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Welfare Reform

President George W. Bush addresses the audience during a program honoring graduates of welfare-to-work programs in the East Room Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2003. "In the seven years since welfare was reformed, millions of Americans have shared in this experience. Their lives and our country are better off. Today, more than 2 million fewer families are on welfare -- 2 million fewer than in 1996. It's a reduction of 54 percent," said the President. White House photo by Paul Morse.
President George W. Bush addresses the audience during a program honoring graduates of welfare-to-work programs in the East Room Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2003. "In the seven years since welfare was reformed, millions of Americans have shared in this experience. Their lives and our country are better off. Today, more than 2 million fewer families are on welfare -- 2 million fewer than in 1996. It's a reduction of 54 percent," said the President. White House photo by Paul Morse.

President's Welfare Reform Agenda

Last year, Congress began the process of reauthorizing the historic, bipartisan 1996 welfare reform law. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, welfare reform helped to move 4.7 million Americans from welfare dependency to self-sufficiency within three years of enactment, and the number of welfare caseloads has declined by 54% since 1996. The 1996 welfare reform law expired at the end of last year. President Bush is calling on Congress to act now to sustain and expand on the success of welfare reform.

President Bush proposes to make welfare even more focused on the well-being of children and supportive of families. The President's plan is designed to strengthen families and help more welfare recipients work toward independence and self-reliance. The President's welfare reform plan will:

  • Help more welfare recipients achieve independence through work.
  • Increase the welfare-to-work resources available for families.
  • Protect children and strengthen families.
  • Empower states to seek new and innovative solutions to help welfare recipients achieve independence.

>>More about the President's Welfare Reform Plan

Speeches and News Releases
February 24, 2003
President Bush Discusses Priorities with Nation's Governors
President George W. Bush meets with the National Governors Association in the State Dining Room Monday, Feb. 24, 2003.   White House photo by Tina Hager
 
February 13, 2003
President Commends House for Passing Welfare Reform Legislation
 
January 14, 2003
President's Welfare Reform Package Strengthens Families
President George W. Bush congratulates Pamela Hedrick during a ceremony honoring graduates of welfare-to-work programs in the East Room. Ms. Hedrick was on public assistance for eight years in Columbus, Ohio, before volunteering at the Greenbriar Enrichment Center, where she organized a women's support group and received job training. The Presidentís Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) estimates the Jobs and Growth plan will create 1.4 million new jobs by the end of 2004.  White House photo by Tina Hager
 
January 14, 2003
Fact Sheet
 
July 29, 2002
President Urges Senate to Pass Compassionate Welfare Reform Bill
 
More News »
Documents
  Working Toward Independence -- The President's Plan to Strengthen Welfare Reform
     PDF version PDF Document
Multimedia
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Related Links
  Health and Human Services Department
  Labor Department