Illegal HHS Waivers
On July 12th of this year, the Obama administration’s HHS issued waivers to bypass the work requirement part of the TANF [Temporary Assistance for Needy Families] law. This action is in conflict with the requirements of the law, although some have argued that the law provides certain amount of leeway for the HHS to take such an action.
Upon review of the facts of the situation, the non-partisan GAO (U.S. Government Accountability Office) concluded that HHS is not authorized to issue such waivers without Congressional action. Its report released Sept. 4 concluded:
We find that the July 12 Information Memorandum issued by HHS is a statement of general applicability and future effect, designed to implement, interpret, or prescribe law or policy with regard to TANF. Furthermore, it does not come within any of the exceptions to the definition of rule contained in the CRA. Accordingly, the Information Memorandum is a rule under the Congressional Review Act.
Since HHS acted without legal authorization, this is an example of the lawlessness pervading Washington today. Here is a commentary on this topic.
All is not as it looks.