The House voted Wednesday to block the Obama administration’s attempt to waive a requirement that people must work or prepare for a job in order to receive federal welfare benefits.
In a 246-181 vote, the House approved the Preserving Work Requirements for Welfare Programs Act. After a partisan floor debate, the bill won the support of 18 Democrats, while three Republicans opposed the GOP bill.
The bill is a reaction to last year’s guidance from the Department of Health and Human Service (HHS), which told states that the so-called welfare-work requirement can be waived.
Republicans criticized the waiver as an attempt to gut what they said was one of the most important pieces of the 1996 welfare reform law. That law turned the federal welfare program into a block grant to states under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program.