July 2, 1995 in Nation/World

Clinton: House Welfare Plan Won’t Get The Job Done President Says Cutting Off Child-Care, Insurance To Working Parents Will Put Them Back On The Rolls

Nancy Benac Associated Press
 

President Clinton accused congressional Republicans on Saturday of engaging in “pure fantasy” by aiming to move welfare recipients into jobs while denying them child-care benefits.

“We don’t want more welfare mothers staying at home, living on welfare, just because they can’t find child care,” Clinton said in his weekly radio address. “Cutting child care will make it harder for parents to get off and stay off welfare.”

The president did not directly mention Republicans in his address, but his complaints against “many in Congress” were clearly directed at GOP moves to cut off child care.

“It is pure fantasy to believe we can put a welfare mother to work unless we provide child care for her children,” Clinton said. “We don’t need more latchkey kids. We certainly don’t need more neglected children.”

The welfare overhaul approved by the House in March would stop transitional benefits that now cover child care or health insurance for a limited time after a recipient finds work. The Senate is bogged down in internal disagreements among Republicans about the shape of its proposal.

The president, who taped his radio address in Chicago on Friday before flying to Florida, said he was disappointed that Republicans would not meet his July Fourth deadline for delivering a welfare reform package to the White House but that he remained hopeful for a bipartisan solution.

Clinton and his wife, Hillary, made a private visit to Florida to meet their new nephew, Zachary Rodham. The month-old infant is the son of Hillary Clinton’s brother, Tony Rodham, and his wife, Nicole Boxer Rodham.

The president had no public events on his schedule, but critics turned out nonetheless to protest the administration’s decision to send home Cuban refugees picked up at sea.

Republicans in both chambers want to turn responsibility for Aid to Families with Dependent Children over to the states as a block grant and set a five-year limit on lifetime benefits.

Clinton said he supports setting a time limit on welfare benefits, but that it would be shortsighted to cut off child-care benefits to save money.

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