Over 20 years after President Bill Clinton promised to “end welfare as we know it,” a Republican president is tackling the task of reworking the system to prevent people from taking advantage of the system and creating generational dependency on it while making sure those who are truly needy receive critical help.

Although details have not been released, President Trump has indicated that welfare reform will be the next major policy issue to be addressed after tax reform.

The president says changes are “desperately needed” and has already set policymakers to work on proposals.

Paul Winfree is the Director of Budget Policy, as well as the Deputy Director of the Domestic Policy Council, and confirmed that he is working with another staffer to draft an Executive Order for the president’s signature that would direct government agencies to develop recommendations for welfare reform in 2018.

“The president really wants to lead on this. He has delivered that message loud and clear to us. We’ve opened conversations with leadership in Congress to let them know that that is the direction we are heading.”

Bill Clinton promised to change the welfare system during his first campaign in 1992 and eventually signed into revisions that moved away from federal entitlements to a “workfare” system based on state grants.

The law pleased neither conservatives nor progressives, with Hillary Clinton facing criticism for the changes throughout her campaigns while never proposing a solution or a new plan.

Robert Rector, a senior research fellow at Heritage, said a combination of stronger incentives and waste-cutting measures would be needed through legislation, as an Executive Order could only be used to make “some adjustments” and not a major overhaul of the existing system.

President Trump’s initial budget proposal for FY 2018 may be an indication of where his administration is looking to make cuts.

It reduced spending for Medicaid, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamps), and student loan subsidies, as well as for other programs.

Some Congressional critics argue that providing full welfare benefits to illegal aliens and refugees should be reviewed, as well.

Trump will have until January 2019 to work with a majority in both chambers of Congress, albeit a narrow one in the Senate.

Do you think Congress should work with President Trump to overhaul the welfare system to cut waste and discourage generational dependency?

Source: AP News

 
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