Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Submitted by: Tony Caputo
RSC Update: The Welfare Reform Act

From the Chairman
Since President Johnson declared a war on poverty in 1964, Americans have spent more than $16 trillion on state and federal welfare programs.  (Watch this video for more information.)  Over the next decade we’re slated to spend another $10 trillion.  Welfare’s chief function should be to help people reach the point where they no longer need it, but even with all these resources put toward assistance for the poor, poverty is actually higher today than it was in the 1970s.

In 1996, House Republicans worked with President Clinton to reform one welfare program, which helped millions of families leave the welfare rolls to provide for themselves again.  Despite this success, national welfare spending has nearly doubled since 1996.  There are currently 77 federal programs that provide assistance specifically to low-income families.  While these programs can offer needed support, they can also trap people into a lifetime of government dependence.

Decades of experience prove we can’t just throw money at the problem of poverty.  We need a smarter approach that promotes self-reliance and acknowledges the interconnected nature of all our anti-poverty programs.  That’s why last week the RSC introduced H.R. 1167, the Welfare Reform Act of 2011.  This bill builds on the reforms of 1996 by requiring food stamp recipients to either work or prepare for a job, helping them to become independent of government assistance.  It also gives taxpayers a clearer picture of national welfare spending and returns the federal welfare budget to pre-recession levels after unemployment falls to 6.5%.  Let’s end this cycle of government dependence.  At the end of the day, the most effective welfare benefit is the one that leads to a job.

God Bless,

Congressman Jim Jordan
Chairman, Republican Study Committee

RSC Media Activity – RSC members work hard to ensure that the conservative viewpoint is well-represented in all corners of the media. Visit our Media Center for more.
·         Rep. Kevin Brady (TX-08): It's Time to Spend Less and Owe Less; The Houston Chronicle, March 13.

·         Rep. Buck McKeon (CA-25): Members Should Listen to Gen. Petraeus; The Hill, March 15.

·         Rep. Phil Gingrey (GA-11): Stop Paying Public Unions to Haggle for More Money; The Washington Times, March 15.

·         Rep. Bill Flores (TX-17): Obama's Energy Policy Running on "E"; The Washington Times, March 16.

·         Rep. Phil Roe (TN-01): Congress Needs Leadership to Finish the 2011 Budget; The Hill, March 16.

RSC Member Activity – RSC members make it a priority to introduce productive, conservative solutions for America’s future.
·         RSC Chairman Jim Jordan (OH-4), Rep. Tim Scott (SC-1), Rep. Scott Garrett (NJ-5), Rep. Dan Burton (IN-5), Rep. Louie Gohmert (TX-1), and Rep. Jason Chaffetz (UT-3) introduced H.R. 1167, the Welfare Reform Act of 2011The bill would require food stamp recipients to either work or prepare for a job, helping them to become independent of government assistance.  

·         Rep. David Schweikert (AZ-05) introduced H.R. 1070, the Small Company Capital Formation Act, to reduce regulation and make it easier for small businesses to be traded on public exchanges like the NYSE or NASDAQ.

·         Rep. Tom Price (GA-06) introduced H.R. 1111, the Decrease Spending Now Act, to rescind $45 billion in unspent federal money.

·         Rep. Jason Chaffetz (UT-03) introduced H.R. 1126, the Disposal of Excess Federal Lands Act, which would responsibly dispose of the nearly 3.3 million acres of land the federal government reported it does not need.

House Floor Activity – The following key legislation came through the House of Representatives recently.
·         On Tuesday, the House passed a second temporary Continuing Resolution (CR), which will fund the government though April 8 and includes $6 billion in additional cuts.

·         On Wednesday, the House passed H.R. 861, the NSP Termination Act, which will end the Neighborhood Stabilization Program and prevent $1 billion obligated by the Dodd-Frank law from being spent.

·         On Thursday, the House passed H.R. 1076, to prohibit federal funding of National Public Radio and the use of federal funds to acquire radio content.

Outlook – A quick look at what’s on the horizon. 
·         With the passing of another temporary CR last week, government funding will continue through April 8. While the House has approved legislation to cut $61 billion and keep the government funded for the rest of the year, Senate Democrats have yet to produce a credible plan of their own. With debates over next year’s budget and the debt ceiling coming soon, Congress should act swiftly to finalize spending levels for the rest of this year.

RSC Reports
·         Each week the House is in session, the RSC Budget and Spending Taskforce compiles a weekly report on the latest budget and spending news. Additionally, the RSC Money Monitor tracks how bills passed by the House affect authorizations, mandatory spending, and federal government revenue.
House Republican Study Committee
Rep. Jim Jordan, Chairman

Paul Teller, Executive Director
Brad Watson, Policy Director
Bruce “Fez” Miller, Professional Policy Staff
Joe Murray, Professional Policy Staff
Curtis Rhyne, Professional Policy Staff
Ja’Ron Smith, Professional Policy Staff
Wesley Goodman, Director of Conservative Coalitions and State Outreach
Yong Choe, Director of Business Outreach and Member Services
Brian Straessle, Communications Director
Ben Miller, Deputy Communications Director
Cyrus Artz, Research Assistant
1524 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
(202) 226-9717


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