President Barack Obama (Courtesy of the White House)

[ABC News]

After the Obama administration announced this week that it is opening up waivers to states from the work requirements contained in welfare reform, Republicans began to speak out against the move, complaining it completely undercuts the law.

“The success of bipartisan welfare reform, passed under President Clinton, has rested on the obligation of work,” Gov. Mitt Romney wrote in a statement Friday. “The president’s action is completely misdirected. Work is a dignified endeavor, and the linkage of work and welfare is essential to prevent welfare from becoming a way of life.”

Under the 1996 law, able-bodied adults have been required to work, seek employment, take classes, or undergo drug and alcohol counseling in exchange for taxpayer-funded payments known as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, or TANF. About four million Americans currently receive TANF payments.

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