FreedomWorks Marks 20th Anniversary of Welfare Reform

FreedomWorks today marked the 20th anniversary of the 1996 welfare reform bill – the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act – which was passed by a Republican-controlled Congress and signed into law by President Bill Clinton. The fundamentally changed how the federal welfare system functioned by placing an emphasis on employment for those who received benefits and empowered states to design and implement their own plans.

“The 1996 welfare reform bill is a bipartisan policy victory grounded in conservative principles. Those who are truly in need in our society should receive help. Few would disagree with that notion. But the social safety net should not be a hammock. Those who are able to work should either be actively looking for employment or holding down a job,” said FreedomWorks CEO Adam Brandon. “This landmark law has, however, come under attack from the Obama administration. Four years ago, without any legislative authority, the Department of Health and Human Services allowed states to petition to opt-out of the work requirements.”

“The 1996 welfare reform bill brought a new direction, bringing accountability to the system and encouraging work. Congress must protect these reforms and strengthen them in the years ahead,” Brandon added.

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