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Michigan’s Republican Governor On Obama’s Welfare Policy: ‘More Flexibility To Governors Is A Good Thing’

By Annie-Rose Strasser  

"Michigan’s Republican Governor On Obama’s Welfare Policy: ‘More Flexibility To Governors Is A Good Thing’"

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Michigan Governor Rick Snyder

The Romney campaign has aggressively campaigned against President Obama’s recent changes to the welfare program, alleging that he “gutted” welfare, eliminating the work requirement so that “they just send you your check.” In fact, the administration’s welfare waiver initiative would strengthen work requirements by simply empowering states to innovate on new strategies.

And it turns out that at least one Republican governor, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, supports Obama’s policy change. On MSNBC Tuesday afternoon, Tom Brokaw pressed Snyder on how he felt about the increased flexibility Obama gave the states. Snyder’s response was surprisingly positive as he sat in the GOP convention hall waiting to choose Mitt Romney as his party’s nominee:

BROKAW: [Governors] want more flexibility in how they administer these welfare programs. He’s really responding to what they asked for. So my question to you is, has what President Obama done for welfare in the state of Michigan, has that given you more flexibility and are you happy with this policy in that regard?

SNYDER: It’s still relatively new, this change in policy, so we are still fully analyzing it. The concept of more flexibility to governors is a good thing, but I think there should be performance metrics. We should be held accountable for performance but flexibility on how to do it.

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Before it became a policy of the Obama administration, Republicans pushed for more state authority over the welfare program. Additionally, Romney himself is advocating for more state flexibility on other policies, like food stamps, where he would like to block grant money to the states.

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