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Told -- earlier welfare is the latest ground zero in the scorched earth presidential campaign.
Tonight chief national correspondent Jim Angle looks at the facts and the fiction surrounding proposals to change the system.
Republicans in the house and senate have introduced legislation to prevent the Obama administration from using waivers to reduce the work requirements of the welfare reform law President Clinton signed in 1996.
Just unilaterally say they're gonna wave of -- roll which is sort of a large part of what made the 1996 -- -- success.
You know that's not right.
It's also not legal says a former HHS secretary who argued the administration doesn't have the authority to issues such waivers.
There's -- all our opportunity to -- but I think somebody.
Is definitely gonna bring a lawsuit and -- nobody else's and I well.
What started all this with -- July 12 memorandum from health and human services in which HHS claimed it had the quote.
Authority to waive compliance and allow states to try other methods including quote definitions of work activities.
The memo went on to say HHS would only approve waivers that led to more people going to work.
But conservative lawmakers are extremely skeptical in part because they see the president and -- -- trying to -- powers reserved for congress.
There's a disturbing pattern of two things that have occurred and that is an increased dependency on the federal government.
And then an increasing power of the that the president of the central government the recent dispute over advertising food -- only increase the skepticism over dependency.
Spokesman Jay Carney though justifies -- HHS actions saying they were response to requests from some governors and just last year.
States led by Democrats and Republicans including Nevada and -- Call for these waivers you jaws request for away were however was limited to flexibility on the many reporting requirement not the -- mandate itself.
And a letter from governor Herbert questioned whether HHS could act on its own.
Saying quote you -- understood that HHS did not have waiver authority the reauthorization.
Of the welfare reform law is two years overdue so many lawmakers say if flexibility is needed congress is the -- ago.
The president who wants to make changes -- administration has better ideas on how to administrate this this area -- this program they're welcome to come through congress.
Secretary Sebelius wrote -- -- she would not accept any changes that undercut the work requirement lawmakers say if that's true then why -- the department argue in the first place it could -- work requirements.
-- I -- more on this -- the panel thank you.
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