WALORSKI: Dems Punt on & Worsen Broken Forever Programs with $3.5 Trillion Welfare Expansion

September 10, 2021 — Blog    — Markup    — Press Releases    — Worker and Family Support   

Democrats’ $3.5 trillion massive expansion of the welfare state will devastate our jobs recovery and fail our most vulnerable families and children, top Republican of the Ways and Means Worker and Family Support Subcommittee Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-IN) warned.

Rep. Walorski said:

“I want to remind my colleagues on the other side of the aisle that American taxpayers already fund a social safety net to the tune of more than 80 programs and $1 trillion every year.
 
“All these new programs and expansions are just piled on top of a broken, fragmented system that is already failing our most vulnerable families and children.
 
“But instead of doing the hard work to streamline, modernize and re-design our existing safety net, Democrats want us to double down on broken forever programs.”


CLICK HERE to watch Rep. Walorski’s remarks.

CLICK HERE to watch the full hearing.

KEY BACKGROUND:

Struggling families need good paying jobs, not endless government checks.

  • After the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (2017), real wages grew 4.9 percent, the fastest two-year growth in real wages in 20 years.
  • Incomes for black, Hispanic, and Asian Americans saw record increases and unemployment fell to all-time lows under TCJA.
  • More than 6 million people were lifted out of poverty, and the poverty rate fell to 10.5 percent, the lowest level in U.S. history.
  • Democrats’ corporate tax increases would reverse these gains, resulting in slower growth, fewer jobs, and lower wages.

READ: Democrats’ Reckless Tax and Spend Agenda Puts American Jobs on the Line

The last thing Americans need is higher taxes to pay for Democrats’ untargeted welfare-without-work policies.

  • We’re already seeing the consequences of Biden’s economic blunders: cash-strapped families are falling behind as real wages decline.
  • With more than 10 million job openings, and far too many Americans on the sidelines, the families who are hurting the most need good-paying jobs.

READ: Walorski: The Dignity of Work Uplifts Families

Rep. Waloski’s opening statement as prepared for delivery appear below.

Thank you, Chairman. 

As part of their $3.5 trillion expansion of the welfare state, Democrats want to quadruple funding for a program that has proven to be ineffective at helping low-income individuals find jobs. 

I want to remind my colleagues on the other side of the aisle that American taxpayers already fund a social safety net to the tune of more than 80 programs and $1 trillion every year. 

All these new programs and expansions are just piled on top of a broken, fragmented system that is already failing our most vulnerable families and children. 

But instead of doing the hard work to streamline, modernize and re-design our existing safety net, Democrats want us to double down on broken forever programs.

We know from rigorous evaluations that the Health Profession Opportunity Grants program has little to no impact on the earnings or employment participants.

A 10-year, $100 million “gold standard” randomized control trial evaluation conducted by HHS found no evidence of the program’s impact on recipient earnings or employment. 

A November 2019 report issued by the HHS Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation looked at outcomes of participants three years after completion. The report found: ‘The HPOG logic model suggests the training and services provided by HPOG should produce earnings gains for participants. However, despite the increase in training completion…we found no evidence of earnings impacts in the three years after random assignment.’ 

Now, as typical, Democrats want to quadruple funding for an ineffective program. Now is not the time to massively expand programs that fail to demonstrate measurable results. 

I am a strong believer in evaluation and building evidence to help ensure federal taxpayer dollars are invested as effectively as possible to improve outcomes for children and families.

As a Committee, we have worked together on a bipartisan basis to introduce evidence-based policymaking into child welfare programs – creating the Families First Evidence-Based Clearinghouse and providing federal funding for programs with proven results, such as the Maternal, Infant, Early Childhood Home Visiting program. 

This summer, I visited the South Bend Family and Children’s Center to meet with families firsthand, as well as with the caseworkers working on the frontlines. Through the voluntary home visiting services offered through the MIECHV program, case managers – who I call the first responders of social work – provide tools to children and families during critical early years that will set up our kids for future success. 

In my district and across the country, families are experiencing the lifesaving results of this program every day. This program proves that connecting children and adults in need with compassionate human support will uplift families and change lives. 

As good stewards of taxpayer funds, we should be working on funding programs that are producing results, such as MIECHV. 

I’m also concerned about the duplication HPOG has with other existing workforce programs. States have the ability to use TANF funds for similar activities targeted at the same population. 

HHS also operates a Health Career Opportunity Program (HCOP) focused on disadvantaged populations, called HCOPs.

Additionally, the Department of Labor runs a rural health professions program. We should make sure all of these programs are aligned and not duplicative.

Republicans support funding what works and backing evidence-based programs that produce meaningful results for vulnerable populations. 

As leaders, we should be seeking to align funding with the pursuit of measurable goals that will strengthen communities and accelerate opportunity for the most disadvantaged communities – not doubling down on failed programs. 

With that I yield back.