Competitive Enterprise Institute | 1899 L ST NW Floor 12, Washington, DC 20036 | Phone: 202-331-1010 | Fax: 202-331-0640
Sen. Rick Santorum is right to criticize the Obama administration for unlawfully claiming the authority to waive the work requirements contained in the 1996 welfare-reform law ("The Return of Welfare As We Used to Know It," op-ed, Aug. 28). In claiming that forbidden power, the administration disregarded the law's text, structure and purpose.
The administration claims that the changes authorized by its directive will benefit welfare recipients. But legally that is irrelevant since it is Congress, not the executive branch, that has the power to change or revise federal laws.
The administration claims waivers will somehow lead to more employment exits from welfare. But this could simply be due to more people going on welfare in response to waivers that water down welfare reform. Experts have noted that larger welfare caseloads today tend to result in higher absolute numbers of employment exits in the future.