THE WHITE HOUSE AT WORK
Monday, January 25, 1999
PRESIDENT CLINTON AND VICE PRESIDENT GORE:
BUILDING ON WELFARE-TO-WORK SUCCESS -- HELPING FATHERS MOVE OFF THE WELFARE ROLL AND ONTO THE PAYROLL
I urge the Congress to renew an investment that is expanding opportunity and rewarding responsibility for millions of Americans. In that way, we can continue to make good on what I called, two years ago, 'a historic chance to make welfare what it was meant to be: a second chance, not a way of life.' We can go farther toward fulfilling our nation's basic bargain -- to reward the hard work of our citizens, and to give them the tools to succeed in changing and exciting times.
President Bill Clinton
January 25, 1999
Today, President Clinton will announce a new package of initiatives to help those people remaining on the welfare rolls make a successful transition from welfare to work, with a new focus on increasing the employment of low-income fathers so they can support their children. The President will also announce that his budget will contain new welfare-to-work housing vouchers, transportation funds, and tax credits to help those on welfare get to work and stay employed.
A Presidential Plan To Get Fathers Employed To Help Support Their Children. President Clinton is targeting low-income fathers and those remaining on welfare rolls in his $1 billion Welfare-to-Work initiative for fiscal year 2000. This initiative will:
- Help 200,000 long-term welfare recipients in high-poverty areas move into unsubsidized employment;
- Target $150 million to help fathers fulfill their responsibilities by working, paying child support, and playing a responsible part in the their children's lives by requiring every state to use a minimum of 20 percent of their Welfare-to-Work funds for low-income fathers who sign personal responsibility contracts committing them to work and pay child support;
- Target remaining funds toward assisting long-term welfare recipients with the greatest challenges to employment, including, individuals with limited English proficiency, disabilities, and substance abuse problems, to move into lasting jobs.
In addition, the Department of Labor will announce the availability of $240 million in current competitive grants to support innovative local welfare-to-work strategies.
Transportation And Housing For Families Moving From Welfare-To-Work. The President will also announce that his budget will contain $580 million for welfare-to-work housing vouchers and transportation assistance to help those on welfare get to work and stay employed. The President's budget will provide:
- $430 million for 75,000 welfare-to-work housing vouchers, including $144 million in new funds for 25,000 additional vouchers;
- An increase in Access-to-Jobs transportation funding from $75 million to $150 million, doubling the number of individuals and communities that can receive transportation assistance.
Working With The Private Sector To Get People Hired Off Of Welfare Rolls. The President will announce that his budget will include $530 million to extend for one year the Welfare-to-Work and Work Opportunity Tax Credits to encourage more employers to hire welfare recipients and other disadvantaged individuals. Already, 10,000 companies have joined the Welfare-to-Work Partnership and hired, retained, and promoted hundreds of thousands of former welfare recipients.
Building On A Record Of Success. The President will release state-by-state data showing that welfare caseloads are at their lowest level in 30 years and that the welfare rolls have fallen by nearly half since he took office. Since January 1993, 36 states have had caseload declines of more than 40 percent and nationwide the rolls have fallen by 44 percent, from 14.1 million to just below 8 million.