Rep. NEAL: I chaired the Democratic position [on 1990s welfare reform]. One of the goals of welfare reform was to move unemployed Americans from welfare to work, and it did work. The legislation has been very successful in meeting that goal. Welfare reform put people back on the work rolls. Welfare rolls have dropped by half, & poverty amongst children has dropped as well.
Reference: Preserving the Welfare Work Requirement & TANF Extension Act;
; vote number 13-HV068
on Mar 13, 2013
Voted NO on instituting National Service as a new social invention.
Congressional Summary:Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education (GIVE) Act:
Adds to National and Community Service Act of 1990 (NCSA) purposes:
- providing year-round opportunities in service-learning;
- involving program participants in emergency and disaster preparedness, relief, and recovery;
- increasing service opportunities for retiring professionals;
- encouraging service by individuals age 55 or older and continued service by national service alumni;
- focusing national service on the areas of national need.
Proponent's argument to vote Yes:Sen. BARBARA MIKULSKI (D, MD): [In developing national service over many years] we were not in the business of creating another new social program. What we were in the business of was creating a new social invention. What do I mean by that? In our country, we are known for our technological inventions. But also often overlooked, and sometimes undervalued, is our social inventions.
We created national service to let young people find opportunity to be of service and also to make an important contribution. But not all was rosy. In 2003, when I was the ranking member on the appropriations subcommittee funding national service, they created a debacle. One of their most colossal errors was that they enrolled over 20,000 volunteers and could not afford to pay for it. That is how sloppy they were in their accounting. I called them the "Enron of nonprofits."
And they worked on it. But all that is history. We are going to expand AmeriCorps activity into specialized corps. One, an education corps; another, a health futures corps; another, a veterans corps; and another called opportunity corps. These are not outside of AmeriCorps. They will be subsets because we find this is where compelling human need is and at the same time offers great opportunity for volunteers to do it.
Opponent's argument to vote No:No senators spoke against the amendment.
Reference: Serve America Act/GIVE Act;
Bill H.R. 1388
; vote number 2009-H169
on Mar 31, 2009
Voted NO on providing $70 million for Section 8 Housing vouchers.
Voting YES on this amendment would add $70 million to the Section 8 housing voucher program, funding an additional 10,000 affordable housing vouchers.
Proponents of the amendment say:
- This amendment would enable an additional 10,000 low-income families to afford safe, decent housing.
- To offset this increase, the amendment cuts a poorly managed computer upgrade program. The committee has been very ingenious in squirreling away money in different accounts and the bill would still provide $94 million in funds for IT projects.
- We have a choice: Do we want to help thousands of families obtain affordable housing, or do we think it is more important to have a somewhat faster computer upgrade in HUD?
- Our amendment does not seek to restore the amount to the amount that the President recommended, which is $144 million more than the committee recommends, it seeks merely to restore $70 million, or about half of what the difference is to what the President recommended.
- This is less than the bare
minimum of what is needed. We have hundreds of thousands of families on waiting lists, waiting up to 10 years for decent housing for Section 8 vouchers.
Reference: Department of Housing and Urban Development appropriations;
Bill HR 5576 Amendment 1015
; vote number 2006-267
on Jun 13, 2006
- The existing bill fully funds the renewal of Section 8 vouchers. Additional funds are simply not necessary.
- The cost of Section 8 vouchers are remaining constant and in some markets are actually decreasing. As such, this funding level will provide funds to restore vouchers that may have been lost in recent years.
- The proposed reduction will cause delays in critically needed efforts to modernize antiquated legacy computer systems.
Welfare system is rigged to replace work, not encourage work.
Price signed welfare system rigged to replace work, not encourage work
Our Challenge Our country is all about striving, but too many of our people are stuck. Today in America, if you are raised poor, you are just as likely to stay poor as you were 50 years ago. The key word here is "stay." Our welfare system is rigged to replace work, not encourage work. Washington measures success by how much it spends, not by how much it helps. The system traps families in a cycle of poverty, shuffling them from program to program instead of helping them break free altogether.
- No amount of government intervention--no matter how well-intentioned--can replace the great drivers of daily life: our talents and aspirations, our neighbors and loved ones, our communities and places of worship. We are all in this fight together, and we need an approach which reflects that shared responsibility.
- We need to attack poverty right at its roots. Instead of starting with welfare, we start with work. Instead of expanding government, we
expand opportunity. Instead of letting people languish, we get them on the ladder of opportunity and help them climb that ladder so they can make the most of their lives.
- We have to open up the system to accountability for taxpayers, and open it up to collaboration with the men and women on the front lines of this fight.
- Reward work. If you are capable, we will expect you to work or prepare for work.
- Tailor benefits to people's needs. We will match poverty-fighting programs with your needs so that it's easier for you to get back on your feet.
- Improve skills and schools. We will make sure that poor kids have more opportunities to succeed at every stage, from childhood through college.
- Plan and save for the future. We will make it easier for you and your family to plan for the future and be retirement-ready.
- Demand results. We will open up the system to accountability and collaboration, backing ideas that work on the front lines.
Page last updated: Jan 21, 2020