FACT SHEET: Welfare Reform
|                                                                         |
|                   OVER ONE MILLION PEOPLE OFF WELFARE                   |
|                             August 22, 2000                             |
|                                                                         |

Four years ago today, President Clinton signed the landmark welfare reform
law, transforming the nation?s welfare system into one that requires work
for time-limited assistance. Today, the President will announce that
welfare rolls are just half of what they were four years ago and, of those
remaining on welfare, nearly five times as many are working than when he
took office. The Administration will transmit a report to Congress today
showing that for the third year in a row, all states subject to the welfare
reform law?s overall work requirements, met them.

The President will also meet with the Board of the Welfare to Work
Partnership, which announced today that it has enlisted more than 20,000
business partners who have hired an estimated 1.1 million welfare
recipients since it was launched at the White House in May 1997.  The
President will challenge the private sector to continue employing welfare
recipients and helping these new workers succeed on the job; urge state and
local officials to invest in supports for both current recipients and
low-income working families; and call on Congress to enact his budget
proposals to make work pay, encourage savings, promote responsible
fatherhood and expand access to child care, housing, transportation and
health care.

Caseloads Fall to 35-Year Low
New welfare caseload numbers to be released by the President today show the
percentage of Americans on welfare has fallen from 5.5 percent in 1993 to
2.3 percent in 1999 and is now at its lowest level since 1965.  The welfare
rolls have fallen from 14.1 million in January 1993 to 6.3 million in
December 1999 - a drop of 56 percent, or 7.8 million. Nearly three-quarters
of this overall decline has occurred since the welfare reform law was
enacted, with 1999 caseloads roughly half of what they were in 1996.  A
1999 report by the Council of Economic Advisers found that the
implementation of welfare reform was the single most important factor
contributing to the widespread and continuous caseload declines, accounting
for approximately one-third of the caseload reduction from 1996 to 1998.The
President began reforming welfare early in his first term, granting waivers
to 43 states to require work and encourage personal responsibility,
expanding the earned income tax credit and the minimum wage to make work
pay, and pushing the congress for bipartisan national welfare reform
legislation which he signed into law in August 1996.

Fivefold Increase In Work Among Welfare Recipients Since 1992
The combination of requirements, incentives and supports to promote work
has not only resulted in more families leaving the welfare rolls, but has
also dramatically increased the proportion of parents who are combining
welfare and work as they transition off cash assistance. New 1999 data show
that the percentage of welfare recipients who are working has increased to
nearly five times the level when the President took office - from 7 percent
in 1992 to an all-time high of 33 percent in 1999 - and has tripled since
the 1996 welfare reform. The vast majority of working recipients are in
paid employment, with the remainder involved in community service or
subsidized employment.

All 50 States Meet Overall Work Participation Goals
New data to be released by the President today show that every state and
the District of Columbia met the welfare law?s overall work requirement for
1999, which required adults in 35 percent of all families on welfare to be
working at least 25 hours per week. The 1999 national participation rate of
38 percent is up from 35 percent in 1998, a particularly impressive gain
given the simultaneous 18 percent caseload decline over this same time
period. Most, but not all, states met the law?s two parent work rates that
required 90 percent of two parent families to work at least 35 hours per
week: of the thirty-six states subject to the rate, 28 met it.

Research Confirms That People Are Moving From Welfare To Work
A variety of studies cited in the Health and Human Services Report to
Congress confirm that an increasing number of families are moving from
welfare to work. Interim findings from ten studies funded by HHS found that
62 to 75 percent of former welfare recipients were employed for some or all
of the 12 months following their exit from welfare. Moreover, recent
independent evaluations ranging from Minnesota to Los Angeles to
Connecticut confirm that well-designed welfare reform initiatives have
significantly increased the employment of welfare recipients. The Minnesota
results also show that welfare reform can increase marriage rates and
marital stability among low-income families.  According to the Current
Population Survey, 36 percent of those receiving welfare in 1998 were
working in 1999 - an 82 percent increase from 1992 when just twenty percent
of 1991 recipients were working.

Welfare To Work Hiring Initiatives Show Overwhelming Progress
The Welfare to Work Partnership has responded enthusiastically to the
President?s challenge to the business community to get involved in ending
welfare as we know it.  Since its launch at the White House in May 1997
with 105 companies, the Partnership has grown to more than 20,000
businesses of all sizes and industries, which have hired an estimated 1.1
million people from the welfare rolls. Business leaders have found that
welfare to work hires have the same or higher retention rates than other
employees.  In a new report to the President, the Partnership notes that
average starting salaries for these hires is $7.80 an hour or $19,641 a
year for those earning a salary. The federal government is also doing its
part: under Vice President Gore?s leadership, the federal government has
hired nearly 50,000 people in dozens of agencies across the U.S., far
surpassing the goal of 10,000 hires set in 1997.

More Must Be Done to Reward Work and Responsibility
President Clinton will challenge the private sector to continue to hire
those welfare recipients remaining on the rolls and to help these new
workers succeed and advance on the job.  He will also urge state and local
officials to use the resources and the flexibility provided in the reformed
welfare system to invest in services to help current recipients overcome
barriers to work and to help working families who have left the rolls
succeed in the workforce. Finally, he will call on Congress to enact key
components of the Clinton-Gore Administration?s FY 2001 budget, including:
?    Making work pay by increasing the minimum wage by $1 and expanding the
Earned Income Tax Credit to provide tax relief for 6.8 million hard-pressed
working families.

?    Helping low-income families save for a better future by creating
20,000 new Individual Development Accounts to help families save for assets
that promote self-sufficiency, and allowing families to use IDA savings to
buy a car that helps them get to work.

?    Promoting responsible fatherhood by allowing more child support income
to go directly to families and funding the $255 million Fathers
Work/Families Win initiative to help 40,000 low-income fathers and 40,000
low-income families work and support their children.

?    Making significant new investments in child care, including $817
million for child care subsidies, $3 billion over five years to improve
care for our youngest children, and new and expanded tax credits for
families and for businesses that provide child care.

?    Improving transportation options by doubling Access to Jobs funds for
innovative transit solutions, making it easier for working families to own
a car without losing food stamps, and allowing families to save for a car
through an IDA.

?    Increasing access to housing by funding 120,000 new housing vouchers,
including 32,000 for families moving from welfare to work, to help families
move closer to a job, reduce a long commute, or secure more stable housing
that will help them get or keep a job.

?    Dramatically expanding health coverage by providing a new, affordable
health insurance option, called FamilyCare, for parents of children
eligible for Medicaid or the State Children?s Health Insurance Program, and
extending existing programs to more families, through an extension of
transitional Medicaid, accelerated enrollment into S-CHIP, and new state
options to cover older teens and legal immigrants.

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