Fiscally responsible reforms for students, workers and retirees.
The effects of the historic welfare reform law passed in 1996 by the new Republican majority in Congress have been nothing short of dramatic: millions of Americans have moved from welfare to work; caseloads are down more than 50 percent; incomes are up; and child poverty has decreased.
One of the most successful social policies ever enacted, the 1996 welfare reforms have transformed the lives of millions of families and helped them achieve self-sufficiency. The key reason why many former welfare recipients are leading independent lives today is clear: individuals are required to work for their benefits. Under the old system, welfare families could expect a lifetime of cash assistance without engaging in constructive activities of any kind.
The 109th Congress extended the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant through fiscal year 2010 so states can continue to provide a wide range of benefits and services to families with children, including cash welfare assistance. Just as importantly, the legislation renewed the intent of the 1996 statute by reinforcing work as the central requirement of the program. In the 111th Congress, Committee Republicans will work to maintain the positive effects of welfare reform.