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Also see: Poverty; low income; taxes; wealth; finance;

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Undated:  Welfare ... Government benefits distributed to impoverished persons to enable them to maintain a minimum standard of well-being.

Providing welfare benefits has been controversial throughout U.S. history. Since the colonial period, government welfare policy has reflected the belief that the indigent are responsible for their poverty, leading to the principle that governmental benefits are a privilege and not a right. Until the Great Depression of the 1930s, state and local governments bore some responsibility for providing assistance to the poor. Generally, such assistance was minimal at best, with church and volunteer agencies providing the bulk of any aid.

The new deal policies of President Franklin D. Roosevelt included new federal initiatives to help those in poverty. With millions of people unemployed during the 1930s economic depression, welfare assistance was beyond the financial resources of the states. Therefore, the federal government provided funds either directly to recipients or to the states for maintaining a minimum standard of living.

-- 2016 --

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Undated: Donald Trump on Welfare & Poverty

August 29: Welfare reform and the end of political compromise ... Poverty Studies

-- 2017 --        

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May 22: Trump's Budget Cuts Deeply Into Medicaid and Anti-Poverty Efforts

President Trump plans to unveil on Tuesday a $4.1 trillion budget for 2018 that would cut deeply into programs for the poor, from health care and food stamps to student loans and disability payments, laying out an austere vision for reordering the nation’s priorities.

June 22: President Donald Trump proposed Wednesday night reforming the welfare system by putting into law a statute that has been the law of the land since 1996.

With a few exceptions, new immigrants already cannot access welfare programs during their first five years in the US, per a 1996 welfare reform law signed by President Bill Clinton.

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October 16: President Donald Trump said Monday his administration will start to consider reforming the welfare system in the United States, saying that some people are "taking advantage of the system."

October 16: Celena McDonnell, a nursing assistant from Endicott, New York, had urged Trump to "stop implying that Americans on welfare aren't working."

"A statement like Trump's is a generalization, a stereotype," she wrote in The Washington Post. "Most of us are employed; however, many on welfare are struggling to earn a living wage. And we need some extra help."

November 24: Donald Trump wants welfare reform, says ‘people are taking advantage of the system’

November 29: President Donald Trump delivered remarks on tax reform Wednesday in St. Charles, Missouri. Trump also spoke about welfare reform and said he has met people who are on welfare, do not "work at all," and make more money than a person who is "working his and her ass off."

-- 2018 --

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April 10: Trump calls on his Cabinet to propose stronger work requirements for welfare across the board.

The executive order calls on federal agencies to enforce current work requirements, propose additional, stronger requirements, and find savings (in other words, make cuts), and to give states more flexibility to run welfare programs.

April 11: Trump’s Executive Order On ‘Welfare’ Doesn’t Do Anything — At Least Not Yet ... The order is more about messaging than policy in the short term.

President Donald Trump signed an
executive order
on Tuesday that ostensibly cracks down on loafing among welfare recipients.

The order itself will have no immediate effect on any program or benefit. Like many other executive orders before, all it does is direct agencies to review their policies and eventually make suggestions.

May 10: Trump Voters Would Be Hit Hardest by GOP’s Food Stamp Work Rules

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May 12: Trump’s welfare reform plan misses a key piece: Transportation

When President Bill Clinton launched his landmark effort to move Americans from welfare to work more than 20 years ago, it sparked significant investment in transportation for those who did not own a car or have access to affordable or reliable public transit.

The Clinton plan required those receiving assistance to work or look for work. Many of those welfare recipients benefited from the federally funded Bridges to Work program, a $17 million investment from the Department of Housing and Urban Development that helped provide new transportation services in five cities around the country.

But advocates for those who rely on public assistance say the Trump plan, highlighted in several recent executive orders, increases work requirements without taking into account that those who need the benefits have little or no access to transportation.

May 22: Trump’s New ‘Work for Welfare’ Rules Protect Poor Whites at the Expense of Urban Blacks

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June 21: Trump’s proposal to reorganize government places target on social-welfare system

The president’s plan would adjust social-welfare programs so they are easier to cut, scale back or restructure, among them a food subsistence benefit that provides aid to 42 million people.

June 21: White House to Propose Merging Labor and Education Departments, Rebranding Welfare

June 22: Why Trump Wants a Department of Public Welfare

A sweeping plan to reform the federal government could be considered an effort to undo the New Deal with a single org chart.

... this new office might as well be the Department of Has a Giant Target on Its Back. While the proposal is detailed, some of its core recommendations are built upon misleading presumptions.

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July 24: Republican Senators: Trump’s Farmer ‘Welfare’ Won’t Work

GOP senators are furious about the Trump administration’s plan to give $12 billion to farmers hurt by Trump’s own trade war.

July 25: Top Republicans rip Trump’s farm-aid plan as ‘welfare,’ ‘Soviet type of economy’

Corker, Sasse, others assail $12 billion plan to help farmers hurt by tariffs

July 25: Welfare Work Requirements Will Ease Poverty and Improve Our Labor Force

August 7: The Trump administration is advancing a plan to punish legal immigrants for accepting food stamps, public housing and other government benefits they are entitled to — a strategy that appeals to conservatives and could help to galvanize Republican voters before the midterm elections.

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August 9: According to a February report by Reuters, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) wants to know if foreigners living temporarily in the United States use public benefits — such as food assistance, subsidies for utility bills, or government funded child care. The agency would then consider their costs to Americans before granting them permanent residency.

August 18: Black Conservatives Applaud HUD’s Abandonment of “Diversity Goals”

New plans by the Trump Administration to refocus public housing policy on supply and affordability rather than diversity are being applauded by members of the Project 21 black leadership network. This policy change rescinds an Obama-era mandate that is “actually suffocating investment in some of our most distressed neighborhoods,” according to U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson.

“Public housing isn’t supposed to be permanent housing,” said Project 21 Co-Chairman Council Nedd II, who is also an Anglican bishop. “Government should prioritize availability and affordability over location ? especially when using taxpayer money. The goal must be to provide a safety net and a hand-up, not create a perverse diversity that values holding people together over allowing them all to rise.”

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August 22: After having vetoed two welfare reform bills, on this day in 1996 President Bill Clinton signed the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act. The legislation substantially reconstructed the nation’s welfare system by giving state governments more autonomy over welfare services while also reducing the federal government's role.

Drafted by Rep. John Kasich (R-Ohio) in a GOP-controlled Congress, the act ended welfare as an entitlement program; required recipients to begin working after two years of receiving benefits; placed a lifetime limit of five years on benefits paid by federal funds; sought to encourage two-parent families and to discourage out-of-wedlock births; enhanced enforcement of child support, and required state professional and occupational licenses to be withheld from undocumented immigrants.

While it moved mothers from welfare to work, many of them were not making enough money to thrive, Edelman argued. Others, he said, were pushed off welfare rolls because they didn't show up for an appointment, because they could not get to an appointment for lack of child care or because they were not notified.

Welfare and poverty rates both declined during the late 1990s, however, leading some observers to view the legislation as a success.

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September 8: Let “saints” help teen moms; restrict public assistance

Teenage mothers [shouldn’t] get public assistance unless they jump through some pretty small hoops. Making them live in group homes makes sense. A lot of these girls didn’t have fathers or full-time parents. But there are people-I think we can call them saints-who dedicate their lives to helping kids like this. Whoever they are, and whether they work out of a church, a temple, or some kind of public facility, they deserve all our support.

September 24: [From "why do people love -or hate- Trump? Here Are The 20 Top Reasons "]

19. He cuts government services.
If you’re looking for work and need food stamps so you don’t starve to death before you find a job, or if you’re a single mother with a deadbeat husband and two babies to feed, or if you’re a mentally ill person in desperate need of care or you very might well harm yourself or others, don’t look to President Trump. He doesn’t care.


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October 9: How Trump administration plans to screen green card applicants’ use of government welfare benefits

December 20:
Trump Proposes Stricter Work Requirements for Food Stamps

Congress may have reached a farm bill compromise, but that conciliatory mood hasn’t reached the Trump administration. On Thursday, the USDA announced a proposed rule that would, if it goes into effect, attach strict work requirements to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or food stamps. In a press release, the USDA asserted that the rule would “restore the system to what it was meant to be: assistance through difficult times, not lifelong dependency.” The rule would accomplish something congressional Republicans failed to do in the farm bill: expand work-for-welfare and ultimately shrink entitlement programs like SNAP. “Long-term reliance on government assistance has never been part of the American dream,” the release quotes Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue. “As we make benefits available to those who truly need them, we must also encourage participants to take proactive steps toward self-sufficiency. Moving people to work is common-sense policy, particularly at a time when the unemployment rate is at a generational low.”


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December 21: Trump Signs $867B Bipartisan Farm Bill with Welfare Reform Work Requirements

“While SNAP requires able-bodied individuals to work 80 hours a month or participate in a job training program to maintain eligibility for benefits, states have been allowed to obtain waivers for extended periods based on local unemployment rates. The proposed rule seeks to curtail ‘widespread use’ of waivers that the Trump Administration believes were meant for "temporary relief… in an economic downturn."

The proposed regulation applies to adults 18-48, who don’t have dependents, and are able-bodied. Pregnant women and disabled persons are exempt from work requirements.

-- 2019 --  

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-- 2020 --

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