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Sam Brownback on Welfare & Poverty

Republican Sr Senator (KS)

 


Required work/training improves quality of life

We implemented reforms that said if you have no disabilities and no children at home, you should work or train for work at least 20 hours per week. The results are in and our reforms worked: caseloads are 70% lower today before. Before work requirements, 93% of able-bodied adults on welfare were in poverty. But within a year of leaving welfare, their incomes had more than doubled--an increase of 127% on average.
Source: 2016 State of the State speech to Kansas legislature , Jan 12, 2016

1996 reform about work incentive; next is marriage incentive

Stage one of the welfare reform package passed by Congress in 1996 was directed at eliminating the disincentives to work. By creating new incentives and giving those in poverty a new sense of worth, those reforms helped people transition from public assistance to gainful employment. By cutting the welfare roles in half, millions of men and women were able to participate in the "dignity of work."

Our job isn't finished. Stage 2 is to eliminate the disincentives to marriage that are still contained in some benefit programs. It's wrong to penalize women and their children for the mother's decision to get married. A compassionate nation will work to eliminate the disincentives that still exist in our laws, and compassionate people will work together to restore America's families. And that means restoring the institution of marriage as the backbone of the family and of this great nation.

Source: From Power to Purpose, by Sam Brownback, p. 93 , Jul 3, 2007

Supported welfare reform in House; but some pork in Senate

The Club for Growth is committed to reducing government spending. Less spending enhances economic growth by enabling lower taxes and diminishing the economically inefficient political allocation of resources. Unfortunately, Sen. Brownback’s [pro-growth] record on taxes is not matched by his record on spending. As a member of the Appropriations Committee, he has voted for a large majority of the appropriations bills on the Senate floor, including many that overspent.

To his credit, Sen. Brownback has supported numerous bills restricting the federal government’s looseness with the purse strings, including a vote for welfare reform in the House (Roll Call #383, 07/31/96) and a vote against increasing federal funding for Amtrak (Roll Call #52, 03/15/06)

Even so, Sen. Brownback has voted for several key increases in federal spending. American taxpayers would be better served if Sen. Brownback’s unwavering commitment to cutting taxes was applied as consistently to reining in government spending.

Source: Club for Growth, “Second Presidential White Paper” , Feb 2, 2007

Two-year limit on welfare benefits

Source: Congressional 1996 National Political Awareness Test , Nov 1, 1996

Fund welfare via block grants to states

Q: Budget priority for Welfare (AFDC)?

A: Slightly Decrease.

Q: Do you support the use of block grants given to states, rather than federal spending, in Welfare?

A: Yes.

Q: Which level of government should have primary responsibility for welfare services?

A: State.

Source: Congressional 1996 National Political Awareness Test , Nov 1, 1996

Voted NO on instituting National Service as a new social invention.

Congressional Summary:Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education (GIVE) Act:
    Adds to National and Community Service Act of 1990 (NCSA) purposes:
  1. providing year-round opportunities in service-learning;
  2. involving program participants in emergency and disaster preparedness, relief, and recovery;
  3. increasing service opportunities for retiring professionals;
  4. encouraging service by individuals age 55 or older and continued service by national service alumni;
  5. focusing national service on the areas of national need.

Proponent's argument to vote Yes:Sen. BARBARA MIKULSKI (D, MD): [In developing national service over many years] we were not in the business of creating another new social program. What we were in the business of was creating a new social invention. What do I mean by that? In our country, we are known for our technological inventions. But also often overlooked, and sometimes undervalued, is our social inventions.

We created national service to let young people find opportunity to be of service and also to make an important contribution. But not all was rosy. In 2003, when I was the ranking member on the appropriations subcommittee funding national service, they created a debacle. One of their most colossal errors was that they enrolled over 20,000 volunteers and could not afford to pay for it. That is how sloppy they were in their accounting. I called them the "Enron of nonprofits."

And they worked on it. But all that is history. We are going to expand AmeriCorps activity into specialized corps. One, an education corps; another, a health futures corps; another, a veterans corps; and another called opportunity corps. These are not outside of AmeriCorps. They will be subsets because we find this is where compelling human need is and at the same time offers great opportunity for volunteers to do it.

Opponent's argument to vote No:No senators spoke against the amendment.

Reference: Serve America Act/GIVE Act; Bill H.R. 1388 ; vote number 2009-S115 on Mar 26, 2009

Other governors on Welfare & Poverty: Sam Brownback on other issues:

KS Senatorial:
Chad Taylor
Greg Orman
Milton Wolf
Pat Roberts
Randall Batson
Todd Tiahrt

Gubernatorial Debates 2017:
NJ: Fulop(D) vs.Lesniak(D)
VA: Gillespie(R) vs.Wittman(R) vs.Northam(D)
Gubernatorial Debates 2016:
DE: Bonini(R) vs.Carney(D)
IN: Pence(R) vs.Gregg(D)
MO: Hanaway(R) vs.Brunner(R) vs.Kinder(R) vs.Greitens(R)
MT: Bullock(D) vs.Perea(R) vs.Johnson(R)
NC: McCrory(R) vs.Cooper(D) vs.Spaulding(D)
ND: Dalrymple(R) vs.Stenehjem(R) vs.Heitkamp(D) vs.Pomeroy(D)
NH: Hassan(D) vs.Bradley(R) vs.Sununu(R) vs.Lavoie(R)
OR: Brown(D) vs.Bell(D) vs.Niemeyer(R) vs.Pierce(R)
UT: Herbert(R) vs.Johnson(R) vs.Matheson(D)
VT: Shumlin(D) vs.Minter(D) vs.Dunne(D) vs.Scott(R) vs.Smith(D)
WA: Inslee(D) vs.Bryant(R)
WV: Kessler(R) vs.Cole(D)
Newly-elected governors (first seated in Jan. 2015):
AK-I: Bill Walker
AR-R: Asa Hutchinson
AZ-R: Doug Ducey
IL-R: Bruce Rauner
MA-R: Charlie Baker
MD-R: Larry Hogan
NE-R: Pete Ricketts
OR-D: Kate Brown
PA-D: Tom Wolf
RI-D: Gina Raimondo
TX-R: Greg Abbott

Lame ducks 2015-16:
DE-D: Jack Markell
(term-limited 2016)
KY-D: Steve Beshear
(term-limited 2015)
LA-R: Bobby Jindal
(term-limited 2015)
MO-D: Jay Nixon
(term-limited 2016)
VT-D: Peter Shumlin
(retiring 2016)
WV-D: Earl Ray Tomblin
(term-limited 2016)
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Contact info:
Fax Number:
202-228-1265
Mailing Address:
Senate Office SH-303, Washington, DC 20510
Phone number:
(202) 224-6521
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Page last updated: Feb 02, 2016