Obama tramples welfare reform, rule of law

What is it about the rule of law that doesn’t agree with Barack Obama? When he thought the Supreme Court might throw out his namesake, signature health reform, he (falsely) lamented it “would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress.” But the president appears to have no compunctions about taking such a step himself.

Last month, it was a decision to partially stop applying immigration law. Yesterday, his administration neutered a key element of one of the signature moments from the Clinton administration: the 1996 welfare reform. As the Daily Caller’s Mickey Kaus puts it:

The guts of the 1996 welfare reform were a) welfare was ended as an “entitlement” (controlled by the feds) and transferred to the states, as a “block grant” subject to certain requirements; and b) one of those requirements was that a certain percentage of each state’s welfare caseload had to be working or preparing for work. A great deal of effort was put into defining what qualified as work, and making sure that work actually meant work and not the various BS activities (including BS training activities) the welfare bureaucracies often preferred to substitute for work.

Yet such training activities are exactly the kind of excuse the Obama administration is offering states that would like to waive the work-to-welfare portion of the welfare reform.

Whereas Chief Justice John Roberts went through legal contortions to keep Obamacare on the books, the administration is taking similar pains to remove this one. The Heritage Foundation’s Robert Rector, one of the key figures behind the welfare reform, explains that the administration can’t just waive the actual work-to-welfare requirement because the 1996 law (which includes the program in question known as TANF, or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) does not allow that. Instead, the Department of Health and Human Services is cramming its rewrite of the law through an unrelated loophole known as Section 402 — the only section of the law subject to a waiver:

Section 402 describes state plans — reports that state governments must file to HHS describing the actions they will undertake to comply with the many requirements established in the other sections of the TANF law. The authority to waive section 402 provides the option to waive state reporting requirements only, not to overturn the core requirements of the TANF program contained in the other sections of the TANF law.

The new Obama dictate asserts that because the work requirements, established in section 407, are mentioned as an item that state governments must report about in section 402, all the work requirements can be waived. This removes the core of the TANF program; TANF becomes a blank slate that HHS bureaucrats and liberal state bureaucrats can rewrite at will.

Quite simply, this is illegal; Rector points to a clarification on this point from the Congressional Research Service back in 2001. We can only guess that, because all Obama’s promises apparently come with an expiration date, the president thinks others’ statements do, too.

Perhaps Obama was merely unaware that welfare reform passed by a much “strong[er] majority of a democratically elected Congress” than Obamacare did, and with much more bipartisan support to boot (including that of a senator at the time named Joe Biden).

Or perhaps Obama knows there would be scant support even among congressional Democrats for undoing the popular and effective welfare reforms — and sees no reason to trifle with the rule of law when it stands in the way of his aims.

– By Kyle Wingfield

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189 comments Add your comment

Fred ™

July 13th, 2012
2:33 pm

md

July 13th, 2012
2:34 pm

Maybe we now know why Obama went to Harvard……it wasn’t to study law, it was to figure out ways around the law.

And regardless of one’s views on DOMA, he did the same there. It isn’t his place to unilaterally change legislation, that belongs to Congress……..

What he doesn’t realize (or maybe he does) is that be setting precedent, it is only a matter of time before the other “side” uses the exact same tactic……then I’m guessing he’ll be screaming from the rooftops about an abuse of power.

Fred ™

July 13th, 2012
2:35 pm

If it’s all so illegal why doesn’t someone stop it? Oh wait, because it’s all just made up hooey, hyberbole, and scare tactics.

Yawn. It really sounds as stupid as the left wing nut cases that chanted “Bush Lied and Soldiers Died.”

Congratulations.

md

July 13th, 2012
2:40 pm

So Fred…..you OK with any President ignoring the bills put in place by Congress?

Jefferson

July 13th, 2012
2:42 pm

Schill for the GOP, maybe, maybe not, maybe so.

Fred ™

July 13th, 2012
2:48 pm

md

July 13th, 2012
2:40 pm

So Fred…..you OK with any President ignoring the bills put in place by Congress?
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Yawn. So now the PRESIDENT enforces the laws? That’s a new one on me……….

Fred ™

July 13th, 2012
2:49 pm

Come on md (Chicken) Little. Tell me how the sky is falling…………

carlosgvv

July 13th, 2012
2:56 pm

Obama is probably doing this to get votes.

Kyle, you will be hypocritical if it’s suggested here that Republicans won’t do the same thing.

Dearie

July 13th, 2012
3:01 pm

Bill Whittle tells it like it is.

I challenge anyone to watch this and still vote for President Obama. It is worth the time. This is a big decision.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-FGgoReyNE&feature=player_embedded

Mark

July 13th, 2012
3:04 pm

OBAMA 2012!!!

Kyle Wingfield

July 13th, 2012
3:11 pm

Try to get votes? No, carlosgvv, I’m not going to deny they’ll do that.

md

July 13th, 2012
3:13 pm

Fred….are you even capable of having a discussion without insulting someone?

“Yawn. So now the PRESIDENT enforces the laws? That’s a new one on me……….”

If you would like to read up on it Fred, this President has told his DOJ to not enforce various laws and various aspects of laws…….it’s on google if you care to inform yourself.

Now, if you think you can discuss an issue without the insults and drama, do you think any president should bypass Congress if they personally don’t like a law on the books?

It’s a simple enough question……….

Jeffrey

July 13th, 2012
3:16 pm

Any chance the economy has something to do with this? I mean lots of folks can’t get jobs today, how the hell is someone on welfare?

Rafe Hollister, suffering through Oblamer's ineptocracy

July 13th, 2012
3:21 pm

What can you say about his guy anymore. He goes to great length to prove beyond a doubt that his severest critics were right about him all along. He displays constantly his utter disregard for the legislative branch and the rule of law.

According to his autobiography, while in college he wanted to violently overthrow the government, but says he matured and talked to people, who told him to work through the system. Well, he is slowly working through the system to overthrow us, without any violence.

Rafe Hollister, suffering through Oblamer's ineptocracy

July 13th, 2012
3:26 pm

Where are the people who screamed “Imperialist” at Reagan and Bush, when these people didn’t think they had those administrations had approval of congress to launch an attack on some group or country. This is the same thing. Acting unilaterally, without consulting congress.

John Daly

July 13th, 2012
3:32 pm

md, don’t pick on Fred. it’s obvious he’s never read the Constitution where it says the President “shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed”. (Article II, Section 3)

md

July 13th, 2012
3:33 pm

“I mean lots of folks can’t get jobs today, how the hell is someone on welfare?”

Watch Stossel’s report on “Out of Work”, in which he intervies people in line at the welfare office. all of which tell him there are no jobs.

He then spent 2 hours in the immediate area and found 40 open positions, one business owner even looking for 12-14 people, but no one would apply……

Decide for yourself……….

Tiberius - pulling the tail of the left AND right when needed

July 13th, 2012
3:33 pm

Fred’s copy of the Constitution probably doesn’t contain the explaination about the Executive Branch being the one to enforce the laws that the Legislative Branch passes and the Judicial Branch codifies.

Oh, and Fred? The President is the head of the Executive Branch, so, yes, it IS his job to enforce our laws.

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

July 13th, 2012
3:41 pm

I thought he already bought these voters?

Fred ™

July 13th, 2012
3:46 pm

md

July 13th, 2012
3:13 pm

Fred….are you even capable of having a discussion without insulting someone?

“Yawn. So now the PRESIDENT enforces the laws? That’s a new one on me……….”

If you would like to read up on it Fred, this President has told his DOJ to not enforce various laws and various aspects of laws…….it’s on google if you care to inform yourself.

Now, if you think you can discuss an issue without the insults and drama, do you think any president should bypass Congress if they personally don’t like a law on the books?

It’s a simple enough question……….
++++++++++++++++++++++

So anyone who laughs at you and refuses to scare under the scare tactics of the fearful right is a big meany correct?

Yawn. So tell me what laws are Nathan Steal, our thieving crooked Governor, NOT going to have enforced in Georgia?

Smoke mirrors and fear mongering son, smoke, mirrors and fear mongering. When you can come up with a REAL issue let me know……….

John Daly

July 13th, 2012
3:47 pm

Voters can’t be bought. You can only get them on lease, so every election you have to make another payment.

Fred ™

July 13th, 2012
3:47 pm

md

July 13th, 2012
3:33 pm

“I mean lots of folks can’t get jobs today, how the hell is someone on welfare?”

Watch Stossel’s report on “Out of Work”, in which he intervies people in line at the welfare office. all of which tell him there are no jobs.

He then spent 2 hours in the immediate area and found 40 open positions, one business owner even looking for 12-14 people, but no one would apply……

Decide for yourself……….
++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Give me their names.

Fred ™

July 13th, 2012
3:49 pm

Rafe Hollister, suffering through Oblamer’s ineptocracy

July 13th, 2012
3:26 pm

Where are the people who screamed “Imperialist” at Reagan and Bush, when these people didn’t think they had those administrations had approval of congress to launch an attack on some group or country. This is the same thing. Acting unilaterally, without consulting congress.
++++++++++++++++++++++

OHHHHH!!!!!!!!!! So maybe it’s NOT so illegal then? Or maybe just illegal when a Democrat does it.

Gotta love the hypocrisy.

John Daly

July 13th, 2012
3:50 pm

No, any one that laughs is not a big meany. They probably are a democrat and have never actually read the Constitution.

Fred ™

July 13th, 2012
3:50 pm

Tiberius – pulling the tail of the left AND right when needed

July 13th, 2012
3:33 pm

Fred’s copy of the Constitution probably doesn’t contain the explaination about the Executive Branch being the one to enforce the laws that the Legislative Branch passes and the Judicial Branch codifies.

Oh, and Fred? The President is the head of the Executive Branch, so, yes, it IS his job to enforce our laws.
+++++++++++++++++++

Oh so he straps on a badge and a gun polices the whole Country or just DC?

Tell me, how many arrests did President Bush make?

Tiberius - pulling the tail of the left AND right when needed

July 13th, 2012
3:51 pm

“So tell me what laws are Nathan Steal, our thieving crooked Governor, NOT going to have enforced in Georgia? ”

This is known as a deflection, used when someone has been caught in an error or lie in a vain hope that others didn’t notice.

But of course, we did. :D

John Daly

July 13th, 2012
3:52 pm

Bush did consult with Congress, and the President has the authority under the War Powers act to move unilaterally for a period of time. Again, something democrats don’t understand. Congress approved the actions in Iraq and Afganistan and approved funding for them several times. But don’t let facts get in the way.

Fred ™

July 13th, 2012
3:52 pm

John Daly

July 13th, 2012
3:50 pm

No, any one that laughs is not a big meany. They probably are a democrat and have never actually read the Constitution.
++++++++++++++++++++

Yeah I know. Anyone who doesn’t walk lock step with you far right wing fanatical nutcases is a “liberal” or a “democrat.”

Yawn. Your talk radio schtick is old. I’ve heard it before. Do YOU have any original ideas or thoughts?

I didn’t think so. We saw the other day that neither Tiberious nor md do either. They can only parrot the days content of talk radio or fox news…….

warren

July 13th, 2012
3:53 pm

Obama is bringing down the entire country, another 4 years will be a disaster, to all those of in the check of the month club,r who are in the 50 percent who pay no taxes, are on SNAP and using your EBT cards for the free money do you realize that 10 trillion in debt? more debt added in one term by Obama than the first 40 Presidents combined.

Who is going to pay for all these programs? Not the half who are not paying taxes, not the 25 million unemployed, not the Chinese who have been loaning the US money of late, another 4 years like this there will be no more SNAP EBT or welfare because there will be no more money.

Fred ™

July 13th, 2012
3:53 pm

Tiberius – pulling the tail of the left AND right when needed

July 13th, 2012
3:51 pm

“So tell me what laws are Nathan Steal, our thieving crooked Governor, NOT going to have enforced in Georgia? ”

This is known as a deflection, used when someone has been caught in an error or lie in a vain hope that others didn’t notice.
++++++++++++++++

Nope it’s called a vain effort to try to help you to think for yourself there sport.

Mary

July 13th, 2012
3:53 pm

Welfare and Food Stamps 2012!!

md

July 13th, 2012
3:54 pm

“So anyone who laughs at you and refuses to scare under the scare tactics of the fearful right is a big meany correct? ”

Did you ever do current events in school Fred? These are nothing but current events……which means they actually took place. You don’t do yourself any favors by making silly comments without taking the time to actually go and look up the information……..

As for your request for names…….I don’t have them. As I said, go watch the report and then make up your own mind.

Or don’t……it’s a choice………

Not Blind

July 13th, 2012
3:54 pm

I saw that Stossel report. The first guy in the welfare line was named Fred. Next guy , Fred. Then there was a woman. Her name was Fred.

Tiberius - pulling the tail of the left AND right when needed

July 13th, 2012
3:54 pm

“Oh so he straps on a badge and a gun polices the whole Country or just DC? ”

In case you missed it in Civics class, Fred, that’s what the Department of Justice does. You probably don’t recognize that, because this current one has a problem with actually carrying out their duties according to the Constitution. Their ability to turn a blind eye towards anything that might garner them votes is their modus operandi.

Fred ™

July 13th, 2012
3:55 pm

warren, calm down. You’ll give yourself a fear induced heart attack repeating all those talk radio lies.

The sky ISN’T falling.

Please show me where China has given us a loan. I’ll wait…….

John Daly

July 13th, 2012
3:55 pm

Fred’ss pulling something, but it’s not a tail. And agian, for Fred, the President is responsible to see that the laws are executed, not for actually executing the law. Small but important difference.

John Daly

July 13th, 2012
3:57 pm

“In an unprecedented move, in June 2011 the U.S. Treasury Department granted the Chinese government direct-bidder status to purchase U.S. Treasuries direct from the U.S. government, reports Reuters. All other central banks must purchase U.S. Treasuries through primary dealers on Wall Street, which then place bids on their behalf at Treasury auctions.

The People’s Bank of China holds roughly $1.2 trillion in U.S. debt, more than any other entity, and it is now the first foreign government with direct computer access to the U.S. government Treasury auction process. China, however, must sell U.S. Treasuries on the open market.”

http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/daily-ticker/geithner-thinking-treasury-grants-china-direct-access-buy-143939103.html

Debating with Fred is like shooting fish in a barrel.

Fred ™

July 13th, 2012
3:58 pm

Oh I see Tiberius. And the Justice Department NEVER BEFORE under anyone other than President Obama made some issues a priority while slughing off others. Right?

Yawn. The sky is falling.

So much FEAR that you Far right republican nutcases live in. It must be a tough life for you.

But keep giving me those sub 10% tax rates. I’m spending that crap every day. Thanks.

Tiberius - pulling the tail of the left AND right when needed

July 13th, 2012
3:59 pm

I think Fred meets the standards of Kyle’s first new rule to a “T”.

1. Anyone who comes onto the blog with personal attacks and little to nothing of substance to say will be banned permanently.

Either that, or he’s on a mission to prove that liberals are grouchy old people who can’t accept reality and always ignore facts.

I’m just not sure if it’s one or the other, or both.

AmVet

July 13th, 2012
4:00 pm

Obama is bringing down the entire country…

We survived the Reign of Error, didn’t we? (Barely.)

The Obama administration, though very mediocre, is a walk in the park after that endless disaster…

md

July 13th, 2012
4:00 pm

“I didn’t think so. We saw the other day that neither Tiberious nor md do either. They can only parrot the days content of talk radio or fox news……”

Fred….do you ever do any research?

I don’t listen watch either of those much at all…….most of the info actually comes from what might be considered liberal media…….cbs, cnn, yahoo, etc

Again, your assumptions and accusations reflect much more on you than they do me………you are the one that has a tendency to shoot from the hip without reading up on things first.

And you never did answer yesterday whether you were an S corp……did you read up on that yet?

Fred ™

July 13th, 2012
4:01 pm

Not Blind

July 13th, 2012
3:54 pm

I saw that Stossel report. The first guy in the welfare line was named Fred. Next guy , Fred. Then there was a woman. Her name was Fred.
++++++++++++++++++++++++

Oh noes. I’m so crushed.

I’m a 2% though Sport. If I wasn’t so lazy I’d be a 1%. Or maybe if when my wife gets that next raise.

Unemployment line? Not me chief. Been writing MY checks for 25 years. And a bunch for otgher folks as well when I decide to hire them.
.

Tiberius - pulling the tail of the left AND right when needed

July 13th, 2012
4:01 pm

“And the Justice Department NEVER BEFORE under anyone other than President Obama made some issues a priority while slughing off others. Right?”

Another deflection. When you can’t defend your side, go back and bring up issues with the other side, EVEN THOUGH YOUR SIDE PROMISED TO CHANGE the way Washington works.

I’m not sure why so many people keep bringing up the past, when it cannot be changed.

Darwin

July 13th, 2012
4:02 pm

I’m with you Kyle. That lying president who doesn’t know what laws and the truth are all about. Why, he even accused Iraq of having WMDs. Then invaided the country because of 9/11.

Fred ™

July 13th, 2012
4:05 pm

And you never did answer yesterday whether you were an S corp……did you read up on that yet?

Never saw it. I got bored with you way before that point. I went to play Empire Builder with my daughter. Got to teach her how to use all the money you dummies keep voting for me to have. I’m loving those sub 9% tax rates you give me. Thanks.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Empire_Builder_%28board_game%29

md

July 13th, 2012
4:06 pm

“Please show me where China has given us a loan. I’ll wait…….”

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/05/21/us-usa-treasuries-china-idUSBRE84K11720120521

Ayn Rant

July 13th, 2012
4:08 pm

Thank God there’s someone in Washington willing to do something sensible! Legal, illegal, baloney! There are thousands of laws on the books, most of them bad, many vague or comprehensible. Enforcement has always, by necessity, been selective.

Since the welfare-to-work requirement was laid on the states, it’s only sensible to give the states latitude to administer the objectives in the most efficient and effective way, under the circumstances.

Only a fool would expect, or wait for, Congress to do anything useful. Only a fool would pettifog the “legality” of the President’s action in prudent administration of the law.

Congress is incapable of carrying out their basic constitutional duty of budgeting federal expenditures. Congress quarrels over raising the debt ceiling even though the budget proposals of both political parties envision deficit spending over the next 10 years. The House votes to repeal RomneyObamaCare every year, knowing full well that the Senate will not agree and the president will veto it.

Fred ™

July 13th, 2012
4:09 pm

Another deflection. When you can’t defend your side, go back and bring up issues with the other side, EVEN THOUGH YOUR SIDE PROMISED TO CHANGE the way Washington works.

See? you are just to simple to figure it out even when I keep telling you. I don’t HAVE a side dummy. i’m an independent. I laugh at you mindless fanatics from BOTH sides of the aisle who haven’t the brains to think for yourselves.

You on the other hand can not even fathom the concept of freedom of thought and independence form a broken philosophy. So you just keep parroting what Rush and the other say just as the lefties parrot Huff.

Ya’ll ALL crack me up. You basically tell the same lies and exude the same hypocrisy. The only difference is who the “boogieman” is. For you it’s “Obama” for them it’s “Bush” and “Romney.”

Yet in the end there is little truth in anything ether one of you says.

But keep on keeping my money safe.

md

July 13th, 2012
4:09 pm

Well Fred….only trying to help. If you are an “S” and have only been taking dividends, you may want to have a visit with your accountant……….

John Daly

July 13th, 2012
4:10 pm

“And the Justice Department NEVER BEFORE under anyone other than President Obama made some issues a priority while slughing off others. Right?”

The DOJ has refused to enforce laws in the past. When they were deemed to be unconstitutional. I never thought that enforcing voting laws, immigration, the defense of marriage act and several other laws were unconstitutional.