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Public Statements

Disapproving Rule Relating to Waiver and Expenditure Authority with Respect to the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. NEAL. I thank the gentleman.

Mr. Speaker, this is a paid political broadcast brought to you by the majority side of the Ways and Means Committee.

I chaired the Democratic Party position in 1996 on welfare reform. I voted for it and supported the work requirement at the behest of President Clinton. The idea was to provide child care, transportation assistance, educational assistance and child support payments, and to balance that with a work requirement. But most importantly, at the request of names like Tommy Thompson and Bill Weld, John Engler and George Pataki, their request was that in the crucible of State opportunity, that they would position themselves with some flexibility to play out the work requirement. We never moved away from the 5-year requirement.
Their suggestion was simply: let us determine how we get to the 5-year requirement through some experimentation.

So what we're doing here today is trying to offer a criticism of the President 6 1/2 weeks before an election based upon misinformation that borders on being malevolent because of the content of what is being attempted here.

Welfare reform worked overwhelmingly, and it worked because it was a compromise in the end, but not to understate the role that Republican Governors played in bringing this issue to that experiment.


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