Romney Campaign Has Selective Memory About Welfare Waivers

Basis for Latest Attack Ad Is Something He Once Supported

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A new ad from the Mitt Romney campaign charges that President Barack Obama is gutting welfare reform by considering waivers to states to give them more flexibility in the federal welfare-to-work program. It's a striking ad on a hot topic -- and one that aims not only at Republicans but at certain Democrats and independents who have fond memories of Bill Clinton.

The problem with the ad? As the Obama campaign noted back in July when The Heritage Foundation first made the charges, recent request for waivers have come from Republican governors. Further, as governor of Massachusetts, Romney in 2005 "joined other Republican governors in a letter ... urging the Senate to move quickly on 'increased waiver authority' for the welfare program."

Granted, the Department of Health and Human Services could go on a waiver spree, but as ABC reports, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius wrote in a July 18 letter to Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, that she will not approve any plans to weaken work requirements:

"Our goal is to accelerate job placement by moving more Americans from welfare to work, and no policy which undercuts the goal and waters down work requirements will be considered or approved by the Department." States must demonstrate that their programs move 20 percent more people from welfare to work, compared to past state programs, Sebelius wrote.
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