WASHINGTON (AP) -- Welfare is causing a ruckus in the presidential campaign.
But it's not the same program that Ronald Reagan took on in the 1970's, complaining about "welfare queens." Nowadays government cash assistance to the poor is mainly tied to work.
The Obama administration waivers that Mitt Romney says will gut welfare reform are unlikely to reverse that basic policy. That's recognized even by some architects of the 1996 welfare reform law.
Ron Haskins, a former senior GOP aide who helped write the legislation, says waivers can give states some flexibility in administering the program. But Haskins says the administration should have consulted Republicans and gotten their approval before rolling out the proposal.
The Obama administration says it does not want to waive work requirements but instead mainly federal administrative rules.