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Bob Dole on Welfare & Poverty

Former Republican Senator (KS)


1996: Better to have some reform than wait for perfection

Reform would raise all the questions about the relationship of the federal government to the states. How much should be controlled by the federal government? Was basic uniformity desirable? How much should the states decide? The House Republicans wanted to convert the entire program to block grant to the states and let them largely decide what to do with the money.

Dole thought that he might have some leverage now. He realized that many Republicans thought it was better to come up with a welfare bill that Clinton vetoed. Then the Republicans would have the issue. But in Dole's view it was better to have welfare reform. He didn't mention Clinton's secret proposition to anyone on his staff or in the Senate, but went to work quietly to see if a Senate welfare bill already in the works might be acceptable to Clinton.

Source: The Choice, by Bob Woodward, p.197 , Nov 1, 2005

Voted YES on welfare overhaul.

Approval of an overhaul on the federal welfare system.
Status: Bill Passed Y)87; N)12; NV)1
Reference: Contract w/ America (Welfare Refm); Bill H.R. 4 ; vote number 1995-443 on Sep 19, 1995

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Page last updated: Jul 04, 2014