The 1996 welfare reform package has been widely hailed as one of the most successful bipartisan policy achievements in recent history. Perhaps welfare reform’s greatest success is that it serves as an example of how to encourage prosperity by putting people first. By encouraging self-reliance, this historic bipartisan agreement helped to increase the number of Americans gainfully employed and independent of government.

Apparently not everyone thinks that’s a good thing. In the Democrats’ ongoing effort to expand the welfare state, they included a provision in the so-called "stimulus" bill that creates a slush fund rigged in favor of increasing welfare caseloads. This is an incentive for a return to dependence. 

In response, Rep. Jim Jordan and I recently introduced H.R. 1277, the Welfare Reform Restoration Act. Our initiative will continue the progress that’s been made by preserving the original 1996 reforms. Now is no time to end a successful, common-sense approach in the name of expanding the welfare state.

Americans are looking for solutions that increase opportunity and reduce the role of government. Our legislation is an important, positive step in the right direction.