Heinrich and Lujan Vote Against Preserving Welfare Work Requirements, Pearce Votes in Favor

Two of New Mexico's three Congressman voted against a proposal that would retain work incentives for people drawing welfare at taxpayer expense. Martin Heinrich and Ben Ray Lujan cast votes in support of a new rule made by the Obama Administration that severely rolls back work-oriented welfare reforms passed under President Bill Clinton. Only N.M. Congressman Steve Pearce voted to maintain those work incentives.
Pearce issued the following statement yesterday:
“On July 12, 2012, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a rule that waived the work requirements included within the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. HHS’s action to circumvent Congressional authority is a clear example of this Administration’s blatant efforts to promote their own agenda, not the bipartisan reforms to our nation’s welfare programs Congress enacted.
Steve Pearce
“As families across America struggle in this troubling economic climate, many have turned to government assistance as a way to make ends meet. However, this essential lifeline for those who have fallen on hard times must be just that, a lifeline, not a way of life. TANF’s work requirements have successfully helped so many make unfortunate circumstances merely a speed bump in their lives. However, in order to help pay for this lifeline, hard working Americans are struggling every day to pay taxes and bills – while jobs go unfilled. In the last two years, my office has held seven jobs fairs, where employers offering hundreds of jobs cannot find employees to fill the positions. If a person can work, they should.
“Removing this requirement does nothing to help the unemployed and underemployed get back on their feet and move away from government assistance.” The House of Representatives passed H.J.Res.118 by a final vote of 250 to 164 on September 20, 2012.