Welfare Bill Hurts Oregon

May 15, 2002
Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Today, the U.S. House of Representatives will vote on H.R. 4735, the Republican Welfare Reauthorization bill. This legislation imposes massive new mandates and additional costs on states, limits state flexibility and imposes work requirements that the states have already rejected. It makes it harder for welfare recipients to become economically independent and fails to provide room for expanding childcare programs for working parents. It does not cover the 15 million children who are now eligible for childcare assistance but who are not covered because of inadequate funding.

Under the Republican plan, Oregon would have to spend an additional $100 million over the next five years to implement the measure and an additional $50 million to cover the cost of needed child care. This comes at a time when the state is facing budget cuts of up to $800 million. Congressman Blumenauer (D-OR) plans to vote against the Republican measure and will support the Democratic alternative version, which maintains state flexibility, focuses on real work, and helps families escape poverty and achieve permanent employment.

Blumenauer released the following statement on today's vote:

"These additions and changes to the welfare program are opposed by the nation's governors, Republicans and Democrats alike. The Democratic alternative maintains state flexibility and programs that work at the local level. It is ironic that yesterday the President signed into law the Farm Bill, a large welfare package that benefits only a few wealthy farmers in a few states who need help the least, while today we take up a bill that burdens those who actually need our help with mean-spirited federal intervention."