“Today Vice President Biden specifically cited pre-1996 welfare as a program that ‘made no sense’ before it was reformed on a bipartisan basis. But the Obama Administration’s decision to allow waivers of the work requirement at the heart of those reforms jeopardizes the progress we’ve made. These actions go against the spirit and letter of the law. As president, Mitt Romney will keep the work requirements in welfare and promote upward mobility, not a return to the failed policies of the past.” – Ryan Williams, Romney Campaign Spokesman

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Today, Vice President Biden Lauded Clinton-Era Welfare Reforms As A Response To A Government Program That “Made No Sense”:

Today, Vice President Biden Touted Clinton-Era Welfare Reforms As An Example Of Reforming A Program “That Made No Sense.” BIDEN: “I’ve been a senator a long time. We continued to hang on to programs from the 70’s that made no sense. So we finally said, hey they don’t make any sense, whether it was welfare reform or whatever it was in the 80’s and 90’s.” (Vice President Biden, Remarks, Merrimack, NH, 9/22/12)

But President Obama “Gutted” Welfare Reform When He “Quietly Opened The Door” For States To Opt Out Of Work Requirements:

The Obama Administration’s Welfare Changes “Quietly Opened The Door For States To Seek Major Changes” In Work Requirements. “The Obama administration has quietly opened the door for states to seek major changes in how they meet federal welfare-to-work requirements for some of their poorest residents, and leading conservatives are crying foul.” (Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, “Obama Administration Opens The Door For States To Seek Major Changes In Welfare-To-Work Law,” The Associated Press, 7/13/12)

President Obama “Tossed Out The Clinton-Era Welfare Reform That Required Able-Bodied Aid Recipients To Work.” “Democrats and Republicans alike should be distressed by President Barack Obama's disregard for constitutional limits on his authority. The president's flouting of the separation of powers risks turning this country into something other than a representative democracy. Congress should move in a bipartisan rebuke of Obama's overreach before he neuters that institution. In a blatant challenge to the legislative branch, Obama by executive order tossed out the Clinton-era welfare reform that required able-bodied aid recipients to work, saying the federal government will no longer enforce the law.” (Editorial, “Obama's Power Grab Flouts Constitution,” Detroit News, 8/6/12)

The Wall Street Journal: “The Administration Has, In Fact, Gutted” Work Requirements. “This is the reform that the Administration has, in fact, gutted. There's flexibility to innovate and there's ‘flexibility.’ In the first case, HHS has denied Governors the running room to redesign Medicaid to be more cost effective. But now it tells states that they don't have to comply with the most basic obligation of welfare reform. It's as if HHS told states they can have the ‘flexibility’ not to cover health care for poor people.” (Editorial, “Welfare Reform As We Knew It,” The Wall Street Journal, 9/19/12)

Richmond-Times Dispatch, On President Obama’s Welfare Changes: “If You Want To Get More People To Work, You Don't Loosen The Requirements — You Tighten Them.” “Nuts. If you want to get more people to work, you don't loosen the requirements — you tighten them. That's why, as critics of the new waivers point out, the work requirement of the 1996 law was ‘specifically designed not to be waivable.’ The 1996 law allows waivers for certain provisions — such as state reporting rules — but the ‘mandatory work requirements’ contain no waiver provisions. … The administration is simply ignoring the law.” (Editorial, “Welfare Reform: Gutted,” Richmond Times-Dispatch, 8/15/12)

And President Obama Didn’t Just Oppose Welfare Reforms As President – He Opposed Them Shortly After President Clinton Signed Them Into Law:

State Senator Barack Obama, In 1998: “The 1996 Legislation I Did Not Entirely Agree With And Probably Would Have Voted Against At The Federal Level.” OBAMA: “One of the good things about welfare reform, which the 1996 legislation I did not entirely agree with and probably would have voted against at the federal level.” (Barack Obama, Remarks, Chicago, IL, 10/19/98)

State Senator Barack Obama, In 1998: “I Was Not A Huge Supporter Of The Federal Plan That Was Signed In 1996.” OBAMA: “You know, let me say one thing about this, because I’ve been very active in drafting the state of Illinois’ welfare proposal and thinking about how do you craft these coalitions. I was not a huge supporter of the federal plan that was signed in 1996.” (Barack Obama, Remarks, Washington, DC, 6/8/98)

State Senator Barack Obama, In 1999: “I Would Not Probably Have Supported The Federal System – The Federal Bill That Was Passed.” OBAMA: “The first question which is fairly specific is about welfare reform. As most of you know I think, in 1996 the Republican Congress passed and President Clinton signed a welfare reform bill that essentially ended a 60 year entitlement to welfare. I was a strong proponent of some reform of the welfare system. I would not probably have supported the federal system – the federal bill that was passed.” (Barack Obama, Remarks, Northfield, MN, 2/5/99)