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-House Defeats Democratic Welfare Reform Substitute<br>-House Reauthorizes, Toughens Successful 1996 Welfare Reform

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Roll Calls: House Defeats Dems’ Welfare Substitute, Reauthorizes Successful Reform

-House Defeats Democratic Welfare Reform Substitute
-House Reauthorizes, Toughens Successful 1996 Welfare Reform

ROLL CALL:
House Defeats Democratic Welfare Reform Substitute

On February 13, by a vote of 124 to 300, the House rejected a Democratic version of welfare reform proposed by ultra-liberal Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D.-Ohio).

Kucinich argued that his substitute “guarantees child care to TANF [Temporary Assistance to Needy Families] recipients who are engaged in a work activity and for two years to those who leave TANF if their income is below 250% of poverty.”

This extra benefit, costing $20 billion, would be paid for not by Kucinich, but by middle-class families, already forced to work two jobs just to care for their own children, their federal, state and local tax burdens.

Those families, however, would not be eligible for the government freebies proposed by Kucinich and supported by most House Democrats.

Republicans argued in favor of the Republican welfare reform extension that eventually passed. (See rollcall at right.) They pointed out that extra free government money will serve only to fuel a vicious cycle of government dependency, laziness and demoralization.

Rep. Maxine Waters (D.-Tex.) admitted that the 1996 welfare reform-which moved nine million families off welfare and into new jobs-had some good effects, but only because Bill Clinton was President when it was enacted. “The opportunity for welfare recipients did increase in the 1990s when the Clinton Administration created an economic boom,” she said. She then went on to complain about the five-year lifetime limit set on benefits in the original 1996 reform bill. “Those people who have been on for five years and they have to come off, we are dumping them out into an economy where we do not have jobs for them,” she said.

She did not explain why, after living off the government for five full years, these recipients had not been able to find a job even “when the Clinton Administration created an economic boom.”

Waters then appeared to have a temporary conversion to federalism, expressing concern that the Republican bill did not allow states to spend billions of extra federal dollars to give welfare recipients free benefits not available to the working public. The Democratic substitute, she argued, “would allow for state flexibility to tailor services to help welfare recipients move into employment,” she said. “I am very concerned about having state flexibility because we are in a time of high unemployment and it does not seem to be getting any better.”

Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R.-Tex.), gave a more sober evaluation of Kucinich’s bill, arguing that it “would turn back the clock to a fundamentally flawed approach that substitutes access to benefits for work. It is preaching a lie. It is a one-size-fits-all, top-down, big-government, budget-busting boondoggle that forgets every fundamental lesson learned over the last 40 years. It places the institutional appetites of the welfare bureaucracy and the political instincts of the left over the squelched hopes and aspirations of dependent Americans.”

“The Democrat approach, he added, “leaves them mired in perpetual dependency with only the program to cling to.”

A “yes” vote was a vote for the Democratic alternative welfare reform bill that would weaken the reform measure passed in 1996. A “no” vote was a vote against the Democratic bill.

FOR THE AMENDMENT: 124

REPUBLICANS FOR (0)

DEMOCRATS FOR (123): Abercrombie, Ackerman, Andrews, Baca, Baldwin, Balance, Becerra, Berman, Bishop (GA), Bishop (NY), Blumenauer, Boswell, Boucher, Brady (PA), Brown, Corrine, Brown (OH), Capps, Capuano, Carson (IN), Case, Clay, Clyburn, Costello, Crowley, Cummings, Davis (AL), Davis (IL), DeFazio, DeGette, Delahunt, DeLauro, Dingell, Doyle, Engel, Eshoo, Evans, Farr, Fattah, Filner, Frank (MA), Grijalva, Gutierrez, Hastings (FL), Hinchey, Hinojosa, Hoeffel, Holt, Honda, Jackson (IL), Jackson-Lee (TX), Jefferson, Johnson, E. B., Jones (OH), Kaptur, Kennedy (RI), Kildee, Kilpatrick, Kleczka, Kucinich, Lantos, Larson (CT), Lee, Lewis (GA), Lofgren, Lowey, Majette, Maloney, Markey, Matsui, McCollum, McDermott, McGovern, McNulty, Meehan, Meek (FL), Meeks (NY), Menendez, Miller, George, Mollohan, Nadler, Napolitano, Neal (MA), Oberstar, Obey, Olver, Owens, Pallone, Pascrell, Pastor, Payne, Pelosi, Rahall, Rangel, Rodriguez, Roybal-Allard, Rush, Ryan (OH), Sabo, Sanchez,, Linda, Schakowsky, Scott (GA), Scott (VA), Serrano, Sherman, Slaughter, Solis, Stark, Strickland, Thompson (MS), Tierney, Towns, Udall (NM), Van Hollen, Velazquez, Visclosky, Waters, Watson, Watt, Waxman, Weiner, Wexler, Woolsey, Wynn

INDEPENDENTS FOR (1): Sanders

AGAINST THE AMENDMENT: 300

REPUBLICANS AGAINST (222): Aderholt, Akin, Bachus, Baker, Ballenger, Barrett (SC), Bartlett (MD), Barton (TX), Bass, Beauprez, Bereuter, Biggert, Bilirakis, Bishop (UT), Blackburn, Blunt, Boehlert, Boehner, Bonilla, Bonner, Bono, Boozman, Bradley (NH), Brady (TX), Brown (SC), Brown-Waite, V., Burgess, Burns, Burr, Burton (IN), Buyer, Calvert, Camp, Cannon, Cantor, Capito, Carter, Castle, Chabot, Chocola, Coble, Cole, Collins, Cox, Crane, Culberson, Cunningham, Davis, Jo Ann, Davis, Tom, Deal (GA), DeLay, DeMint, Diaz-Balart, L., Diaz-Balart, M., Doolittle, Dreier, Duncan, Dunn, Ehlers, Emerson, English, Everett, Feeney, Flake, Fletcher, Foley, Forbes, Fossella, Franks (AZ), Frelinghuysen, Gallegly, Garrett (NJ), Gerlach, Gibbons, Gilchrest, Gillmor, Gingrey, Goode, Goodlatte, Goss, Granger, Graves, Green (WI), Greenwood, Gutknecht, Harris, Hart, Hastings (WA), Hayes, Hayworth, Hefley, Hensarling, Herger, Hobson, Hoekstra, Hostettler, Houghton, Hulshof, Hunter, Hyde, Isakson, Issa, Istook, Janklow, Jenkins, Johnson, Sam, Johnson (CT), Johnson (IL), Jones (NC), Keller, Kelly, Kennedy (MN), King (IA), King (NY), Kingston, Kirk, Kline, Knollenberg, Kolbe, LaHood, Latham, LaTourette, Leach, Lewis (CA), Lewis (KY), Linder, LoBiondo, Lucas (OK), Manzullo, McCotter, McCrery, McHugh, McInnis, McKeon, Miller, Gary, Miller (FL), Miller (MI), Moran (KS), Murphy, Musgrave, Myrick, Nethercutt, Ney, Northup, Norwood, Nunes, Nussle, Osborne, Ose, Otter, Oxley, Paul, Pearce, Pence, Peterson (PA), Petri, Pickering, Pitts, Platts, Pombo, Porter, Portman, Pryce (OH), Putnam, Quinn, Radanovich, Ramstad, Regula, Rehberg, Renzi, Reynolds, Rogers (AL), Rogers (KY), Rogers (MI), Rohrabacher, Ros-Lehtinen, Royce, Ryan (WI), Ryun (KS), Saxton, Schrock, Sensenbrenner, Sessions, Shadegg, Shaw, Shays, Sherwood, Shimkus, Shuster, Simmons, Simpson, Smith (MI), Smith (NJ), Smith (TX), Souder, Stearns, Sullivan, Sweeney, Tancredo, Tauzin, Taylor (NC), Terry, Thomas, Thornberry, Tiahrt, Toomey, Turner (OH), Upton, Vitter, Walden (OR), Walsh, Wamp, Weldon (FL), Weldon (PA), Weller, Whitfield, Wicker, Wilson (NM), Wilson (SC), Wolf, Young (AK), Young (FL)

DEMOCRATS AGAINST (78): Alexander, Baird, Bell, Berkley, Berry, Boyd, Cardin, Cardoza, Carson (OK), Cooper, Cramer, Davis (CA), Davis (FL), Davis (TN), Deutsch, Dicks, Doggett, Dooley (CA), Edwards, Emanuel, Etheridge, Ford, Frost, Gonzalez, Gordon, Green (TX), Hall, Harman, Hill, Holden, Hooley (OR), Hoyer, Inslee, Israel, John, Kanjorski, Kind, Lampson, Langevin, Larsen (WA), Levin, Lipinski, Lucas (KY), Lynch, Marshall, Matheson, McCarthy (MO), McCarthy (NY), McIntyre, Michaud, Millender-McDonald, Miller (NC), Moore, Moran (VA), Murtha, Ortiz, Peterson (MN), Pomeroy, Price (NC), Reyes, Ross, Rothman, Ruppersberger, Sandlin, Schiff, Skelton, Smith (WA), Snyder, Spratt, Stenholm, Stupak, Tanner, Tauscher, Taylor (MS), Thompson (CA), Turner (TX), Udall (CO), Wu

NOT VOTING: 10

REPUBLICANS (6): Combest , Crenshaw, Cubin, Ferguson , Mica, Tiberi

DEMOCRATS (4): Allen , Sanchez, Loretta , Conyers , Gephardt

ROLL CALL:
House Reauthorizes, Toughens Successful 1996 Welfare Reform

On Feb. 13, 2003, by a vote of 230 to 192, the House passed a bill (HR 4) extending the basic federal welfare reform of 1996, but with new, stricter rules requiring welfare recipients to work for their paychecks.

The vote was almost exactly along party lines, with only two conservative Republican stalwarts-Rep. John Hostettler (R.-Ind.) and Rep. Ron Paul (R.-Tex.)-voting “no” in opposition to welfare in principle.

Prior to 1996, many welfare recipients had the option of getting taxpayer money while remaining completely idle. Many liberals predicted during the 1990s that an end to this system would cause mass starvation in America. But Rep. Deborah Pryce (R.-Ohio) noted that the liberals were wrong.

“There were claims that the landmark plan would drive poor families into the streets,” she said. “There were shouts that children would be left starving, and cries that single mothers would be forced to neglect their families. . . . The predictions of doom and gloom have not been realized,” said Pryce.. “Quite to the contrary, welfare caseloads have fallen from 14 million to 5 million. Over 3 million children have been lifted out of poverty. Black child poverty rates have hit a record low, and the poverty rate among Hispanics has seen its largest decrease in history. In addition to these tremendous statistics, perhaps the biggest achievement of welfare reform is the way in which these reforms have promoted self-sufficiency and empowered so many men and women.”

Although no one spoke up to defend the old welfare system, House Democrats objected to several aspects of the Republican plan-including the requirement that recipients actually work 24 hours each week for their paycheck-claiming they were unfair and harsh.

“Too many people are drowning in a sea of poverty,” said Rep. Louise Slaughter (D.-N.Y.). “Welfare-to-Work should not merely toss the poorest Americans a life preserver to help them float along, with their heads barely above the poverty level.”

Slaughter and others argued that the work requirements were too strict for people who might want to attend educational institutions while collecting welfare checks. They also said that the Republican bill did not provide enough funding for welfare recipients to put their children into institutional day care on the taxpayers’ dime during the workday. These Democrats supported a Democratic substitute to weaken welfare reform that was rejected by the House. (See rollcall at left.)

Rep. Stephanie Tubbs-Jones (D.-Ohio), opposing the GOP bill, painted a bleak picture. “We are in the worst economic times since World War II,” she said. “Every city, every county, every state is laying off workers. I just read a story in the New York Times this morning about layoffs, so to say this is a great time to talk about moving from welfare to work is ridiculous.”

A “yes” vote was a vote to extend and strengthen the provisions of the 1996 welfare reform bill. A “no” vote was a vote against the bill.

FOR THE BILL: 230

REPUBLICANS FOR (219): Aderholt, Akin, Bachus, Baker, Ballenger, Barrett (SC), Bartlett (MD), Barton (TX), Bass, Beauprez, Bereuter, Biggert, Bilirakis, Bishop (UT), Blackburn, Blunt, Boehlert, Boehner, Bonilla, Bonner, Bono, Boozman, Bradley (NH), Brady (TX), Brown (SC), Brown-Waite, V., Burgess, Burns, Burr, Burton (IN), Buyer, Calvert, Camp, Cannon, Cantor, Capito, Carter, Castle, Chabot, Chocola, Coble, Cole, Cox, Crane, Crenshaw, Culberson, Cunningham, Davis, Jo Ann, Davis, Tom, Deal (GA), DeLay, DeMint, Diaz-Balart, L., Diaz-Balart, M., Doolittle, Dreier, Duncan, Dunn, Ehlers, Emerson, English, Feeney, Flake, Fletcher, Foley, Forbes, Fossella, Franks (AZ), Frelinghuysen, Gallegly, Garrett (NJ), Gerlach, Gibbons, Gilchrest, Gillmor, Gingrey, Goode, Goodlatte, Goss, Granger, Graves, Green (WI), Greenwood, Gutknecht, Harris, Hart, Hastert, Hastings (WA), Hayes, Hayworth, Hefley, Hensarling, Herger, Hobson, Hoekstra, Houghton, Hulshof, Hunter, Hyde, Isakson, Issa, Istook, Janklow, Jenkins, Johnson, Sam, Johnson (CT), Johnson (IL), Jones (NC), Keller, Kelly, Kennedy (MN), King (IA), King (NY), Kingston, Kirk, Kline, Knollenberg, Kolbe, LaHood, Latham, LaTourette, Leach, Lewis (CA), Lewis (KY), Linder, LoBiondo, Lucas (OK), Manzullo, McCotter, McCrery, McHugh, McInnis, McKeon, Mica, Miller, Gary, Miller (FL), Miller (MI), Moran (KS), Murphy, Musgrave, Myrick, Nethercutt, Ney, Northup, Norwood, Nunes, Nussle, Osborne, Ose, Otter, Oxley, Pearce, Pence, Peterson (PA), Petri, Pickering, Pitts, Platts, Pombo, Porter, Portman, Pryce (OH), Putnam, Quinn, Radanovich, Ramstad, Regula, Rehberg, Renzi, Reynolds, Rogers (AL), Rogers (KY), Rogers (MI), Rohrabacher, Ros-Lehtinen, Royce, Ryan (WI), Ryun (KS), Saxton, Schrock, Sensenbrenner, Sessions, Shadegg, Shaw, Shays, Sherwood, Shimkus, Shuster, Simmons, Simpson, Smith (MI), Smith (NJ), Smith (TX), Souder, Stearns, Sullivan, Sweeney, Tancredo, Tauzin, Taylor (NC), Terry, Thomas, Thornberry, Tiahrt, Toomey, Turner (OH), Upton, Vitter, Walden (OR), Walsh, Wamp, Weldon (FL), Weller, Whitfield, Wicker, Wilson (NM), Wolf, Young (AK), Young (FL)

DEMOCRATS FOR (11): Boyd, Cramer, Edwards, Hall, Holden, Lipinski, Lucas (KY), Marshall, Pomeroy, Taylor (MS), Wu

AGAINST THE BILL:

REPUBLICANS AGAINST (2): Hostettler, Paul

DEMOCRATS AGAINST (189): Abercrombie, Ackerman, Alexander, Andrews, Baca, Baird, Baldwin, Balance, Becerra, Bell, Berkley, Berman, Berry, Bishop (GA), Bishop (NY), Blumenauer, Boswell, Boucher, Brady (PA), Brown, Corrine, Brown (OH), Capps, Cardin, Cardoza, Carson (IN), Carson (OK), Case, Clay, Clyburn, Conyers, Cooper, Costello, Crowley, Cummings, Davis (AL), Davis (CA), Davis (FL), Davis (IL), Davis (TN), DeFazio, DeGette, Delahunt, DeLauro, Deutsch, Dicks, Dingell, Doggett, Dooley (CA), Doyle, Emanuel, Engel, Eshoo, Etheridge, Evans, Farr, Fattah, Filner, Ford, Frank (MA), Frost, Gephardt, Gonzalez, Gordon, Green (TX), Grijalva, Gutierrez, Harman, Hastings (FL), Hill, Hinchey, Hinojosa, Hoeffel, Holt, Honda, Hooley (OR), Hoyer, Inslee, Israel, Jackson (IL), Jackson-Lee (TX), Jefferson, John, Johnson, E. B., Jones (OH), Kanjorski, Kaptur, Kennedy (RI), Kildee, Kilpatrick, Kind, Kleczka, Kucinich, Lampson, Langevin, Lantos, Larsen (WA), Larson (CT), Lee, Levin, Lewis (GA), Lofgren, Lowey, Lynch, Majette, Maloney, Markey, Matheson, Matsui, McCarthy (MO), McCarthy (NY), McCollum, McDermott, McGovern, McIntyre, McNulty, Meehan, Meek (FL), Meeks (NY), Menendez, Michaud, Millender-McDonald, Miller, George, Miller (NC), Mollohan, Moore, Moran (VA), Murtha, Nadler, Napolitano, Neal (MA), Oberstar, Obey, Olver, Ortiz, Owens, Pallone, Pastor, Pelosi, Peterson (MN), Price (NC), Rahall, Rangel, Reyes, Rodriguez, Ross, Rothman, Roybal-Allard, Ruppersberger, Rush, Ryan (OH), Sabo, Sanchez, Linda, Sandlin, Schakowsky, Schiff, Scott (GA), Scott (VA), Serrano, Sherman, Skelton, Slaughter, Smith (WA), Snyder, Solis, Spratt, Stark, Stenholm, Strickland, Stupak, Tanner, Tauscher, Thompson (CA), Thompson (MS), Tierney, Towns, Turner (TX), Udall (CO), Udall (NM), Van Hollen, Velazquez, Visclosky, Waters, Watson, Watt, Waxman, Weiner, Wexler, Woolsey, Wynn

INDEPENDENTS AGAINST (1): Sanders

NOT VOTING: 13

REPUBLICANS (8): Collins, Combest, Cubin, Everett, Ferguson, Tiberi, Weldon (PA), Wilson (SC)

DEMOCRATS (5): Allen, Capuano, Pascrell, Payne, Sanchez, Loretta

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