We don't need welfare reform. What we need is a more informed public.
Republicans reformed welfare in 1996 and it was signed into law by Bill Clinton.....
Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"...The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA) is a United States federal law considered to be a fundamental shift in both the method and goal of federal cash assistance to the poor. The bill added a workforce development component to welfare legislation, encouraging employment among the poor. The bill was a cornerstone of the Republican Contract with America and was introduced by Rep. E. Clay Shaw, Jr. (R-FL-22) who believed welfare was partly responsible for bringing immigrants to the United States. Bill Clinton signed PRWORA into law on August 22, 1996, fulfilling his 1992 campaign promise to "end welfare as we have come to know it".
PRWORA instituted Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), which became effective July 1, 1997. TANF replaced Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program, which had been in effect since 1935 and supplanted the Job Opportunities and Basic Skills Training program (JOBS) of 1988. The law was heralded as a "reassertion of America's work ethic" by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, largely in response to the bill's workfare component. TANF was reauthorized in the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005....<snip>....
PRWORA proposed TANF as AFDC’s replacement. The Congressional findings in PRWORA highlighted dependency, out-of-wedlock birth, and intergenerational poverty as the main contributors to a faulty system. In instituting a block grant program, PRWORA granted states the ability to design their own systems, as long as states met a set of basic federal requirements. The bill's primary requirements and effects included the following:
Ending welfare as an entitlement program;
Requiring recipients to begin working after two years of receiving benefits;
Placing a lifetime limit of five years on benefits paid by federal funds;
Aiming to encourage two-parent families and discouraging out-of-wedlock births;
Enhancing enforcement of child support; and
Requires state professional and occupational licenses be withheld from illegal immigrants.
In granting states wider latitude for designing their own programs, some states have decided to place additional requirements on recipients. Although the law placed a time limit for benefits supported by federal funds of no more than two consecutive years and no more than a collective total of five years over a lifetime, some states have enacted briefer limits. All states, however, allowed exceptions to avoid punishing children because their parents have gone over their respective time limits. Federal requirements have ensured some measure of uniformity across states, but the block grant approach has led individual states to distribute federal money in different ways. Certain states more actively encourage education; others use the money to help fund private enterprises helping job seekers.
The legislation also greatly limited funds available for unmarried parents under 18 and restricted any funding to immigrants (legal or illegal). Some state programs emphasized a shift towards work with names such as "Wisconsin Works" and "WorkFirst." Between 1997 and 2000, enormous numbers of the poor have left or been terminated from the program, with a national drop of 53% in total recipients.
According to the House Ways and Means Committee, "The major goal of Public Law 104–193 is to reduce the length of welfare spells by attacking dependency while simultaneously preserving the function of welfare as a safety net for families experiencing temporary financial problems." A major prong in this effort was to improve child support collection rates in an effort to move single parent families off of the welfare rolls, and keep them off. According to the Conference Report. "It is the sense of the Senate that — (a) States should diligently continue their efforts to enforce child support payments by the non-custodial parent to the custodial parent, regardless of the employment status or location of the non-custodial parent".......read...