President Obama has created a firestorm by overturning the work requirements of the popular 1996 welfare-reform law. Now his White House is bristling because Mitt Romney dares to point out that fact on the stump and in a new campaign ad.
Obama’s move is only the latest step in a long history of liberal opposition to work requirements. The Left blocked welfare-reform efforts under both Presidents Nixon and Reagan, for example.
In 1996, a Republican Congress drafted a welfare-reform law — Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) — that for the first time established meaningful work standards for welfare recipients. President Clinton reluctantly signed this legislation.
Ever since, Democratic leaders have attempted — unsuccessfully — to repeal welfare’s work standards, blocking reauthorization of TANF and attempting to weaken the requirements.