Continuing the Success of Welfare Reform

Apr 10, 2002
Wilson Urges Congress to Re-Authorize Historic Legislation
Rep. Joe Wilson, R-SC, today on the House Floor spoke about the re-authorization of welfare reform legislation first passed in 1996. “As a member of the Welfare Action Team, I am here today to help reopen the discussion on Welfare Reform. In 1996, after a contentious debate that won’t soon be forgotten, Republicans rallied to pass Welfare Reform. Another thing that won’t soon be forgotten is Welfare Reform’s historic results,” said Rep. Wilson. “Republican-led welfare reform has proven successful in replacing welfare checks with paychecks, fostering independence, boosting personal incomes and improving the well-being of children. “In 1996, Congress fixed a welfare system that was completely broken. The proof is in the numbers. Since 1994, welfare caseloads have been reduced by 9 million. The number of individuals receiving cash assistance has dropped by 56 percent. Nearly 3 million children have been lifted from poverty and the child poverty rate is at its lowest since 1978. That’s real progress. “Now that the success stories are many and the naysayers are few, it is my sincere hope that this House will support the president and reauthorize Welfare Reform in a strong, bipartisan fashion. “There’s still more work to be done. We must continue to strengthen the path toward independence,” said Rep. Wilson. ###