We are working hard here to change lives to empower all Americans to seize the new opportunity of a new century.
-- President Clinton, Oct. 8, 1997
This morning, President Clinton announced that the number of welfare recipients has declined another 250,000, bringing the total reduction to more than 3.6 million since he became President -- a drop of 26 percent. For the first time since 1969, less than 4 percent of the U.S. population is on welfare. In addition, Vice President Al Gore today announced that the federal government has hired nearly 2,000 welfare recipients, achieving in six months nearly 20 percent of the President's goal of hiring 10,000 people by the year 2000. The Vice President is heading the effort to ensure that the federal government -- as the nation's largest employer -- does its fair share to help those on welfare go to work.
Largest Decline in the Welfare Rolls in History:
From January 1993 to June 1997, the number of people receiving welfare benefits fell by 26 percent, or 3.6 million recipients -- the largest decline in the welfare rolls in history. For the first time since 1969 less than 4 percent of the population welfare. A total of 49 out of 50 states have lowered their welfare rolls -- 14 states by 40 percent or more.
Welfare Reform is a Top Priority:
President Clinton and Vice President Gore have made welfare reform a top priority of this Administration. During his first four years in office, the President granted federal waivers to 43 States to require work, time-limit assistance, make work pay, improve child support enforcement, and encourage parental responsibility. In August 1996, President Clinton signed into law the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act, a comprehensive bipartisan welfare reform bill that is dramatically changing the nation's welfare system into one that requires work in exchange for time-limited assistance.
Federal Government Hires Nearly 2,000 Welfare Recipients In First Six Months of Welfare to Work Initiative:
In April 1997, the President asked the Vice President to oversee the Federal government's hiring initiative in which Federal agencies have committed to directly hire at least 10,000 welfare recipients in the next four years. Today, Vice President Al Gore announced that the federal government has hired nearly 2,000 welfare recipients, achieving in six months nearly 20 percent of the President's goal. The Vice President is heading the effort to ensure that the federal government -- as the nation's largest employer -- does its fair share to help those on welfare go to work. Since April, federal agencies -- including the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Labor, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the General Services Administration, the Office of Personnel Management, the Social Security Administration, and the U.S. Information Agency -- have hired 1,901 welfare recipients a t locations all around the country. The Executive Office of the President has attained 100 percent of its goal, hiring six workers from the welfare rolls.
Federal Hiring Initiative Key Part of Efforts to Move People from Welfare to Work:
The federal hiring initiative is a key part of an Administration-wide effort to create jobs to move people from welfare to work. These efforts include fighting for and winning an additional $3 billion for welfare to work in the Balanced Budget Act, mobilizing the business community to hire welfare recipients, and working with civic, religious and non-profit groups to mentor families leaving welfare for work.