[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 welfare. 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 benefits. 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.