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Congressman Bruce Poliquin

Representing the 2nd District of Maine

Rep. Poliquin Supports States’ Authority to Manage Their Own Welfare Programs

February 16, 2017
Press Release
The House measure would rescind a unilaterally implemented rule that restricts states from fully managing their own welfare programs

WASHINGTON – Last night, Congressman Bruce Poliquin (ME-02) voted in favor of a measure to allow states like Maine to have the authority to manage their own welfare programs by striking down a bureaucratically created Obama Administration rule. The Congressman’s vote reflects his efforts in Congress to make important reforms to the Nation’s welfare system. Congressman Poliquin released the following statement:


“Under a misguided and hastily created rule from the Obama Administration, states have been prohibited from managing their own welfare programs,” said Congressman Poliquin. “In Maine, I’ve met and talked with community leaders, law enforcement members and several families across our District and have heard from them about some of the serious problems in our State’s welfare system. It’s important that different states, each with their own unique challenges and conditions, have the ability to implement their own policies regarding their welfare programs.”


In 2016, Congressman Poliquin introduced the Food Stamp Integrity Act of 2016, a bill that would make important reforms to the welfare system to help deter serious fraud and abuse.  The bill would make five major changes to existing federal law.


In 2012, Congress passed the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act, a bill that allowed states to test UI applicants if they lost their job due to drug use, or were seeking a new job that required employees to pass a drug test. The Obama Administration unilaterally issued a rule which effectively prevents states from implementing certain policies they have enacted. The rule contradicts congressional intent and prevents states that choose to drug test or screen applicants from implementing the law. H.J. Res. 42, the measure that passed in the House yesterday, rescinds this Obama Administration rule.


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