republicans passed a bill in the Education & Workforce committee in June that would effectively end work requirements.
The legislation — H.R. 4297, The Workforce Investment Improvement Act — was unveiled in March by Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) and cosponsored by six Republican colleagues. Among them was Education & Workforce Chairman John Kline (R-MN), who passed the bill through his committee in June.
The measure is aimed at streamlining workforce training by letting states slash redundant programs and consolidate them with the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) welfare program — into one Workforce Investment Fund (WIF). States would be given so much flexibility that the restrictions in the 1996 welfare law need no longer apply, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service.
In reality neither party wants to give people welfare for nothing. In reality Republican governors are the ones who requested more flexibility and Republican congressmen advanced their own bill to deliver it. This has nothing to do with dishing out welfare for nothing and everything to do with empowering states to cope with case-by-case circumstances.
The idea that President Obama is the one who wants to give his base welfare for nothing does provide ample fodder for a dog-whistle campaign however.