Mitt Romney’s big fat welfare lie

Speaking at a manufacturing company in suburban Chicago today, presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney accused President Obama of trying to “reverse the accomplishment” of President Bill Clinton’s welfare reform efforts of the 1990s, which he called “one of the greatest bipartisan successes we’ve seen.” Romney’s attack during his campaign event comes as his campaign has begun running TV ads accusing President Obama of trying to undo the Clinton-era welfare reforms requiring recipients of welfare programs to go to work.

The only problem with Romney’s claim? It isn’t really true:

The charge is based on a July 12 memo issued by the Department of Health and Human Services, in which HHS said it would consider approving waivers for states seeking more flexibility in implementing welfare reform, officially known as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, or TANF.

The memo prompted outrage from many congressional Republicans, who have charged the Obama administration is changing a requirement of a law passed by Congress in an executive branch power grab.

But does the memo do what the Romney campaign charges – that it guts welfare reform, gets rid of work requirements entirely, and would “just send you your welfare check”?

Not exactly. The memo states, for instance, that HHS “will only consider approving waivers relating to the work participation requirements that make changes intended to lead to more effective means of meeting the work goals of TANF.”

In other words, a state would have to offer an alternative program similar to the work requirements first put into place by the 1990s welfare reform law in order to receive the waiver.

Ironically, while Mitt Romney and his campaign are attacking President Obama because his Department of Health and Human Services said it would consider approving waivers for states seeking more flexibility in implementing welfare reform, in 2005 Romney himself signed a letter during his time as governor of Massachusetts that pressed Congress to give states more flexibility to determine who should qualify for welfare.

As I’ve said before, Mitt Romney will say anything to win this election, because he truly has no moral core.

Senate Majority Leader Miller: ‘Senate Democrats remain strongly committed to restoring collective bargaining rights’

Recently I noted criticisms of Wisconsin’s Senate Democrats on the heels of a revelation that in individual interviews with The Wheeler Report, not a single Senate Democrat listed the restoration of collective bargaining rights for public employees as one of their legislative priorities for the next session of the Legislature.

No doubt in response to repeated criticism of the seeming lack of initiative on the restoration of collective bargaining, Democratic Senate Majority Leader Mark Miller issued a press release affirming his support for the restoration of collective bargaining rights for public employees.

Senate Democrats remain strongly committed to restoring the collective bargaining rights that were stripped away by Governor Walker and Republican legislators this session. Any statement that we are not fully committed to this fight is simply ridiculous.

[…]

Restoring the rights of workers to collectively bargain is a key part of building back our economy in Wisconsin. Because of Governor Walker and Legislative Republicans, tens of thousands of workers can no longer negotiate over the hours they work, the safety conditions they labor under, or the health insurance and retirement benefits they and their families depend on. Wisconsin now has fewer valuable experienced employees because they have retired or left our state for other jobs.

While I’m encouraged by Sen. Miller’s statements about restoring collective bargaining rights for public employees, I’ll believe the words when I see action.

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