[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: William J. Clinton (1995, Book II)]
[August 8, 1995]
[Page 1219]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]

[[Page 1219]]

Statement on Welfare Reform
August 8, 1995

    Six months ago, I convened a Presidential conference on welfare at 
the Blair House. Democrats and Republicans from the Congress to the 
State houses came to Washington to forge a bipartisan agreement on 
    At the conference we agreed on the need for child support to be a 
part of any welfare reform legislation. Now, the bill passed in the 
House and the legislation in the Senate includes comprehensive child 
support reform.
    Since the conference, we have agreed to drop any inclusion of 
orphanages in welfare reform. Since the conference, we have agreed to 
require teen moms to live at home and stay in school as a condition to 
receiving welfare. Since the conference, we have agreed that all 
recipients must sign a work contract as a condition upon receiving 
    In addition to the progress we have made on a bipartisan basis of 
what welfare reform legislation must include, I have signed a sweeping 
Executive order concerning child support collection from delinquent 
parents. My administration is collecting a record amount of child 
support, making responsibility a way of life, not an option.
    This year alone I have approved a dozen welfare reform experiments. 
The experiments have included new proposals, among them: requiring 
people to work for their benefits, requiring teen moms to stay at home 
and in school, requiring welfare recipients to be held to a time limit, 
requiring delinquent parents to pay child support, and requiring people 
on welfare to sign a contract which would hold them accountable to 
finding a job. The State experiments now total 32 States reaching 7 
million individuals.
    It is time to put partisanship and politics aside and to get the job 
done. The American people deserve real welfare reform and have been kept 
waiting long enough. We need a bipartisan bill that ends welfare and 
replaces it with work. I hope the Senate will place welfare at the top 
of its agenda in September and take swift action.
    While Congress continues to debate welfare, I will proceed with the 
far-reaching welfare reforms I initiated ith the States over the last 2 
years. We will continue to move people from welfare to work. We will 
continue to require teen moms to stay in school and live at home as a 
condition of their benefits. I call on this Congress to join me in a 
bipartisan endeavor, with politics aside and the national interest at 
the center of our efforts.