The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

March 15, 2013

Congress: How they voted: Minimum wages, welfare, job programs



The policy allows states to try innovative strategies for moving individuals from Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) to work so long as the result is a higher percentage of welfare recipients finding jobs. Republicans say the policy would weaken the law, while Democrats say it would increase hiring.

Dave Camp, R-Mich., termed it "critical that our laws both foster job creation (and) ensure welfare is always a pathway to work."

Sander Levin, D-Mich., called the bill "a pure fabrication" of the facts of administration's welfare-to-work policy.

A yes vote was to send the bill to the Senate.

Voting yes: Kline, Paulsen, Bachmann, Peterson 

Voting no:  Walz, McCollum, Ellison, Nolan



Voting 45 for and 52 against, the Senate on March 13 defeated a bid to repeal the Affordable Care Act until such time as the U.S. economy returns to annual growth in the range of 3-to-5 percent.

Economic growth was essentially flat in the fourth quarter of 2012 after reaching an annual rate of 3.1 percent in the third quarter. This amendment was offered to a bill (HR 933) still in debate that would fund the government between March 27 and Oct. 1 at an annual rate of $1.043 trillion.

Amendment sponsor Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said: "Obamacare includes more than 20 tax increases" and "will raise $1 trillion in taxes -- that's $1 trillion in the private sector that is not going to be available to hire new workers. Job losses in just the medical device industry...could total as many as 47,100, or 10 percent of...industry employment."

Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, said: "I wonder if (Cruz) saw the last election....The presidential candidate of the Republican Party said he wanted to repeal the Affordable Care Act. He lost. President Obama, who initiated this and signed it into law, he won, quite convincingly. So the American people basically said, it's time to move on with the Affordable Care Act."

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