THE WHITE HOUSE AT WORK
Tuesday, August 3, 1999
PRESIDENT CLINTON AND VICE PRESIDENT GORE:
HELPING AMERICANS MOVE FROM WELFARE TO WORK
"Over the past three years, we've proved that if you ask people to go to work, they'll go to work. Our welfare recipients are doing their part. Now, we must do our part and finish the job."
President Bill Clinton
August 3, 1999
Today, three years after the enactment of the welfare reform law, President Clinton announced that all 50 states met the law's overall work requirements in 1998, and nearly four times more of those on welfare are working than when he took office. The President made these announcements in Chicago at a National Forum convened by the Welfare to Work Partnership, whose companies have hired over 410,000 welfare recipients. At the forum, the President spoke with former recipients about their experiences moving from welfare to work; called on business leaders to hire even more people from the welfare rolls; challenged federal, state, and local officials to invest funds in those who need help the most; and warned Congress not to renege on the bipartisan commitment to help states and communities finish the job of welfare reform.
New Data Showing Record Numbers Moving from Welfare to Work. President Clinton released data today confirming that three years after the enactment of the welfare reform law, record numbers of people are moving from welfare to work. These are the first work data from every state to be released under the 1996 welfare reform law. These findings, along with new figures showing caseloads have declined by 6.8 million since the President took office, will be contained in a report transmitted to Congress today. The data show:
- All 50 states met the welfare law's overall work requirement for 1998, which requires 30 percent of families to have a parent working at least 20 hours per week;
- Four times more of those on welfare are working than in 1992; and
- The percent of Americans on welfare is at its lowest level since 1967.
Companies Are Hiring from the Welfare Rolls. Over 12,000 businesses have joined the Welfare to Work Partnership since its launch in May 1997, and have already hired an estimated 410,000 people from the welfare rolls. The federal government is also doing its part: as Vice President Gore announced yesterday, the federal government has hired over 14,000 people in dozens of agencies across the U.S., far surpassing the goal of 10,000 hires set in April 1997.
A Call to Help Those Still on the Rolls. President Clinton called on the public and private sector to do more to help those still on welfare move to work and succeed on the job. The President:
- urged the companies in the Welfare to Work Partnership to hire even more people from the welfare rolls;
- challenged federal, state and local officials to invest funds in those who need help the most; and
- urged Congress to fulfill its bipartisan commitment to help states and communities finish the job of welfare reform.
The President also called on Congress to enact his initiatives to help those families with the greatest challenges move from welfare to work and succeed in the workforce, including:
- $1 billion to extend the Welfare-to-Work program to help long-term welfare recipients and low-income fathers work and support their families;
- Significant new funding for child care to help working families meet the cost of child care;
- Additional welfare-to-work housing vouchers and transportation funds to provide 25,000 more housing vouchers and double Access to Jobs transportation funding; and
- Extend both the Welfare-to-Work Tax Credit and the Work Opportunity Tax Credit to encourage the hiring and retention of long-term welfare recipients and other disadvantaged individuals.
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