The HillTube

New Romney campaign ad says Obama ‘quietly gutted’ welfare reform

Mitt Romney’s campaign and the Republican National Committee released a television ad on Monday saying President Obama had “quietly gutted” the welfare reforms Washington enacted in the 1990s. 

“In 1996, President Clinton and a bipartisan Congress helped end welfare as we know it by requiring work for welfare,” the ad says. “But on July 12, President Obama quietly announced a plan to gut welfare reform by dropping work requirements.”

ADVERTISEMENT
Republicans blasted President Obama earlier this year after the administration made a quiet policy change that could affect how states administer welfare.

The new policy allows states to test new approaches for boosting employment among low-income families through federal waivers that do away with the work requirement. States, however, would lose the waivers if they’re unable to prove that their methods are effective.

“Under Obama’s plan, you wouldn’t have to work and wouldn’t have to train for a job,” the ad continues. “They just send you your welfare check. And welfare-to-work goes back to being plain old welfare.

“Mitt Romney will restore the work requirement because it works,” the ad concludes.

Republicans say the Obama changes incentivize citizens to remain dependent on welfare, but Democrats argue some states — including those controlled by Republicans — have requested more flexibility with the program.

On Tuesday, the Obama campaign posted a letter on its website signed by Romney and 28 other governors from both parties asking for “increased waiver authority” for their states.

The letter was also signed by GOP heavyweights such as Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R), former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R), former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R), and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R).

The Romney campaign did not respond to an email request for the size of the ad buy or where the ad would be running.

— This story was updated at 11:31 a.m.

More in House

House conservatives push McConnell to gut filibuster

Read more »