House Passes Welfare Bill

Bread for the World
Thursday, 16 May 2002

Unlike House, Senate Must Act With "True Compassion"

Below is the comment of David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World, on the passage today by the House of Representatives of H.R. 4737, the GOP Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (welfare) reauthorization bill:

"Up until last Friday I was cautiously optimistic that the House might make some quality improvements to welfare reform. Then, out of nowhere, House leaders snuck in this Contract with America relic to begin block granting the Food Stamp Program.

"The two House committees working on welfare didn't include this provision. It took shady backroom politics to undo over a year of constructive bipartisan cooperation.

"In a day and age when 31 million people in the U.S. don't always have enough to eat, it's deeply troubling to see the House leaders resort to such tactics.

"As the Senate takes up welfare reform, I pray it acts with true compassion and understands that only by providing education and training opportunities and focusing the TANF program on reducing poverty, rather than just caseloads, can we help poor families work their way out of poverty."

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