One of the major issues over the last month of the Presidential campaign is the notion of welfare reform. Earlier this year, after demands from a number of Republican senators, Obama gave states more flexibility to find ways to get individuals off government assistance into jobs.
His administration in July issued a letter to state governments saying that the Department of Health and Human Services would consider requests from states to experiment with new ways to fulfill the work requirements. The letter said that in order to receive waivers to carry out the experiments, states would have to show that their plans would move more welfare recipients into jobs than existing policies.
However, as a result of this action, the Romney campaign ran an ad stating:
"President Obama quietly announced a plan to gut welfare reform by dropping the work requirement. Under Obama’s plan, you wouldn’t have to work and wouldn’t have to train for a job. They just send you a welfare check. And welfare-to-work goes back to being plain old welfare."It was front and center in former Sen. Rick Santorum's convention speech last night: “This summer he showed us once again he believes in government handouts and dependency by waiving the work requirement for welfare,” Santorum said, referring to Obama.
Ignoring the point that virtually every fact checking organization has argued this claim is false (ex. "Four Pinocchios" "Pants on Fire"), or that 5 ads have been produced thus far with his same theme, here are the unasked questions I'd like answered:
- Which one of the 29 current Republican Governors is asking Obama for a waiver to drop the work requirement so that their state residents can get that welfare check? Gov. Walker of Wisconsin? Gov. Christie of New Jersey? Gov. Scott of Florida? Gov. Snyder of Michigan? Gov. Kasich of Ohio?
- Which one of the 20 current Democratic Governors is asking Obama for a waiver to drop the work requirement so that their state residents can get that welfare check?
- Is Independent Gov. Chafee of Rhode Island asking for a waiver to make it easier for Rhode Island citizens to get a welfare check?