Bill Clinton on Welfare & Poverty

Help Low-income Fathers Support their Children

The Administration’s budget proposes $255 million for the first year of a new “Fathers Work/Families Win” initiative to promote responsible fatherhood and support working families, critical next steps in reforming welfare and reducing child poverty. These new competitive grants will be awarded to business-led local and state workforce investment boards who work in partnership with community and faith-based organizations, and agencies administering child support, TANF, food stamps, and Medicaid, thereby connecting low-income fathers and working families to the life-long learning and employment services created under the Workforce Investment Act and delivered through one-stop career centers.

$125 million for new “Fathers Work” grants will help approximately 40,000 low-income non-custodial parents (mainly fathers) work, pay child support, and reconnect with their children.

Source: web site Sep 6, 2000

End welfare as we know it

On August 22, 1996, President Clinton signed the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act, fulfilling his longtime commitment to ‘end welfare as we know it.’ As the President said upon signing, “... this legislation provides an historic opportunity to end welfare as we know it and transform our broken welfare system by promoting the fundamental values of work, responsibility, and family.”

The law contains strong work requirements, performance bonuses to reward states for moving welfare recipients into jobs and reducing illegitimacy, state maintenance of effort requirements, comprehensive child support enforcement, and supports for families moving from welfare to work -- including increased funding for child care. In May 1999, the Department of Health and Human Services released guidance on how states and local governments can use welfare block grant funds to help families move from welfare to work.

Source: web site Sep 6, 2000

Address Homelessness via federal, state, & county govt

President Clinton and Vice President Gore have been committed to helping homeless Americans become more self-sufficient. HUD alone has invested nearly $5 billion in programs to help homeless people since 1993 -- more than three times the investment of the previous Administration. The Continuum of Care approach has helped more than 300,000 homeless people get housing and jobs to become self-sufficient. The Continuum of Care made clear that homelessness was more than simply a housing problem, and focused attention on long-term solutions which included housing as well as job training, drug treatment, mental health services, and domestic violence counseling. The Administration is also proposing to expand access to mainstream health, social services, and employment programs for which the homeless may be eligible through a new $10 million program administered by the Department of Health and Human Services, States, and large counties.
Source: HUD Statement before House Veteran’s Affairs Subcommittee Jun 24, 1999

Welfare-to-work, instead of welfare as a way of life

For 15 years, going back to my service as governor of Arkansas, I have worked to reform welfare, to make it a second chance and not a way of life. As a result, Arkansas became a national leader in reforming a wide range of family and welfare programs. I helped write the 1988 federal welfare reform bill.

[As president], we cut welfare red-tape and approved welfare-to-work programs for 40 states. And it has worked. There are 1.3 million fewer people on welfare today than there were when I took office. Food stamp rolls are down by more than 2 million.

    In 1991, I said we needed to end welfare as we know it. Now, with the passage of new welfare reform legislation, we have an opportunity to establish a new system based on the following principles:
  1. It should be about moving people from welfare to work.
  2. It should impose time limits of welfare benefits.
  3. It should give people the child care and health care assistance they need to move from welfare to work without hurting their children.
Source: Between Hope and History, by Bill Clinton, p. 66-68 Jan 1, 1996

Welfare reform includes states, communities, & businesses

[My proposed welfare reform law] gives states and communities the chance to move people from dependence to independence and greater dignity. But the real work is still to be done. States and communities have to make sure that jobs and child care are there. They can use money that used to go to welfare checks to pay for community service jobs or to give employers wage supplements for several months to encourage them to hire welfare recipients. They should also provide education and training when appropriate and must take care of those who, through no fault of their own, cannot find or do work. These are important new responsibilities not just for welfare recipients, but for states, communities, and businesses. But is welfare reform is to work, all must shoulder their responsibilities.

This reform is just a beginning. We must implement this legislation in a way that truly moves people from welfare to work, and that is good for children. We will be refining this reform for some time to come.

Source: Between Hope and History, by Bill Clinton, p. 69-70 Jan 1, 1996

Other candidates on Welfare & Poverty: Bill Clinton on other issues:
John Ashcroft
Pat Buchanan
George W. Bush
Dick Cheney
Bill Clinton
Hillary Clinton (D,NY)
Elizabeth Dole
Steve Forbes
Rudy Giuliani (R,NYC)
Al Gore
Alan Keyes
John McCain (R,AZ)
Ralph Nader
Ross Perot
Colin Powell
Jesse Ventura (I,MN)

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