POLITICS

Obama, after gutting welfare reform: ‘Americans can’t be looking for handouts’

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Joel Gehrke

President Obama, one day after reversing the Bill Clinton-era welfare reform by severing the connection between work and welfare assistance, warned a Virginia crowd that “Americans can’t be looking for handouts.”

“Americans can’t be looking for handouts,” Obama said during a campaign stop in Virginia.  “There are some folks you can’t help if they’re not willing to help themselves.” Moments later, he invoked former President Clinton as a model for economic leadership: “Bill Clinton did it, and we ended up having 23 million new jobs,” Obama added.

But he was referring to Clinton’s tax policy, not the welfare reform bill undermined by his Department of Health and Human Services yesterday. HHS informed states that they may “test alternative and innovative strategies, policies and procedures that are designed to improve employment outcomes for needy families,” rather than enforce the work requirements attached to the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program.

“Obama’s suspension of workfare requirements is almost certainly illegal, a sign of the jobs failure, and a reminder how liberal [O]bama is,” Newt Gingrich, who negotiated the welfare reform with Clinton as House Speaker in 1996, said in a tweet.

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