House Report 112-677, Part 2 - 112th Congress (2011-2012)
September 18, 2012, As Reported by the Education and the Workforce Committee

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House Report 112-677 - PROVIDING FOR CONGRESSIONAL DISAPPROVAL UNDER CHAPTER 8 OF TITLE 5, UNITED STATES CODE, OF THE RULE SUBMITTED BY THE OFFICE OF FAMILY ASSISTANCE OF THE ADMINISTRATION FOR CHILDREN AND FAMILIES OF THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES RELATING TO WAIVER AND EXPENDITURE AUTHORITY UNDER SECTION 1115 OF THE SOCIAL SECURITY ACT (42 U.S.C. 1315) WITH RESPECT TO THE TEMPORARY ASSISTANCE FOR NEEDY FAMILIES PROGRAM




[House Report 112-677]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]


112th Congress                                            Rept. 112-677
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session                                                      Part 2
======================================================================
 
  PROVIDING FOR CONGRESSIONAL DISAPPROVAL UNDER CHAPTER 8 OF TITLE 5, 
   UNITED STATES CODE, OF THE RULE SUBMITTED BY THE OFFICE OF FAMILY 
   ASSISTANCE OF THE ADMINISTRATION FOR CHILDREN AND FAMILIES OF THE 
  DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES RELATING TO WAIVER AND 
  EXPENDITURE AUTHORITY UNDER SECTION 1115 OF THE SOCIAL SECURITY ACT
  (42 U.S.C. 1315) WITH RESPECT TO THE TEMPORARY ASSISTANCE FOR NEEDY 
                            FAMILIES PROGRAM

                               _______
                                

 September 18, 2012.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on 
            the State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

Mr. Kline, from the Committee on Education and the Workforce, submitted 
                             the following

                              R E P O R T

                             together with

                             MINORITY VIEWS

                      [To accompany H.J. Res. 118]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Education and the Workforce, to whom was 
referred the joint resolution (H.J. Res. 118) providing for 
congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United 
States Code, of the rule submitted by the Office of Family 
Assistance of the Administration for Children and Families of 
the Department of Health and Human Services relating to waiver 
and expenditure authority under section 1115 of the Social 
Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1315) with respect to the Temporary 
Assistance for Needy Families program, having considered the 
same, report favorably thereon without amendment and recommend 
that the joint resolution do pass.

                                PURPOSE

    House Joint Resolution 118, as ordered reported by the 
Committee on Education and the Workforce and the Committee on 
Ways and Means on September 13, 2012, expresses congressional 
disapproval of the July 2012 U.S. Department of Health and 
Human Services (HHS) rule proposing to allow states to waive 
work requirements under the Temporary Assistance for Needy 
Families (TANF) program. The resolution, authorized under the 
Congressional Review Act (CRA), states that Congress 
disapproves of the rule and that the rule ``shall have no force 
or effect.''

                            COMMITTEE ACTION

    The Committee on Education and the Workforce strongly 
supports maintaining and strengthening the 1996 welfare reform 
law, which has been successful in moving millions of low-income 
families off of government dependence and into work. The 
congressional resolution of disapproval is necessary to rein in 
the Obama administration's abuse of power and protect reforms 
that have effectively served millions of needy families.

110th Congress

    The committee did not consider changes to the work 
requirements authorized under the Temporary Assistance for 
Needy Families Program.

111th Congress

    The committee did not consider changes to the work 
requirements authorized under the Temporary Assistance for 
Needy Families Program.

112th Congress

    On September 11, 2012, Reps. John Kline (R-MN), Dave Camp 
(R-MI), and Jim Jordan (R-OH) introduced House Joint Resolution 
118, to provide for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 
of title 5, United States Code, of the rule submitted by the 
Office of Family Assistance of the Administration for Children 
and Families of the Department of Health and Human Services 
relating to waiver and expenditure authority under section 1115 
of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1315) with respect to the 
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program.
    On September 13, 2012, the Committee on Education and the 
Workforce considered H.J. Res. 118 in legislative session and 
reported the resolution favorably by a vote of 22 to 16.

                                SUMMARY

    House Joint Resolution 118, a joint resolution under the 
Congressional Review Act disapproving of the July 12, 2012 
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Information Memorandum 
(Transmittal No. TANF-ACF-IM-2012-03),
          
 expresses Congress's disapproval of the 
        Obama administration's regulatory effort to weaken 
        welfare reform;
          
 prevents the administration from 
        implementing its plan to waive the work requirements of 
        the 1996 welfare reform law; and
          
 preserves critical reforms that have helped 
        lift millions of American families out of poverty.

                            COMMITTEE VIEWS

Introduction

    In 1996, the Republican-led Congress passed, and President 
Bill Clinton signed into law, the Personal Responsibility and 
Work Opportunity Act\1\, better known as the welfare reform law 
of 1996. The reforms offered new flexibility to states in 
designing their welfare programs in exchange for fixed federal 
funds and a simple promise that welfare recipients engage in 
work and related activities. This important idea--that work 
should be an important part of the nation's social programs--
has been an unqualified success, leading to increased work and 
earnings, along with record declines in poverty and government 
dependence, for low-income families.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\Public Law 104-193.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Under the old system, approximately 5 million families were 
on welfare, many for as long as 13 years. Due to a lack of 
focus on obtaining work, the failed welfare policies of the 
past left families trapped in a cycle of dependency and 
poverty.
    Despite moving millions of Americans off government 
dependency and into a job, welfare reform is now being 
undermined through a regulatory effort by the Obama 
administration. Under the guise of state flexibility, the U.S. 
Department of Health and Human Services announced it would 
allow states to seek a waiver from the work requirements 
critical to the success of welfare reform. Current law is clear 
that the work requirements cannot be waived, yet the 
administration is attempting to do so through an end run around 
Congress that could unilaterally weaken welfare reform.
    The House Committee on Education and the Workforce strongly 
believes H.J. Res. 118 is needed to ensure the work 
requirements under the 1996 welfare reform law are not 
undermined by the administration's reckless waiver policy. This 
important action guarantees the work requirements defined in 
law continue to be effective in ensuring welfare recipients 
engage in the work and work-related activities they need to 
increase their earnings, leave welfare, and support themselves 
and their families.

The importance and effects of welfare reform

    In 1996, Congress approved the historic welfare reform law, 
fundamentally transforming the federal government's vision for 
assisting low-income individuals and families. The law centered 
on adding a workforce component to the main public assistance 
program, believing it would encourage employment among the 
poor, end dependency on government assistance, and reduce long-
term intergenerational poverty. While most House Democrats 
opposed the 1996 welfare reform (in fact, most House Democrats 
have opposed all nine attempts by Congress to institute or 
strengthen welfare's work requirements over the last 16 years), 
it was signed into law by President Bill Clinton:

          I made my principles for real welfare reform very 
        clear from the beginning. First and foremost, it should 
        be about moving people from welfare to work (President 
        Bill Clinton announcing welfare reform legislation, 
        July 31, 1996).

    The law created the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families 
(TANF) block grant\2\, which provides states with a set amount 
of federal funding and flexibility to design and carry out 
their social safety net program. TANF replaced the Aid to 
Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) entitlement program, 
created in 1935, which contained few restrictions on the 
availability of cash support to low-income families.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \2\42 U.S.C. 601-619.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Though TANF operates as a block grant, a number of 
important requirements are attached to states' use of funds, 
particularly for families receiving ``assistance'' (largely 
defined as cash benefits). Under the law, states must 
demonstrate at least 50 percent of all families and 90 percent 
of all two-parent families are engaged in work-related 
activities, including: (1) unsubsidized employment; (2) 
subsidized private sector employment; (3) subsidized public 
sector employment; (4) work experience if sufficient private 
sector employment is not available; (5) on-the-job training; 
(6) job search and job readiness assistance (not to exceed six 
weeks, or 12 weeks if the participant lives in a state in which 
the unemployment rate is at least 50 percent greater than the 
national average); (7) community service programs; (8) 
vocational educational training (not to exceed 12 months with 
respect to any individual); (9) job skills training directly 
related to employment; (10) education directly related to 
employment for a recipient who has not received a high school 
diploma or a certificate of high school equivalency; (11) 
satisfactory attendance at secondary school or in a course of 
study leading to a certificate of general equivalence, in the 
case of a recipient who has not completed secondary school or 
received a certificate; and (12) the provision of child care 
services to an individual who is participating in a community 
service program. The law also limits how long a family with an 
adult can receive assistance to five years.
    While state caseload reductions differ by state, welfare 
reform is considered an unqualified success. Prior to 1996, the 
main goal of state- and county-led welfare programs was to 
provide cash assistance. Now, most states have radically 
changed their welfare programs to emphasize work. More than 30 
states reported that TANF operations were included in One-Stop 
Career Centers authorized under the Workforce Investment Act, 
and 16 states reported that TANF funds were used as one of the 
main sources to operate their workforce investment programs.\3\ 
Caseloads have declined by 65 percent nationwide from their 
all-time high of 5.1 million families in 1994 to 1.8 million 
families in December 2011. The total number of families 
receiving assistance is now lower than at any time since 
1970.\4\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \3\GAO-07-1096, One-Stop System Infrastructure Continues to Evolve, 
but Labor Should Take Action to Require All Employment Service Offices 
Are Part of the System, September 4, 2007.
    \4\U.S. Department of Health and Human services, Monthly Number of 
Families Receiving Cash Welfare: 1959-2011.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Most importantly, the law has been successful in helping 
end the cycle of dependency. Before reform, the average length 
of stay on welfare for recipients was 13 years. Even though 
TANF now has a five-year time limit, only 1.7 percent of the 
1.7 million case closings in FY 2009 were due to a family 
reaching the federal time limit. More than two million mothers 
entered the workforce, earnings for female headed families 
increased while their income from welfare payments fell, and 
child poverty declined every year between 1993 and 2000.
    Many Democrats and advocates have argued the nation's 
economic prosperity should be credited with the significant 
reductions in state caseloads from 1996 to 2008, the increase 
in work, and the reduction in poverty. However, under the 
former law, caseloads remained constant or increased during 
times of economic expansion. In addition, the current national 
caseload has increased only slightly during the most recent 
recession and never approached 1994 levels. This clearly 
demonstrates the welfare reform law passed by Republicans has 
worked and continues to work for low-income families and the 
nation's taxpayers. Arthur C. Brooks, president of the American 
Enterprise Institute, summarized the national and historic 
impact of the 1996 welfare reform law:

          The 1996 law was arguably the most successful policy 
        change to help low-income Americans in the past 60 
        years. Welfare policies of the 1960s led generations of 
        families to languish on the government dole at 
        subsistence levels, never gaining the skills to work 
        and with little hope to rise. It took more than a 
        decade to get Congress to reverse course. But it was 
        worth the effort.\5\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \5\Brooks, Arthur C. ``Obama and `Earning Your Success': The work 
mandate was the most successful welfare reform in 60 years. Ending it 
is a tragedy'' Wall Street Journal August 6, 2012.

    According to a recent survey, more than 80 percent of the 
American people continue to support the work requirements at 
the heart of welfare reform,\6\ which have raised earnings, 
lowered poverty, and reduced government dependence. H.J. Res. 
118 ensures this important progress is not undermined by the 
current administration.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \6\Rasmussen Reports, ``83% Favor Work Requirement for Welfare 
Recipients'' (http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public--content/business/
jobs_employment/july_2012/
83_favor_work_requirement_for_welfare_recipients) July 18, 2012.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Recent actions to undermine welfare reform

    On July 12, 2012, the U.S. Department of Health and Human 
Services' (HHS) Administration for Children and Families issued 
an Information Memorandum announcing its willingness to waive 
certain federal work participation standards of TANF to permit 
states to test ``alternative and innovative strategies, 
policies, and procedures that are designed to improve 
employment outcomes for needy families.'' In short, the new 
waiver scheme would permit states to have welfare-to-work 
initiatives assessed using measures other than work 
participation rates.
    HHS is using the limited authority the secretary is granted 
under section 1115 of the Social Security Act\7\ (SSA) to limit 
state plan reporting requirements included in section 402 of 
the law\8\ to waive the TANF mandatory work requirement under 
section 407 of the SSA,\9\ a highly questionable proposition 
and a clear violation of congressional intent. Similar to most 
federal laws, TANF requires states to submit a plan to receive 
federal funds. Included within this plan is an outline of the 
family assistance program the state intends to operate, which 
includes a requirement that it ensure ``parents and caretakers 
receiving assistance under the program engage in work 
activities'' in accordance with the work participation 
standards. The administration is using this benign reference in 
the state plan to justify its recent action.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \7\42 U.S.C. 1315.
    \8\42 U.S.C. 602.
    \9\42 U.S.C. 607.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    As Robert Rector, one of the authors of the 1996 bill, and 
Andrew Grossman, an expert in social welfare policy, have 
stated:

          There is absolutely no indication, in the text of the 
        1996 welfare reform or elsewhere, that Congress 
        intended to allow the waiver of the centerpiece 
        provision: work requirements. To waive those 
        requirements is to violate the ``workfare'' law, the 
        Constitution's vesting of legislative power in the 
        Congress, and the president's fundamental duty to 
        faithfully carry out all the laws.\10\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \10\National Review Online, ``HHS Can't Waive Workfare,'' August 9, 
2012.

    Since TANF was authorized more than 16 years ago, no HHS 
Secretary--Republican or Democratic--has attempted to assert 
his or her authority to waive the mandatory work requirements 
under the law. It is clear the secretary does not have 
authority to waive the work requirements included in section 
407. Section 1115 of the SSA, authorizing limited demonstration 
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
projects, clearly states:

          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. . .\11\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \11\42 U.S.C. 1315.

    The language does not authorize the secretary to waive 
section 407. In a letter dated July 12, 2012 to HHS Secretary 
Kathleen Sebelius, House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp 
wrote, ``Simply put, if Congress had intended to allow waivers 
of TANF work requirements, it would have said so in the 
statute. Instead, Congress did the opposite and explicitly 
prohibited waivers to section 407 work requirements, among 
other sections of the Social Security Act.''\12\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \12\Press release entitled, ``Camp, Hatch Blast HHS Move to 
Undermine Work Requirements for Welfare Recipients and Question HHS' 
Legal Authority.'' For more information see: http://
waysandmeans.house.gov/uploadedfiles/
7.12.12_tanf_work_requirements_letter.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Indeed, congressional intent is unambiguous. In the House 
Ways and Means Committee Report from November 1996, committee 
members state clearly, ``Waivers granted after the date of 
enactment may not override provisions of the TANF law that 
concern mandatory work requirements.''\13\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \13\Committee on Ways and Means, U.S. House of Representatives 
``Summary of Welfare Reforms Made By Public Law 104-193 The Personal 
Responsibility And Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act And Associated 
Legislation'' November 6, 1996, page 23.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Even governors from across the country have expressed 
significant concerns about HHS' July memorandum announcing 
states could waive the work requirements at the heart of the 
1996 welfare reform law. Iowa Governor Terry Branstad recently 
stated in a letter to the secretary:

          This weakening of work requirements for TANF, veiled 
        as flexibility for states, harms the ability of states 
        to empower citizens and undermines the successful TANF 
        reforms that have been in place since 1996. In this 
        case, I believe your Department has confused 
        flexibility for states with a selection of bad policy 
        choices.

Kansas Governor Sam Brownback also weighed in, stating:

          The Department's recent informational memorandum 
        released on July 12th giving states the ability to opt-
        out of the very work requirements which have proven 
        successful over the past 15 years is alarming . . . The 
        work requirement was the centerpiece of the 1996 reform 
        law and intentionally set-aside by Congress so as not 
        to be among those items that are waiver eligible.

    As the lack of hearings and committee action during the 
110th, 111th, and 112th Congresses authorizing changes to 
TANF's work requirements demonstrates, HHS' guidance was not 
issued in response to any change in TANF law, nor does it 
follow up on any proposal from the Obama administration that 
seeks to make policy changes to TANF through the regular 
legislative process. Instead, the unprecedented policy 
announcement by the Obama administration simply declares--
despite specific statutory provisions to the contrary--states 
may waive work requirements at the heart of the nation's 
successful welfare reform program.

Protecting welfare reform and holding the administration accountable

    Under the Congressional Review Act (CRA), the Comptroller 
General of the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is 
responsible for reviewing all rules in order to determine 
whether relevant federal agencies have complied with federal 
requirements. As part of these duties, he or she determines 
what constitutes a rule for the purposes of the CRA. In this 
case, HHS did not submit the Information Memorandum as a rule 
to Congress nor GAO, arguing that the TANF waiver proposal does 
not constitute an official rule.
    At the behest of House Ways and Means Committee Chairman 
Camp and Senator Orrin Hatch, GAO released an analysis of the 
Information Memorandum.\14\ While HHS stated the memorandum did 
not fit into the definition of a rule, GAO concluded the 
Information Memorandum is a ``statement of general 
applicability and future effect, designed to implement, 
interpret, or prescribe law or policy with regard to TANF'' 
and, therefore, concluded ``the July 12, 2012 Information 
Memorandum is a rule under the CRA.'' As Chairman John Kline 
stated in his opening remarks during the committee's markup of 
H.J. Res. 118:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \14\Letter entitled, ``Temporary Assistance for Needy Families: 
Information Memorandum Constitutes Rule for the Purposes of the 
Congressional Review Act.'' For more information, see: http://
www.gao.gov/assets/650/647778.pdf.

          The nonpartisan Government Accountability Office has 
        confirmed the administration's welfare waiver plan is a 
        rule and Congress has the right to review it. If a 
        president runs roughshod over the law, seizes power 
        that he doesn't have, and pursues policies that hurt 
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
        needy families, Congress has no choice but to act.

    The committee believes congressional action, consistent 
with the law, is necessary to protect the requirements that are 
the heart of the nation's successful efforts to promote work 
for welfare recipients. The committee notes the Obama 
administration, more so than any president or executive branch 
in recent memory, has demonstrated a pattern of regulatory 
overreach and action by executive fiat. Instead of working with 
Congress or submitting plans for the House and Senate to 
consider during the upcoming reauthorization process, the 
administration chooses to ignore the law. Rep. Judy Biggert 
summarized this fact in her remarks during the committee's 
markup of H.J. Res. 118:

          Like many of my colleagues, I am concerned that this 
        represents yet another example of this Administration's 
        my way or the highway' approach to governing. We've 
        seen it in education, immigration, health care, and 
        labor policy, and now it's happening in welfare reform. 
        According to the Government Accountability Office, 
        these waivers have no basis in law. And, by 
        circumventing the authority of Congress, this 
        Administration has lost any credibility to argue that 
        this is anything more than an attempt to unwind years 
        of progress in moving families from welfare to work.

    Though no states have been approved for waivers at this 
time, it is conceivable states could apply and receive approval 
to count as ``work'' many activities that have been previously 
rejected by Congress. In 2005, the Government Accountability 
Office (GAO) issued a report that found states counted 
activities such as exercise, helping a friend with household 
tasks and errands, and personal journaling as ``work 
activities.''\15\ In 2006, Congress reauthorized the TANF 
program as part of the Deficit Reduction Act, preventing states 
from continuing such practices. The administration's actions 
would devalue work, taking us back not only to the questionable 
practices of the mid-2000s, but to the 1930s, 1960s, and 1980s.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \15\GAO-05-821, HHS Should Exercise Oversight to Help Ensure TANF 
Work Participation Is Measured Consistently across States, August 19, 
2005.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Debunking false statements from the administration and congressional 
        Democrats

    The committee notes the administration has stated it will 
only approve waivers relating to the work participation 
requirements that would lead to a ``more effective means of 
meeting the work goals of TANF.'' In a letter to Senator Hatch 
dated July 18, 2012, Secretary Sebelius explains HHS will only 
approve waivers to states that promise a 20 percent increase in 
employment exits from the year before. While supposedly an 
important part of the administration's waiver package, this `20 
percent promise' does not appear anywhere in the Information 
Memorandum and was only made after congressional Republicans 
challenged the president's controversial waiver scheme.
    The plan to ``increase employment by 20 percent'' centers 
on an old performance measure Congress explicitly excluded from 
the 1996 reform because it is a misleading measure of workfare 
and dependency reduction. Employment exits naturally rise when 
more people are on welfare and fall when caseloads decrease. 
Using this metric is indeed a way to return us to the failed 
policies of the past that resulted in ever-increasing welfare 
rolls, and will undermine the successful efforts of the last 
two decades to reduce poverty and empower families. 
Furthermore, the 20 percent threshold is minuscule when 
compared to current employment exits. Currently, approximately 
1.5 percent of the monthly TANF caseload leaves the program 
because of increased employment each month. Under the 
administration's new welfare proposal, a state can be fully 
exempt from the work standards if it raises its employment 
exits by 0.3 percent, to a mere 1.8 percent, equaling less than 
100 people in some states.
    Recently, committee Democrats released a Congressional 
Research Service (CRS) memorandum suggesting H.R. 4297, the 
Workforce Investment Improvement Act of 2012, provides 
authority to states to waive welfare work requirements. In an 
effort to hide their opposition to welfare reform and make 
excuses for the administration's recent actions to weaken the 
current work requirements contained in law, Democrat Members of 
the House Committee on Education and the Workforce criticized 
Republicans for supporting efforts to streamline effective 
workforce development programs.
    Under section 501 of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 
(WIA), states are permitted to submit to the appropriate 
secretaries a unified plan to administer employment and 
training programs across one or more of 15 different federal 
programs. This unified plan can include coordination between 
WIA and TANF programs. Under the law, the secretary of each 
program approving such plan has the authority to deny a plan 
that is not consistent with the requirements of the federal 
statute authorizing the activity or program.
    H.R. 4297 adds a new subsection (e) to section 501 allowing 
states to consolidate funds from a specified list of programs 
into the Workforce Investment Fund ``in order to reduce 
inefficiencies in the administration of federally-funded State 
and local employment and training programs'' not to bypass the 
rules and regulations to which these programs must adhere. Some 
examples include: allowing TANF offices to be co-located in the 
One-Stop Career Centers, reducing the number of state directors 
and local personnel required to administer multiple federally 
funded employment and training programs (e.g. some federal laws 
require states to designate, hire, and use specific personnel), 
and directing federal funds to a single state and/or local 
agency.
    The language in H.R. 4297 is clear that governors can 
consolidate funds only to ``reduce inefficiencies in the 
administration of federally-funded State and local employment 
and training programs.'' Even the CRS report on which Democrats 
rely recognizes this fact, noting ``the amendment [H.R. 4297] 
states that the purpose'' is to reduce administrative 
inefficiencies. Rather than have multiple state departments 
responsible for administering job training programs, H.R. 4297 
allows states to consolidate their administrative funds and 
administrative activities into one single place. Republicans 
have a clear record of strengthening the work requirements at 
the heart of the 1996 welfare reform bill. Democrats, on the 
other hand, have voted on numerous occasions to weaken TANF 
work requirements.

Conclusion

    Welfare reform has been one of the most successful domestic 
policy reform initiatives of the last two decades. The 
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program has reduced 
dependency and improved the lives of millions. In contrast to 
House Democrats, who have opposed the last nine attempts to 
support strong work requirements in our nation's welfare 
system, the Committee on Education and the Workforce strongly 
supports House Joint Resolution 118. Congress cannot allow the 
Obama administration to circumvent the law and roll back 
critical welfare reform.
    Nearly 23 million Americans are struggling to find a full-
time job in the Obama economy. Yet even in the midst of a 
persistently weak economy, the percentage of children in 
female-headed households living in poverty today is lower than 
before welfare reform was signed into law. Instead of providing 
support that will help unemployed Americans move into 
employment, the president's executive overreach will lead to 
more dependency for those struggling the most under his failed 
policies. President Obama should work with Congress on 
solutions that will create jobs and expand opportunity, not 
circumvent Congress to advance controversial policies that lead 
to more dependence and less hope for the American people.

                      SECTION-BY-SECTION ANALYSIS

    Congress expresses its disapproval of the rule submitted by 
the Office of Family Assistance of the Administration for 
Children and Families of the Department of Health and Human 
Services relating to waiver and expenditure authority under 
section 1115 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1315) with 
respect to Temporary Assistance to Needy Families and prohibits 
it from going into effect.

                       EXPLANATION OF AMENDMENTS

    No amendments to H.J. Res. 118 were offered.

              APPLICATION OF LAW TO THE LEGISLATIVE BRANCH

    Section 102(b)(3) of Public Law 104-1 requires a 
description of the application of this resolution to the 
legislative branch. H.J. Res. 118 expresses congressional 
disapproval of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 
July 12, 2012 rule proposing to allow states to waive work 
requirements under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families 
program, and states that the rule ``shall have no force or 
effect.''

                       UNFUNDED MANDATE STATEMENT

    Section 423 of the Congressional Budget and Impoundment 
Control Act (as amended by Section 101(a)(2) of the Unfunded 
Mandates Reform Act, P.L. 104-4) requires a statement of 
whether the provisions of the reported bill include unfunded 
mandates. This issue is addressed in the CBO letter.

                           EARMARK STATEMENT

    H.J. Res. 118 does not contain any congressional earmarks, 
limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits as defined in 
clause 9 of House Rule XXI.

                             ROLLCALL VOTES

    Clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives requires the Committee Report to include for 
each record vote on a motion to report the measure or matter 
and on any amendments offered to the measure or matter the 
total number of votes for and against and the names of the 
Members voting for and against.
<GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT>

         STATEMENT OF GENERAL PERFORMANCE GOALS AND OBJECTIVES

    In accordance with clause 3(c) of House Rule XIII, the goal 
of H.J. Res. 118 is to disapprove the rule proposing to waive 
welfare work requirements and provide that the rule shall have 
no force or effect. The Committee expects the Department of 
Labor to comply with these provisions and implement the law in 
accordance with these stated goals.

  STATEMENT OF OVERSIGHT FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE COMMITTEE

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(1) of rule XIII and clause 
2(b)(1) of rule X of the Rules of the House of Representatives, 
the Committee's oversight findings and recommendations are 
reflected in the body of this report.

               NEW BUDGET AUTHORITY AND CBO COST ESTIMATE

    With respect to the requirements of clause 3(c)(2) of rule 
XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and section 
308(a) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 and with respect 
to requirements of clause 3(c)(3) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives and section 402 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Committee has received 
the following estimate for H.J. Res. 118 from the Director of 
the Congressional Budget Office:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                Washington, DC, September 17, 2012.
Hon. John Kline,
Chairman, Committee on Education and the Workforce,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.J. Res. 118, a joint 
resolution providing for congressional disapproval under 
chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of the rule submitted 
by the Office of Family Assistance of the Administration for 
Children and Families of the Department of Health and Human 
Services relating to waiver and expenditure authority under 
section 1115 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1315) with 
respect to the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Jonathan 
Morancy.
            Sincerely,
                                      Douglas W. Elmendorf,
                                                          Director.
    Enclosure.

H.J. Res. 118--A joint resolution providing for congressional 
        disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of 
        the rule submitted by the Office of Family Assistance of the 
        Administration for Children and Families of the Department of 
        Health and Human Services relating to waiver and expenditure 
        authority under section 1115 of the Social Security Act (42 
        U.S.C. 1315) with respect to the Temporary Assistance for Needy 
        Families program

    Summary: H.J. Res. 118 would disapprove the rule submitted 
by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on July 
12, 2012, that modifies the waiver authority with respect to 
work requirements in the Temporary Assistance for Needy 
Families program (TANF). H.J. Res. 118 would invoke a 
legislative process established by the Congressional Review Act 
(Public Law 104-121) to disapprove the new waiver authority 
rule. If H.J. Res. 118 is enacted, the rule would have no force 
or effect.
    CBO estimates that enacting the resolution would reduce 
direct spending by $59 million over the 2013-2022 period. (The 
resolution would not affect revenues.) Pay-as-you-go procedures 
apply because enacting the legislation would affect direct 
spending.
    CBO does not expect that implementing the resolution would 
have any significant effect on spending subject to 
appropriation.
    The joint resolution contains no intergovernmental or 
private-sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates 
Reform Act (UMRA).
    Estimated cost to the Federal Government: The estimated 
budgetary impact of House Joint Resolution 118 is shown in the 
following table. The costs of this legislation fall within 
budget function 600 (income security).

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                  By fiscal year, in millions of dollars--
                                                   -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                     2013    2014    2015    2016    2017    2018    2019    2020    2021    2022   2013-2017  2013-2022
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               CHANGES IN DIRECT SPENDING

Estimated Budget Authority........................      -5      -6      -6      -6      -6      -6      -6      -7      -7      -7       -28        -59
Estimated Outlays.................................      -5      -6      -6      -6      -6      -6      -6      -7      -7      -7       -28       -59
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note: Components may not sum to totals because of rounding.

    Basis of estimate: For the purposes of this estimate, CBO 
assumes that the legislation will be enacted near the beginning 
of fiscal year 2013.
    On July 12, 2012, HHS released Information Memorandum No. 
TANF-ACF-IM-2012-03. That memorandum encouraged states to come 
up with new ways to meet TANF goals, and it stated that the 
Administration for Children and Families (ACF), which 
administers TANF, would provide states waivers through section 
1115 of the Social Security Act so that states could implement 
those proposals. Enacting H.J. Res. 118 would prevent that 
memorandum from taking effect.
    Under the memorandum, CBO expects that penalties for states 
that don't meet the work requirements specified in the Social 
Security Act would be reduced because states would have more 
options to meet such requirements. Thus, CBO estimates that 
enacting the resolution would reduce direct spending by $59 
million over the 2012-2022 period, as some states would pay 
increased penalties to the federal government (which are 
recorded in the budget as an offset to direct spending) for 
failing to meet the work requirements.
    Pay-As-You-Go considerations: The Statutory Pay-As-You-Go 
Act of 2010 establishes budget-reporting and enforcement 
procedures for legislation affecting direct spending or 
revenues. The net changes in outlays that are subject to those 
pay-as-you-go procedures are shown in the following table.

       CB0 ESTIMATE OF PAY-AS-YOU-GO EFFECTS FOR H.J. RES. 118 AS ORDERED REPORTED BY THE HOUSE COMMITTEE ON WAYS AND MEANS ON SEPTEMBER 13, 2012
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                    By fiscal year, in millions of dollars--
                                                      --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                        2012   2013   2014   2015   2016   2017   2018   2019   2020   2021   2022  2012-2017  2012-2022
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                       NET INCREASE OR DECREASE (-) IN THE DEFICIT
Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Impact.......................      0     -5     -6     -6     -6     -6     -6     -6     -7     -7     -7       -28       -59
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note: Components may not sum to totals because of rounding.

    Intergovernmental and private-sector impact: For large 
entitlement programs like TANF, UMRA defines an increase in the 
stringency of conditions as an intergovernmental mandate if the 
affected governments lack authority to offset the costs of 
those conditions while continuing to provide required services. 
If H.J. Res. 118 were enacted, CBO expects that some states 
would fail to meet work requirements of the program and would 
therefore be assessed penalties that would total $59 million 
over the 2013-2022 period. However, states would continue to be 
able to make changes to TANF, for example adjusting eligibility 
criteria or the structure of programs, to avoid or offset such 
costs. Because the TANF program affords states such broad 
flexibility, voiding the memorandum would not be considered an 
intergovernmental mandate as defined by UMRA. H.J. Res. 118 
also contains no private-sector mandates.
    Previous CBO estimate: On September 17, 2012, CBO 
transmitted a cost estimate for H.J. Res. 118 as ordered 
reported by the House Committee on Ways and Means. The 
resolution language in both versions is identical and the 
estimated budgetary effects are the same.
    Estimate prepared by: Federal Costs: Jonathan Morancy; 
Impact on State, Local, and Tribal Governments: Lisa Ramirez-
Branum; Impact on the Private Sector: Vi Nguyen.
    Estimate approved by: Peter H. Fontaine, Assistant Director 
for Budget Analysis.

                        COMMITTEE COST ESTIMATE

    Clause 3(d)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives requires an estimate and a comparison of the 
costs that would be incurred in carrying out H.J. Res. 118. 
However, clause 3(d)(2)(B) of that rule provides that this 
requirement does not apply when the Committee has included in 
its report a timely submitted cost estimate of the bill 
prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget Office 
under section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act.

         CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW MADE BY THE BILL, AS REPORTED

    This legislation does not make any changes in existing 
federal statute.

                             MINORITY VIEWS

    H.J. Resolution 118 is a cynical political stunt during an 
election season. We are deeply disappointed that Committee 
Republicans have chosen to polarize, politicize, and obstruct 
instead of working together to provide solutions for the real 
problems confronting American families, rather than fabricated 
ones.
    Despite the inflammatory rhetoric, Republican claims that 
the Information Memorandum (IM) issued by the Department of 
Health and Human Services (HHS) will gut welfare reform are 
simply false. Ron Haskins, former Republican staff director of 
the Ways and Means Human Resources Subcommittee and one of the 
chief architects of the 1996 law, has concluded that the 
charges that the IM weakens the work requirements are 
false.i FactCheck.org, ``a nonpartisan, nonprofit 
consumer advocate for voters that aims to reduce the level of 
deception and confusion in U.S. politics,'' a project of the 
Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of 
Pennsylvania, has concluded these charges are 
false.ii PolitiFact, a project of the Tampa Bay 
Times, has concluded these charges are false. And the Fact 
Checker at the Washington Post has concluded these charges are 
false.iii When asked by Representative Andrews 
during the Committee mark-up of H.J. Resolution 118 to point to 
where in the IM work requirements are weakened, Republicans 
provided no response.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \i\See, http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/08/08/ron-
haskins-calls-welfare-charges-
ridiculous.html.
    \ii\See, http://www.factcheck.org/2012/08/gutting-welfare-to-work.
    \iii\See, http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2012/
aug/07/mitt-romney/mitt-romney -says-barack-obamas-plan-abandons-
tenet/.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The rhetoric behind H.J. Resolution 118 is short on facts. 
The fact is the Administration's waiver proposal allows state-
driven innovation to improve employment outcomes.iv 
The fact is the waiver proposal clearly states: ``HHS will only 
consider approving waivers relating to the work participation 
requirements that make changes intended to lead to more 
effective means of meeting the work goals of TANF.'' The fact 
is the waiver proposal is explicitly designed ``to challenge 
states to engage in a new round of innovation that seeks to 
find more effective mechanisms for helping families succeed in 
employment'' and requires evaluations and performance targets 
``that ensure an immediate focus on measurable outcomes.'' The 
fact is the Secretary of HHS has even further clarified that 
waiver applications must show how a state's proposed changes 
would increase employment of TANF recipients by at least 20 
percent. The fact is the legal authority for the Department of 
Health and Human Services to issue these waivers is 
clear.v The fact is that requests for HHS to 
exercise its waiver authority came from the states, including 
from Republican Governors, yet Republican cries of the rules 
being gamed must mean Governors wish to gut the welfare system, 
despite states having no financial incentive to do so and 
despite Committee Republicans' repeated requests for increased 
state flexibility in a wide range of federal policies. The fact 
is that Republicans have repeatedly voted for an even broader 
waiving of TANF program requirements, including the work 
participation standards. According to the Congressional 
Research Service, that Republican proposal passed the House of 
Representatives three times between 2002 and 2005.vi 
And on June 7, 2012, just weeks before the Obama administration 
announced its waiver process, the House Education and the 
Workforce Committee debated and voted on Republican legislation 
to reauthorize the Workforce Investment Act (WIA), H.R. 4297, a 
bill which allows states to eliminate work participation 
requirements under the TANF program altogether.vii 
The state discretion provided under H.R. 4297 to mix funds and 
ignore program requirements is not surprising: The mantra 
behind H.R. 4297 is state flexibility. So, at the same time 
Republicans continue to repeat widely discredited statements on 
the Obama administration proposal, it was Committee Republicans 
who just voted to eliminate work requirements.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \iv\See, http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ofa/policy/im-ofa/2012/
im201203/im201203.html.
    \v\Congressional Resource Service Memo to Honorable Sander M. 
Levin, September 4, 2012, Authority of the Secretary of HHS to Approve 
Certain Demonstration Programs Pursuant to Section 1115 of the Social 
Security Act.
    \vi\Roll Call Vote #170, May 16, 2002; Roll Call Vote #30, February 
13, 2003; Roll Call Vote #601, November 18, 2005.
    \vii\Congressional Resource Service Memo to the Committee on 
Education and the Workforce, September 12, 2012, State Unified Plan 
Provisions in H.R. 4297.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    While the economy has shown signs of moving in the right 
direction, Committee Democrats believe more must be done to 
help the estimated 23 million unemployed and underemployed 
Americans find and keep jobs that promote self-sufficiency. The 
Administration's proposal that would provide waivers for state 
plans that increase employment by 20 percent or more should not 
be blocked as part of a political campaign. This Congress 
should rise above the campaign advertisements.
    Committee Democrats have repeatedly asked the Majority to 
work together on bipartisan solutions for our country. There is 
an urgent need for Congress to pass legislation such as the 
American Jobs Act to help local communities hire more police, 
firefighters and teachers; modernize, renovate, and repair 
American schools and community colleges; and other job creating 
policies that will keep our economy moving in the right 
direction. Efforts to move portions of that bill were blocked 
by Committee Republicans repeatedly this Congress. Our current 
economy also requires preparing more American workers to 
advance to higher-skilled jobs of the future. Even with a 
stubbornly high unemployment rate, employers currently need to 
fill 3.7 million jobs in high-growth industries such as health 
care that require specific skill sets. Education and training 
investments in our diverse workforce are now more important 
than ever. On its face, the waiver proposal that H.J. 
Resolution 118 would block is intended to give states more 
leeway, for example, in providing opportunities for TANF 
recipients to receive the training they need to obtain and keep 
a job.
    Instead of obstructing the Administration's effort to get 
more Americans employed, we should be working together to move 
the country forward. Committee Democrats therefore reject H.J. 
Resolution 118, recognizing it for the counterproductive 
political stunt that it is. It does not create a single job. It 
does not increase employment. It does nothing to help the lives 
of American families.

                                   George Miller, Senior Democratic 
                                       Member.
                                   Dale E. Kildee.
                                   Bobby C. Scott.
                                   Ruben Hinojosa.
                                   John F. Tierney.
                                   Rush Holt.
                                   Raul M. Grijalva.
                                   Mazie K. Hirono.
                                   Marcia L. Fudge.
                                   Robert E. Andrews.
                                   Lynn Woolsey.
                                   Carolyn McCarthy
                                   Dennis J. Kucinich.
                                   Susan A. Davis.
                                   Timothy H. Bishop.
                                   Jason Altmire.