VIDEO: Checking the Facts on Obama Administration’s Welfare Waivers

Rob Bluey /

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), a leading critic of the Obama Administration’s decision to gut welfare reform, visited Heritage to¬†“fact check the fact checkers” on the controversial directive from the Department of Health and Human Services. He detailed areas in which self-appointed arbiters have gotten their facts wrong.

Following Hatch’s remarks, panelists including Heritage’s Robert Rector, blogger Mickey Kaus and Kay Hymowitz of the Manhattan Institute, exploreed other areas where the “fact checkers” don’t have their facts right.

Under the Obama Administration’s new policy, announced on July 12, states could receive waivers that would be inconstant with the welfare reform law’s performance measures. Rector, who played an instrumental role in the 1996 law, has argued the waiver policy not only undermines the success these standards helped to bring about, but also violates the letter and intent of the law.

“Gutting welfare work requirements with the stroke of a pen and without congressional input is simply unacceptable and cannot be allowed to stand,” Hatch said in a statement released July 18. “Neither the Obama Administration nor any administration should have the power to unilaterally change the law as it sees fit.”

As a result of the 1996 reforms, stagnant welfare rolls experienced unprecedented declines. Millions of families left welfare for jobs.