MSNBC host calls out Branstad for making false claims about welfare reform

Chuck Todd smacks down Romney surrogate over false welfare claim

By Eric W. Dolan, The Raw Story
Wednesday, August 15, 2012

MSNBC host Chuck Todd and Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad (R) butted heads on Wednesday after Branstad accused President Barack Obama of undermining welfare reform.

“The biggest problem I think a lot of people have is the massive expansion of the food stamp program,” Branstad said. “We have more people on food stamps than ever before. They’ve liberalized the rules and a lot of people think they need to tighten that up — just like we reformed welfare in the 1990s, now the Obama administration is trying to undo the work requirement. We think that we need to, instead of trying to put more people on –”

“Well, wait a minute,” Todd interrupted. “Gov. Branstad, I can’t let that go. They haven’t done that. They haven’t undone the work requirements… Where did you get your information?”

But Branstad insisted it was “absolutely true” that the Obama administration had waived the work requirement in the Temporary Assistant for Needy Families (TANF) program. He said liberals and President Barack Obama had “always hated” the work requirement in the law.

“Every charge that has been leveled about this welfare reform order that this President signed — every accusation that has been leveled by some Republicans have been proven to be not true,” Todd said.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) last month encouraged states to experiment with better ways to administer the TANF program, informing state officials that the department was willing to grant waivers to states that wished to opt-out of provisions of the welfare law.

Romney and other Republicans have claimed that the waivers were an attempt to undermine the welfare program’s work requirement. But PolitiFact rated those claims “Pants on Fire,” noting that the waivers were actually “designed to improve employment outcomes.”

Posted Aug. 17th, 2012 at 3:04 pm by
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