President Clinton Will Announce Record Caseload Decline and Landmark Reform Rules to...

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HHS News Release

Today, President Clinton will announce that welfare caseloads have fallen by a record 6.5 million people since he took office, falling by half or more in 29 states and nearly half nationwide. The President will unveil landmark new welfare regulations which will promote work and help those who have left the rolls succeed in the workforce and stay off welfare. He will call on Congress to do more to help working families obtain child care, housing, and transportation and to assist welfare recipients with the greatest challenges to employment by reauthorizing the Department of Labor's Welfare-to-Work program.

Welfare Rolls Decline As More Recipients Go to Work

President Clinton will announce that welfare caseloads are at their lowest level since 1969 and that welfare rolls have fallen by nearly half since he took office. The number of recipients fell from 14.1 million in January 1993 to 7.6 million in December 1998 -- 342,000 fewer recipients than 3 months earlier and more than 6.5 million since he took office, a drop of 46 percent. The rolls have declined by 4.6 million people, or 38 percent, since he signed the welfare law in August 1996. Since 1993, welfare rolls have declined in all states, with 29 states recording declines of half or more. The President will also announce today that the federal government has hired nearly 12,000 welfare recipients, exceeding the 10,000 goal set two years ago this month. Today's announcements add to earlier statistics showing that companies in the Welfare to Work Partnership have hired over 410,000 welfare recipients, the percentage of welfare recipients working has tripled since 1992, an estimated 1.5 million people who were on welfare in 1997 were working in 1998, and all states met the first overall work participation rates required under the welfare reform law.

Final Welfare Regulations Promote Work and State Innovation

Six years after he began his efforts to end welfare as we know it, and two and a half years after signing into law historic welfare reform legislation, today the President will announce landmark regulations enforcing the law's strict work requirements. First, these rules will hold states accountable for measurable results in moving families into work while providing flexibility for states to create innovative programs that build on the successes of welfare reform. Second, to ensure the millions of people who have left the welfare rolls succeed in the workforce -- and to keep others from going on welfare in the first place -- these final welfare regulations will make it easier for states to use TANF funds to provide supports for working families such as child care, transportation, and job retention services. These regulations mark an important milestone in the transformation of our welfare system into one that honors our values of work, responsibility, and family.

Call on Congress to Do More to Help Working Families and Help Those Still on Rolls

The President will call upon Congress to do more to ensure those still on the welfare rolls go to work by urging Congress to reauthorize the Department of Labor's Welfare-to-Work program to increase the employment of long-term recipients in high poverty areas and help low-income fathers better support their children, and to fully fund his welfare to work transportation and housing vouchers proposals. The President will also call on Congress to take bipartisan action this year to address the critical child care needs of America's working families. According to the most recent figures, ten million families are eligible for federal subsidies, yet only 1.25 million received support in 1997. In March, the Senate voted by a bipartisan majority of 57 - 40 to set aside $12 billion over 10 years for child care in its budget resolution.

Note: All HHS press releases, fact sheets and other press materials are available at http://www.hhs.gov/news.
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