The 1996 welfare reform law required that some recipients of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program work or prepare to work for their benefits.
The Obama administration weakened the law by waiving the work requirement. The Trump administration rescinded the waiver and restored the requirement.
Now President Donald Trump wants to do more. After Congress sends him a tax reform bill, which the president seems confident will happen, he wants lawmakers to work on reforming welfare. The Hill reported on his recent visit to Capitol Hill.
A confident, jovial Trump said he expected the Senate to also pass tax reform and eventually deliver a bill to his desk, which would give Republicans their first major legislative victory of the Trump era.
Ticking through a number of upcoming legislative priorities, Trump briefly mentioned welfare reform, sources in the room said.
“We need to do that. I want to do that,” Trump told rank-and-file lawmakers in a conference room in the basement of the Capitol.
The welfare line got a big applause, with one lawmaker describing it as an “off-the-charts” reception.
“[Trump] said, ‘I don’t know what it’s going to be, whether it’s the state grants or what, but we’ve got to fix welfare,’” according to another GOP source. “He talked about the party. He said, ‘We’ve been scoffed at. But if we do [tax reform], we do welfare reform, we straighten out health care, we do some infrastructure, we’ll be conservative.’”
Star Parker, who used to be on welfare, was a consultant on the 1996 welfare reform bill. She knows that faith, freedom, and personal responsibility are the keys to fixing poverty, not government dependency.