Biden Eyes Expanding Welfare State, Overturning Clinton-Era Reform

WASHINGTON—President Bill Clinton in 1996 signed welfare reform into law, fulfilling his campaign promise to “end welfare as we know it.” A quarter-century later, advocates of that overhaul effort accuse the Biden administration of seeking to overturn the bipartisan accomplishment, calling its proposal an “attack” on the U.S. welfare system. A majority of both Democrats and Republicans voted for the reform bill in 1996 in an effort to break what they termed a culture of poverty and dependence. Ten years after signing the legislation, Clinton took a victory lap to declare welfare reform a “great success,” in a New York Times op-ed. The reform law ended more than 60 years of guaranteed cash assistance begun under President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal. It turned a dysfunctional cash welfare program into an effective jobs program for the poor, according to conservatives who now blame President Joe Biden for reintroducing a culture of …

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