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Sebelius Claims Power to Gut Welfare Reform, Contrary to Law
CNSNews ^ | July 13, 2012 | Matt Cover

Posted on 07/13/2012 11:55:31 AM PDT by jazusamo

(CNSNews.com) – In a bid to expand federal welfare rolls, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius claimed on Thursday that HHS had the authority to waive the key requirement in President Clinton’s welfare reform law – the requirement that beneficiaries find and maintain a job.

A plain reading of the law, however, does not seem to support this claim.

On Thursday, HHS issued what it called guidance to state welfare agencies, claiming that it could absolve states of the requirement that some welfare recipients work in order to continue receiving benefits.

HHS claimed that its authority to approve innovative state experiments – known as demonstration projects – by issuing waivers of certain welfare requirements empowered it to waive the work requirements as well.

At issue are several sections of the Social Security Act, which governs federal welfare programs.

The waiver authority is found in Section 1115 of the law and grants Sebelius the power to issue waivers to certain welfare requirements so a state may conduct its welfare experiment. State experimentation was another key component of Clinton’s welfare reform.

“The Secretary may waive compliance with any of the requirements of section 2, 402, 454, 1002, 1402, 1602, or 1902, as the case may be, to the extent and for the period he finds necessary to enable such State or States to carry out such project,” the law reads.

In its memo, HHS claimed that a provision of Section 402 – one of the sections Sebelius has the power to waive – granted it power to get rid of work requirements.

Section 402 requires states to submit an administrative plan to the federal government, outlining how it will spend federal welfare funds and how its plan complies with the law – including the work requirement.

“While the TANF work participation requirements are contained in section 407, section 402(a)(1)(A)(iii) requires that the state plan “[e]nsure that parents and caretakers receiving assistance under the program engage in work activities in accordance with section 407.” Thus, HHS has authority to waive compliance with this 402 requirement and authorize a state to test approaches and methods other than those set forth in section 407, including definitions of work activities and engagement,” HHS said in its memo.

In other words, HHS claims that because it can relieve states of the requirement to submit a welfare spending plan to the government. It can also relieve them of the requirement that some welfare recipients must work.

However, federal law does not say this. In fact, it says exactly the opposite of what HHS claims it says.

While the law does empower Sebelius to relieve a state of the burden of providing the government a written plan, it does not empower her to waive the work requirements.

Specifically, the section of the law that governs those waivers clearly states that the waivers do not absolve states of the work requirements.

“[A] waiver granted under section 1115 or otherwise … shall not affect the applicability of section 407 to the State,” the law reads.

Section 407 is the requirement that some welfare recipients work in order to receive benefits.

The move is designed to expand welfare rolls, as HHS made clear in its memo – saying it would only issue waivers to states that planned to expand their welfare rolls.

“The Secretary will not approve a waiver for an initiative that appears substantially likely to reduce access to assistance or employment for needy families,” HHS said.

In practice, the waivers would allegedly relieve states of the requirement that certain percentages of welfare recipients work in order to remain on a state’s welfare rolls, allowing states to essentially cook their books by coming up with new ways to count people as employed who are not actually employed.

HHS lists several things states could do to earn a waiver, including counting those in vocational or other post-secondary education as working, counting people working in welfare-subsidized jobs but who are no longer receiving welfare benefits, and inventing different ways to count the disabled as working.

The proposal was met with opposition from two top congressional Republicans – Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.) and Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah.). Camp chairs the House Ways and Means Committee, and Hatch is ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee – the committees that have jurisdiction over welfare.

Hatch and Camp sent a letter to Sebelius on Thursday demanding to know why she thinks she has the legal authority to waive welfare work requirements.

“We request that you provide a detailed explanation of your Department’s legal reasoning behind the guidance released today, as we believe it is deeply flawed and specifically contradicted by TANF (welfare) and related statutory language,” they wrote.

“Simply put, if Congress had intended to allow waivers of TANF work requirements, it would have said so in the statute,” Hatch and Camp said. “Instead, Congress did the exact opposite and explicitly prohibited waivers to section 407 work requirements among other sections of the Social Security Act.”


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: bho44; bhohhs; corruption; democrats; federalspendency; federalspending; hhs; sebelius; ssa; welfare; welfarestate
Sebelius is a corrupt Obama lapdog ignoring the law just as her boss does.
1 posted on 07/13/2012 11:55:43 AM PDT by jazusamo
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To: jazusamo

This edict ought to be challenged immediately and headed to the Supreme Court, for what that’s worth under Benedict Roberts.


2 posted on 07/13/2012 11:59:36 AM PDT by txrefugee
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Comment #3 Removed by Moderator

To: jazusamo

HEY! Sobber of the House Boehner! Where are you?

Send the Sergeant of Arms of the US House over to the Sebelius-Shed to hand deliver a cease and desist order!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

BTW, while you are at it, hand deliver one to the Mad Holder at the Justice Dept. also.


4 posted on 07/13/2012 12:02:45 PM PDT by Graewoulf ((Traitor John Roberts' Obama"care" violates Sherman Anti-Trust Law, AND the U.S. Constitution.))
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To: Graewoulf

Amen to that and follow up with an arrest warrant if they don’t comply.


5 posted on 07/13/2012 12:05:32 PM PDT by jazusamo ("Intellect is not wisdom" -- Thomas Sowell)
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Please bump the Freepathon or click above and donate or become a monthly donor!

6 posted on 07/13/2012 12:09:01 PM PDT by jazusamo ("Intellect is not wisdom" -- Thomas Sowell)
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To: jazusamo
The arrogance of the bureaucrat Sebelius, like that of a petty tyrant who would allow her and others like her to superimpose their will on "the People" of the United States is staggering!
7 posted on 07/13/2012 12:13:51 PM PDT by loveliberty2
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To: txrefugee

It isn’t worth anything.

This regime can do anything it wants whenever it wants for whatver reason it wants.


8 posted on 07/13/2012 12:18:14 PM PDT by chris37 (Heartless.)
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To: jazusamo

BTTT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


9 posted on 07/13/2012 12:25:23 PM PDT by Graewoulf ((Traitor John Roberts' Obama"care" violates Sherman Anti-Trust Law, AND the U.S. Constitution.))
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To: jazusamo
Kathleen Sebelius looks very ill...

she appears to be a heavy smoker...something she has in common with Hussein???

10 posted on 07/13/2012 12:29:29 PM PDT by haircutter
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To: jazusamo

The lawless tyrannical Obama regime must be brought down!


11 posted on 07/13/2012 12:30:50 PM PDT by WashingtonSource
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To: jazusamo

Congress and/or SCOTUS need to stand up to this tyranny. This is not a flippin’ dictatorship.


12 posted on 07/13/2012 12:31:01 PM PDT by Oldeconomybuyer (The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money.)
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To: jazusamo

This is right out of Cloward and Piven, to overwhelm the system. Only, it is the government doing it.


13 posted on 07/13/2012 12:31:37 PM PDT by depressed in 06 (6 November, 2012, the day our embarrassment is sent back to Kenya.)
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Neither the Congress or the SCOTUS is gonna do a darn thing; it’s gonna take patriots rising up to solve our problems.


14 posted on 07/13/2012 12:40:42 PM PDT by Arkansas Toothpick
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To: jazusamo

Tick, tick, tick...


15 posted on 07/13/2012 12:54:21 PM PDT by 43north (BHO: 50% black, 50% white, 100% RED)
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To: jazusamo

Why not? This administration has done this for four years almost. A law was written to curb welfare abuses. We have an election coming up. Why not skirt the law to gain some welfare voters? Seems right for an administration that makes its own rules as they go. Seems a federal judge told them not to initiate the health care law and Obama went ahead with it anyway. Why, because nobody stopped him. In order for the laws to be upheld, it is necessary for somebody to say ‘hey wait a minute, that’s not legal’. There is nobody in Washington with the guts to do that. Go ahead Kathleen. See if anybody will stop you.


16 posted on 07/13/2012 1:07:08 PM PDT by maxwellsmart_agent
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To: jazusamo

BFLR


17 posted on 07/13/2012 1:09:50 PM PDT by rockinqsranch (Dems, Libs, Socialists, call 'em what you will, they ALL have fairies livin' in their trees.)
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To: jazusamo

There was no “Clinton Welfare Reform” plan and there is no waiver in the bill passesd by the republican Congress.


18 posted on 07/13/2012 1:22:08 PM PDT by jwalsh07 (.)
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To: jazusamo

The Dems are going all out to buy this election.


19 posted on 07/13/2012 1:43:14 PM PDT by Venturer
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To: jazusamo
Can't we just impeach these Communist tyrants? What more evidence do we need to show us what they are up to? They are completely lawless. They don't even pretend they are enforcing our laws. If they don't like it, they simply ignore it or pervert it!

What are we waiting for??

Where in the hell is Congress on this? Boehner? Boehner!!?? McConnell!!??

20 posted on 07/13/2012 1:50:11 PM PDT by Gritty (Obama's Latin-American future for us; a corrupt governing class ruling a dysfunctional morass-MSteyn)
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To: Gritty
I hear you. We have to elect more conservatives and replace current leadership as well as control the Senate, until then it's not gonna happen.
21 posted on 07/13/2012 2:00:37 PM PDT by jazusamo ("Intellect is not wisdom" -- Thomas Sowell)
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To: jazusamo

Didn’t Obama say yesterday that his biggest mistake was spending too much time getting his policies perfect and not enough time explanining them.

Now they’re again making a controversial and dubiously legal policy without offering a bit of explanation.


22 posted on 07/13/2012 2:13:37 PM PDT by cymbeline
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To: jazusamo

Didn’t Obama say yesterday that his biggest mistake was spending too much time getting his policies perfect and not enough time explanining them.

Now they’re again making a controversial and dubiously legal policy without offering a bit of explanation.


23 posted on 07/13/2012 2:13:48 PM PDT by cymbeline
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To: haircutter

She had a reputation in Kansas as a falling-down drunk. It has to be catching up with her.


24 posted on 07/13/2012 3:03:03 PM PDT by Kanzan
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To: Kanzan
Hummmm..That doesn't surprise me at all..but she does have that sick look of a long time heavy smoker...

He dad was once a Gov. of OHIO....
born in politics always in politics...I guess!!!!!

25 posted on 07/13/2012 4:39:29 PM PDT by haircutter
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