-By Warner Todd Huston
On Sept. 4, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) made a startling assertion saying that Obama circumvented the law when he summarily waived the work requirements in the welfare law. Perhaps not as shocking, to date, few news outlets seem interested in the story.
In its Sept. 4 letter, the GAO found that Health and Human Services (HHS) should have formally submitted a letter of its intent to make the changes to Congress and the Comptroller General before any waivers can be legally issued.
The letter also said that the GAO had not determined if HHS had the legal right to even make such waivers available. The GAO is basically saying that the Obama administration is breaking the law with its waivers.
But, according to a review of the shocking news of the GAO’s determination, neither CNN, nor CBS, nor ABC have bothered to report the story.
For their part, Republicans and GOP nominee Mitt Romney have maintained that Obama’s gutting of the work requirements in the welfare law was an illicit move.
Former U.S. Representative Ron Haskins, who helped pass the work requirements back in 1996, feels that Obama acted improperly by summarily changing the rules without going through Congress saying, “But [HHS] didn’t even consult with the Republicans. They knew the spirit of the law, and they violated that.”
Ways and Means Committee Chairman, Representative Dave Camp, agrees with Haskins. Camp says that the move was an “end run” around Congress.
Obama, however, has defended his move even going so far as to claim that it was several Republican Governors that requested the change.
At least one governor refuted the claim, though, saying his office was only asking what the rules were for waivers but that he had yet to actually request any.