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Donald Trump Signals Welfare Reform Is Next, With Details To Come
Welfare reforms was one of the defining issues of President Bill Clinton’s presidency, starting with a campaign promise to “end welfare as we know it,” continuing with a bitter policy fight and producing an overhaul law that remains hotly debated 20 years later.
Now, president Donald Trump wants to put his stamp on the welfare system.
Trump, who has been signaling interest in the issue for sometime, said Monday at a cabinet meeting that he wants to tackle welfare reform after the tax overhaul he is seeking by the end of the year. He said changes were “desperately needed in our country” and that his administration would soon offer plans.
For now, the president has not offered details. Spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said more specific were likely early next year. But the groundwork has already begun at the White House and Trump has made his interest known to Republican lawmakers.
“The president really wants to lead on this. He has delivered that message loud and clear to us. We’ve opened conversations with leadership in Congress to let them know that is the direction we were heading,” winfree said.
Trump said in October that welfare reform was “becoming a very, very big subject, and people are taking advantage of the system”.
Welfare reform proved challenging for Clinton, who ran in 1992 on a promise to “end welfare as we know it,” but struggle to get consensus on a bill, with Democrats divided and Republicans pushing aggressive changes. Amid that conflict, he signed a law in 1996 that replaced a federal entitlement with grants to the states, placed a time limit on how long families could get aid and required recipients to go to work eventually.
It has drawn criticism from some liberal quarters over since. During her presidential campaign last year, Democrat Hillary Clinton faced activists who argued that the law punished poor people.
Still, Edin said that welfare has “never been popular even from its inception. It doesn’t sit well with Americans in general.”
Administration officials have already suggested they are eyeing anti-poverty programs. Trump’s initial 2018 budget proposal, outlined in March, sought to sharply reduce spending for medicaid, food stamps and student loan subsides, among other programs.
Budget director Mick Mulvaney said earlier this year, “if you are no food stamps and you are able bodied, we need you to go to work.”
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