FAMILY SELF-SUFFICIENCY ACT; Congressional Record Vol. 141, No. 132
(Senate - August 08, 1995)

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[Pages S11813-S11827]
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                      FAMILY SELF-SUFFICIENCY ACT

  The Senate continued with the consideration of the bill.
  Mr. BURNS. Mr. President, it is with great importance that we not 
underestimate the debate that is about to come on welfare reform. I do 
not think there is one person who thinks the present system is working 
at its best. Maybe it is the best we could expect from it. But I can 
list in Montana friend after friend who will tell you how it can be 
improved, because if there is one subject that everybody has an opinion 
on, it is welfare.
  Right now, we have a system that only makes it easy to get on 
welfare. But it makes it awfully tough to get off of it. There is 
something backward about that. Welfare is supposed to be a temporary 
assistance, not a way of life, and for too many it has become just 
  I would like to talk about a young woman in Helena, MT, who is a 
success story, not because of welfare assistance, but in spite of the 
existing welfare system. At the age of 26, she found herself in the 
position of being a single mother of four children under the age of 6. 
She did not even know about welfare programs prior to that, but she 
soon found out that in order for her to survive and to take care of her 
four youngsters, she had no choice. Though, she wanted to keep on 
working, the price of child care was more than she could afford. She 
was getting AFDC but would not qualify for the transitional child care 
unless her AFDC case was closed. She tried to get off the system a 
number of times, but each time was unsuccessful. She got involved in a 
process, though, when she was appointed to the Governor's child care 
development block grant task force, and she soon found that she had to 
choose between continuing employment or returning to the welfare rolls. 
Happily, she chose work and went through 8 months of increasing her 
debt before child care funds could come through. Now, her bottom line 
is that of so many people who want to get out of the system, but they 
just get tired of fighting the system. Welfare did nothing to aid her 
independence. In fact, it was just the opposite. All she needed was a 
little help with child care and she could have remained a self-
supporting member of our society. We have had a lot of visits in the 
meantime, and she is doing very well now. But she says, ``If you help 
us a little bit with housing and with child care, the majority of us 
can make it.''
  This may have been avoided had it not taken 5\1/2\ years for her to 
receive her first child support statement. This, too, she tried to 
fight on her own. The father had moved to California, and the 
California investigator informed her that she was just one of 21,000 
cases in that State being handled and, basically, she had to wait her 
  Well, she is off of welfare now. She has remarried. Her current 
husband does provide support. She recently said, ``It seems that if you 
choose to try and regain your self-worth, your self-esteem, dignity, 
and self-respect, and you go out and become a taxpaying citizen, you 
then also choose to take food out of your children's mouths, provide 
less clothing, create more stresses in the home which sometimes leads 
to abuse and possibly loss of medical benefits.'' That should never be 
a choice any American has to make.
  So, Mr. President, our welfare system clearly needs reforming, but it 
needs it in the right way. Right now, each dollar we spend on welfare--
let us say that of each dollar that we appropriate for welfare, 30 
cents goes to direct assistance, while 70 cents--or 70 percent--goes to 
pay for the services or the bureaucracy to deliver those funds. Seventy 
percent of that dollar supports the system and not the recipient. That 
sounds a little odd to me. It seems that the very first thing we need 
to do is reverse that, cut the bureaucracy, cut the miles of redtape, 
and get the dollars to those who need it.
  Also, according to the Cato Institute, in 1990, it would have cost us 
$75 billion 

[[Page S 11814]]
to bring every family in America with an income below the poverty level 
above that threshold. Yet, in 1990, the Government antipoverty spending 
was $184 billion, nearly 2\1/2\ times the amount needed to end poverty 
in America.
  So why do we not just send them a check? It does not take a 
bureaucracy as big as an army to do that. So I do not think it is a 
matter of whether we make changes, it is a matter of when we make those 
changes. If we want to do something for the American society as we know 
it, we must act now, put people back in the work force --and I mean 
real work, not job training after job training after job training, but 
job training followed by a job.
  We have to end welfare as a way of life. People should not 
automatically qualify for welfare and assistance. They should be on it 
for just a limited time. We have to get away from this language called 
entitlement language. My State of Montana has gone ahead with their 
welfare reform. They require their folks to work when they are ready. 
That may be right away, and that may be after completing job training. 
And if for some reason after that training you are still not ready to 
work, you must do community service. Now, it is too early to tell 
whether it is successful or not, but I am willing to bet they will be 
getting some folks off of welfare quicker than when no work is 
  Any bill we consider must include pay for performance. If someone 
shows up for work only half the time, then they only get half the 
benefits. That makes sense to me and it makes sense to a lot of other 
folks here in this country.
  It is pure and simple a reality. Anyone in the work force knows how 
that works. You show up for work you get paid; if you do not, you do 
not get paid. Why should it work any different for someone trying to 
get off welfare? I believe it is a matter of personal responsibility.
  We need to address our illegitimate rate. This is something that has 
been on the rise at almost dangerous levels and one thing that probably 
contributes most to the decline in our society's strengths. More and 
more children are growing up without a father.
  Crime statistics show more crimes are committed by kids who were 
raised without a father. It may be tough to legislate, but if we can 
encourage families to stay together, toughen child support laws, get 
the States to work toward reducing illegitimacy and thereby reduce the 
number of households headed by a single teenage mom, we can make a 
start toward rebuilding what I believe is the greatest society this 
world has ever known.
  I think one of the most important things to do to help control 
welfare is to give it over to the States. Montanans know what is best 
for Montanans. I have said that before on a number of issues, but it 
applies here as well.
  Block granting various programs to the State will allow them to use 
the dollars to best serve their residents, but more importantly, by 
getting the Federal Government out of the administration, it reduces 
redtape and regulations and the hoops they have to jump through. They 
can concentrate strictly on helping those who need assistance and get 
the dollars out to them.
  I have a feeling that the 70 cents out of every $1 that goes to 
services--not to the recipient but goes to pay the bureaucrats who live 
and thrive within the system--if we give the money directly to the 
States, we are bypassing that morass and focusing on our target: 
Assisting folks who have fallen below the poverty level and helping 
them to get back on their feet.
  I have talked to my people in the State. In fact, we are in contact 
with our people in Montana as this debate goes on. We will be in 
contact with them daily. They welcome the opportunity to decide 
whether, where, and how to spend those dollars. They want the 
flexibility, and we honestly believe they can control it better than we 
can. I happen to believe that.
  I am a product of local government. We understand what it is to run a 
welfare office. In Montana, when we had declining incomes, declining 
property values, and therefore, declining tax base, Yellowstone County, 
which I was a commissioner of, was the only county that did not become 
what we call ``State assumed.'' We could control it; we administered it 
from the county level. We are very proud of that, very proud of that.
  I look forward to this debate. I do not know of anybody that 
understands this situation more than the two managers of this piece of 
legislation, who have spent more time studying it, both from the 
standpoint of a system that delivers the welfare system and also the 
dollars it takes to provide welfare.
  It cannot be business as usual, as both of them have a history of 
forecasting many years ago on exactly what would happen if we did not 
take actions then. No action was taken then, so we find ourselves in a 
predicament now.
  I was interested in what the Senator from Iowa said about the system 
in Iowa, my friend, Senator Harkin. They can do that in Iowa, but they 
had to stand in line for 2 or 3 years before they obtained a waiver to 
put a system in that would work for Iowa.
  The real key word here is ``flexibility'' and is not standing in line 
for 2 or 3 years. The Senator from Oregon understands what they had to 
go through in order to get their plan approved. It was disapproved and 
disapproved, and it did not make any difference what administration it 
  States should not have to do that. I have a hunch as the debate goes 
on we will hear from the Federal bureaucracy. In fact, they make a 
powerful lobby because they understand who controls the multitude of 
programs to keep the control right here in Washington, DC.
  As those State plans come up, maybe I would not like the Oregon 
plans, maybe I would not like the Iowa plan. Maybe the Iowa plan would 
not work for my home State of Montana. But it does for them. That is 
important. That is important to the folks that live there--block grants 
and flexibility. Those plans are a success. They have been devised by 
people who are in on the ground, and they are devised by people who 
care about those who have suffered maybe some injustice of the system 
but have not had a very good break. They need a hand up and not a hand 
  It makes a lot of difference when you are operating here than when 
you are on the ground in the trenches trying to do something for your 
fellow man. It makes all the difference in the world.
  I cannot help but think if these States and State offices, those 
people who labor in that vineyard are some of the most dedicated people 
in this society. I do not want to demean them at all because they are 
wonderful, wonderful deliverers of help.
  I think the key here is to cut the bureaucracy here, to cut the cost 
of delivering the system, and get more dollars to the people who 
really, really need it. How we get there will probably be the focus of 
the debate. Keep our eye on the ball and work together. As this debate 
goes on, I think that we are men and women enough to fashion a plan to 
get us to where we want to be.
  I thank the managers of the bill. I thank the President. I yield the 
  Mr. MOYNIHAN. Mr. President, the Senator from Hawaii would like to 
speak on this matter, and we would like to hear from him.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Campbell). The Senator from Hawaii.
  Mr. AKAKA. Mr. President, I thank my friend from New York for the 
  Mr. President, this week, we begin consideration of legislation to 
overhaul our welfare system. As we reform welfare, we must take action 
to encourage work and promote personal responsibility. However, we must 
also ensure that adequate resources are available to achieve these 
objectives. Without adequate resources to implement essential 
components of any welfare reform proposal--such as work requirements, 
reduction of teen pregnancy, child care, and child support 
enforcement--welfare reform cannot succeed.
  I am seriously concerned about the adverse impact of the legislation 
currently pending before us. Although I am troubled by a number of 
provisions, including the lack of sufficient resources for child care, 
the lack of national standards, and the restrictions on assistance for 
legal immigrants, I would like to focus my remarks on some very basic 
flaws of the Republican proposal. 

[[Page S 11815]]

  First, it seems that the driving force behind Republican reform 
efforts is the potential Federal budget savings that may accrue as a 
result of changes in current law. I believe our primary goal should be 
to lessen dependency on welfare programs by enabling individuals to 
become self-sufficient while reducing Federal spending on welfare 
  However, the legislation before us fails to address the difficult 
problem of moving individuals into the work force. Although the work 
requirement has been refined to actually require work, it is an empty 
requirement. By increasing the number of welfare recipients required to 
spend time outside the home, but not increasing funds for child care, 
the Republican plan places significant additional burdens on States 
that are trying to comply with the bill. The Department of Health and 
Human Services estimates that States would need to spend $6.9 billion 
more in fiscal year 2000 than projected under current law in order to 
meet the work requirements but would receive $3.6 billion less in 
funding for the temporary family assistance block grant. Over the 7-
year period, States would need to spend an additional $23.7 billion on 
work services and child care but would receive $21.2 billion less in 
funding from the temporary family assistance block grant. Indeed, the 
Republican plan has the potential to shift huge costs to local 
governments as the block grants provide no assurance that local 
governments will be provided with sufficient program funding.
  If my colleagues on the other side of the aisle recall, earlier this 
year, the Senate passed the unfunded mandates legislation with 
overwhelming bipartisan support. The new law, signed by the President 
on March 21, 1995, was designed to make it more difficult for Congress 
to pass future unfunded mandates. Now, before that law takes effect, 
some of my colleagues want to enact welfare reform legislation which 
has the potential of passing huge additional costs on to the States.
  Another serious problem with the Republican proposal is that it would 
eliminate the safety net for millions of children living in poverty. 
The block grant locks State governments into a fixed funding level for 
five years based on each State's current share of Federal Aid to 
Families With Dependent Children. The block grants in the proposal 
contain virtually no adjustments for inflation, recession, or increases 
in child poverty within States. Under the Republican approach, which 
rips away the entitlement status of welfare, needy children may or may 
not get help, depending on local economic conditions and the discretion 
of local officials.
  Based on these and other concerns, Senate Democrats, under the 
leadership of Senator Daschle, have crafted an alternative package that 
contains real reforms. I support the Work First plan because it 
requires work and personal responsibility, it provides resources and 
incentives for moving recipients into the work force, it is estimated 
to save $20 billion in the next 7 years, and of paramount importance, 
it protects children at every stage.
  In contrast to the Republican proposal, the Work First plan maintains 
the entitlement status of welfare assistance programs as all 
individuals who meet the eligibility requirements and who abide by the 
rules will receive assistance. Instead of shifting costs to States and 
localities, the Work First plan provides resources and tools to the 
States to help move individuals into the work force. This is, in large 
part, a primary reason why the U.S. Conference of Mayors endorsed the 
Work First plan.
  As we consider welfare reform legislation, a carefully constructed 
approach must be taken--one that balances flexibility for States with 
the need for a national framework, accountability for outcomes, and 
effective protection for our Nation's children and families. As 
President Clinton stated in his speech to the National Governors 
Association on July 31, ``There is common ground on welfare. We want 
something that's good for children, that's good for the welfare 
recipients, that's good for the taxpayers, and that's good for 
America.'' I could not agree with his comments more, and I look forward 
to working with my colleagues to enact welfare reform legislation that 
benefits all Americans.
  I urge my colleagues to consider the Work First plan of the 
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from New York.
  Mr. MOYNIHAN. Mr. President, could I take just a moment of the 
Senate's time to express the honor I feel, as so many of us feel, to 
share this Chamber with the Senator from Hawaii. He is a person of such 
transparent goodness, thoughtfulness, and measured concern. His 
statement is a model of what I hope to hear more of, and what I would 
like to see this Chamber respond to.
  I thank him and I want to tell him what an honor it is to be 
associated with him in this debate.
  Mr. AKAKA. I thank the Senator very much and yield back my time.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Oregon is recognized.
  Mr. PACKWOOD. Mr. President, yesterday, when I made an opening 
comment on welfare, I talked about the philosophy of the different 
approaches between the two parties. It is well illustrated in the 
minority leader's bill that Senator Daschle will present, and the bill 
that Senator Dole and I have presented, in terms of giving authority, 
power, decisionmaking--call it what you want--back to the States.
  The argument is used: This is Federal money, and if it is Federal 
money, we ought to tell the States how to spend it, how to use it. I 
made the argument that while legally this may be Federal money, and in 
a court suit I suppose we could defend our legal right to it, in 
reality it is the taxpayers' money. We hold it in trust for some 
limited period of time and spend it as a trustee should, in the best 
way possible for the beneficiaries, that is the taxpayers.
  We should not get caught up in the argument as to whether this money 
is ours, that is the Federal Government, or the States, or the local 
governments, and that whoever thinks they own the money should put the 
strings on how it is spent. There is nothing wrong, even if we make the 
argument this is our money, with us giving it to the States and letting 
them spend it as they think best.
  With that background, let me explain what has happened over the years 
and why the States so desperately want us to block this money together 
and give it to them and let them attempt to solve the problems. I say 
``attempt.'' The Washington Post had an editorial this morning somewhat 
critical of me because I said I cannot guarantee that--if we give these 
programs to the States I cannot guarantee the States can make them 
work. I can guarantee, however, the States cannot do any worse than 
what the Federal Government is doing now.
  We have been trying to make welfare work for 60 years. The welfare 
system started in 1935. If anyone wants to make the defense that after 
60 years of the Federal Government running the welfare system it is 
working, I have yet to hear it on this floor. It is not working, and we 
are not going to make it work by tinkering with it a bit around the 
edges, by creating one more Rube Goldberg attachment to an already 
overburdened Rube Goldberg device.
  What happened? Here is the 1935 section of the Social Security Act 
that created the present welfare system. It is 2\1/4\ pages long. That 
is it. That is where we started. And there were no regulations.
  There was a little pamphlet which kind of told the States how this 
worked. But there was no regulations. Sixty years later, where are we? 
From 2\1/4\ pages, we have come to this. This is only part of it. These 
are the regulations that a caseworker in Oregon has to be familiar with 
and go through in order to determine a person's eligibility for 
welfare. And they had better jolly well know it and do it well or 
Oregon can be sued by the Federal Government for not complying with the 
Federal regulations.
  I emphasize this is only to determine eligibility. Once you are 
eligible, not how much money you get, or not once you are eligible, how 
long before we try to put you to work, or something else; just that you 
are eligible.
  Here is the path of the reason. Here is the eligibility process. In 
comes Jimmy Jones or Susie Smith. ``I would like to apply for 
welfare.'' The caseworker says, ``Hello, Jimmy and Susie. Can you give 
me proof of identity, age, 

[[Page S 11816]]
and citizenship? I want your driver's license, Social Security card, 
birth verification for each person, alien registration and your arrival 
and departure record, or any other identification from any other agency 
or organization.''
  That is the first thing they ask you. Assuming Jimmy or Susie 
actually understands what an alien registration and arrival or 
departure record is, whether they have a Social Security card for each 
person, let us say we get to the first person.
  We now move over to the proof of relationship and child in the house. 
We want a signed and dated statement from a friend or relative naming 
each child and the child's residence, birth certificate or other 
documents stating the parent's name.
  That is simple enough.
  Then we will move over here--proof of residence and shelter costs. 
How much are your electric bills, paid or unpaid; gas or fuel bills, 
paid or unpaid; rent or lease agreement; rent receipt and landlord 
statement; mortgage payment and book; deed to the property and proof of 
housing subsidies?
  Assuming poor Jimmy or Susie actually has access to it, knows what it 
is, has gathered it all together along with their driver's license, 
Social Security card, alien registration form, names of all children or 
proof from some relative who knows who they are, who is living in the 
house. We now have gone through to here: Proof of family situation; 
death certificate for deceased parent; divorce papers or separation 
papers showing the date, if separated, a statement from friend, 
neighbor, or relative that you are separated; marriage certificate; if 
in prison, the date of imprisonment and the length of sentence; if 
pregnant, medical statement with expected delivery date, name of 
doctor, name of hospital and doctor's statement. Poor Susie and Jimmy 
is gathering up more information.
  Now we come to here: Does anyone here have any income? It is a very 
important question. Do you have any income? If no, we go this way. Let 
us go to ``no.'' All right, we want to check your bank statement, 
current checking account statements, real estate documents, payment 
books or receipts from all mortgages, land sales, list of all stocks 
and bonds with current market value. My hunch is they do not have a 
lot. By chance, they may have some.
  We want title for all motor vehicles, agreements or documents showing 
conditions, trust fund, insurance policies. This is all to prove, in 
essence, that you have nothing.
  I am not quite sure how you prove a negative. ``No, I do not have any 
stocks or bonds nor a bank statement, book.''
  ``I do not have, I do not have.''
  How do we know you are telling the truth. ``I do not have it.''
  Now, if it is ``no,'' we finally get an annual eligibility decision 
over here. But if the poor devil has some income, now you are in 
serious trouble.
  ``Does anyone here have any income?'' If yes, proof of income.
  Now we go to uncashed workmen's compensation, other benefits check, 
Social Security or VA benefit, a court order stating alimony--go 
through all of that.
  The one that I like, you do not count for purposes of income--but you 
do count. You do not count for purposes of income. Adoption assistance 
for a child's special needs, do not count that. But you do count as 
income adoption assistance if not for special needs. This is assuming 
that Susie or Jimmy knows what special needs are.
  Here is my favorite. ``Do not count benefits from the agent orange 
settlement fund, Aetna Life.'' We do not count as income benefits from 
the agent orange settlement fund, Aetna Life. We do count as income, 
however, payments under the Agent Orange Act of 1991. That is income.
  I could go down this list. Here is another one of my favorites. We do 
count as lump sum the amounts over $2,000 of payments to Seminole Tribe 
members. We count that. We do not count, however, payments to Indians 
under Public Law 91-114.
  If you have finally gone through all of this, you may finally at the 
end of it became eligible for welfare--just eligible. This is just 
Susie or Jimmy. What has the State had to go through? Why does it cost 
them so much money? Why do we have this stack of regulations? Because 
these are the things you have to know to understand this. That is just 
the first step because this is not just welfare, AFDC, as we call it; 
there is also food stamps.
  Food stamps have a different standard of eligibility from welfare, 
and there are 57 major areas of difference between Federal policies as 
they affect the Food Stamp Program and the welfare program, and yet 
these programs serve in many cases the same person. Usually, if you are 
eligible for welfare you are probably eligible for food stamps, but 
this does not qualify you for both. That just qualifies you for AFDC, 
if you can get through.
  Then you go to food stamps. What has Oregon had to do? The 
information I am giving you comes from Jim Neely, who is the assistant 
administrator for Oregon's adult and family services division. This is 
our principal welfare division.
  Oregon has 600 administrative rules, of which this stack is a part: 
Two volumes of computer guides, 1,452 pages; one volume of form guides, 
270 pages; eligibility manual, 871 pages; workers guide, 910 pages--all 
of which you, as a caseworker, are expected to know. These regulations 
are used to determine welfare eligibility and to make welfare payments. 
Less than 15 percent of this information deals with helping people 
become self-sufficient through employment.
  As a matter of fact, most of this information is not really designed 
to help the person at all other than to get them a welfare payment. 
This information is gathered to make sure that the State of Oregon does 
not get sued by the Department of Health and Human Services or the 
Department of Agriculture because they have food stamps and claim that 
we have not had sufficient quality control to monitor the program.
  So I emphasize again, we are doing these things to comply with the 
Federal law.
  Mr. Neely in the letter that he sent said this Oregon Department of 
Adult and Family Services files 550 reports a year with the Federal 
Government; 550--roughly 1\1/2\ every day, Saturdays and Sundays 
included; that is our welfare division--spends 20 percent of their 
resources complying with Federal regulations, 20 percent beyond any 
level necessary to run what we would call a seamless welfare program.
  The Federal regulations have also interfered with Oregon's efforts to 
move welfare recipients into the work force. Oregon must now spend an 
enormous amount of time and resources documenting how welfare 
caseworkers spend this time.
  Can you believe this, Mr. President? A welfare caseworker must 
document what they are doing during every 6-minute segment of the day. 
I know lawyers do that. I can recall the time charts in a lawyer's 
office where you put, ``10 o'clock, I talked with client Jones.'' You 
put that down. I do not know if lawyers bill in less than 15-minute 
quarters. No matter how much they talk, they keep all the time, and 
that is the way they bill. The caseworker accounts for every 6 minutes 
so that this time is properly allocated to different moneys the State 
is eligible to receive.
  The welfare worker is doing the welfare workload. It may be welfare, 
or it may be food stamps. It might be job training. But all of these 
are separate amounts of money that come from the Federal Government 
with their own regulations.
  So for the State to be able to say caseworker Jones spent 2 hours and 
14 minutes on Wednesday on food stamps, you have to be able to document 
  In addition, the coding system that the caseworkers use to code each 
6 minutes, they have 110 different time reporting codes. You just do 
not put down, ``10 o'clock to 10:06, Susie Smith.'' You put down the 
code for what it was you were doing. You have to figure from the 110 
codes the correct one so that you are in compliance.
  Mr. Neely estimates that less than 10 percent of agency time is spent 
on what we call JOBS activities, capital J-O-B-S.
  Less than 10 percent is spent on JOBS Program activities and 90 
percent is spent on attempting to prove what they have done--programmed 
administration. Now, you know what the argument is? We need a waiver 
process and we do not need to really block grant and give these 
programs to the 

[[Page S 11817]]
State and say, here, use this money for the poor as best you see fit. 
You have to make them work. But you use it as best you see fit.
  The argument is, well, we can have a waiver process. And the Federal 
Government, if you apply to them, will give you a waiver from all of 
these regulations I have been talking about.
  Mr. President, I have been through this. I went through it with the 
State of Oregon when we tried to get a waiver that would let us take 
food stamp money and in certain circumstances ``cash it out,'' as we 
call it. Instead of giving food stamps to a person, we say we will help 
you get a job.
  We coordinated it with our JOBS Program. We had to get waivers for 
both of them. And we would say to an employer, we will give you x 
amount of money if you will hire Susie Smith. And we will give the 
employer the subsidy from the food stamp money because we would rather 
have Susie have a job that paid more than AFDC and food stamps 
  In order for Oregon to make these reforms, we had to apply to both 
the Department of Health And Human Services for a waiver, and to the 
Department of Agriculture for a waiver. In some cases, State must apply 
to the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of 
Agriculture, the Department of Housing and Urban Affairs, and to the 
Department of Labor. All four of these departments are responsible for 
programs in one way or another that affect low-income families, the 
current welfare system, welfare as we know it. But there is no 
coordination between the departments in granting waivers, and the 
requirements of each department are different.
  So I am going to just read what happened in order for Oregon to get a 
waiver and why, having had this experience, I feel so strongly we ought 
to block these programs together and give them to New York, give them 
to Oregon and say, here, you make it work. Let us get rid of this stack 
of rules and regulations.
  In November 1990, ballot measure 7 was passed by the voters of 
Oregon. It was an innovative workfare demonstration, but it did not 
qualify for Federal waivers. Federal officials said that substantial 
changes would have to be made in the program the way the voters had 
passed it and we would have to apply for the waivers. That is November 
  We got no waiver for years. Jump forward now 2\1/2\ years to July 
1993. The JOBS Plus--this is the J-O-B-S Plus Program as Oregon called 
it--was created by the Oregon Legislature in response to this 1990 
ballot measure. We could not even get going on it because we could not 
get any help from the Federal Government. The Governor and the 
Department of Human Resources worked with the ballot measure's 
supporters to create a workable alternative. But in order for Oregon to 
try this JOBS Plus Program, it was still necessary to get waivers from 
some of these Federal departments.
  On September 28, 1993, Mr. Neely, to whom I have previously referred, 
the assistant administrator for adult and family services, writes to 
Louis Weissman, the Deputy Assistant Administrator of the 
Administration for Children and Families, requesting suggestions on the 
draft waiver request. That is September 28.
  September 30. Mr. Neely writes to Steve Pichel, Western Region State 
Program Officer for food stamps, requesting suggestions on the draft 
waiver request. This is because we have to apply to one Department, 
Health and Human Services, for the AFDC waiver. We have to apply to 
another Department, Agriculture, for the food stamp waiver.
  Two weeks later, on October 18, formal request for waivers for the 
JOBS Plus Demonstration Program was sent to Mary Jo Bane, the Assistant 
Secretary for the Administration for Children and Families of Health 
and Human Services.
  A day later, October 19, a request for food stamp waivers to 
implement the JOBS Plus Program was sent to Dennis Stewart, the 
Regional Director for the Food Stamp Program, U.S. Department of 
  Ten days later, Governor Roberts, our then Governor, sent a letter to 
each member of the Oregon delegation asking for our help in getting 
these waivers.
  Three weeks after that, Kevin Concannon, the director of the 
department of health and human services; Stephen Minnich, the 
administrator of adult and family services; and Jim Neely, the 
assistant administrator, came here to meet with Health and Human 
Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture officials.
  In January 1994, Governor Roberts requested Congressmen Wyden and 
Kopetski to meet with the new administration and see if we could get 
the waivers that we wanted.
  January 5, 1994. A letter goes to Bruce Reed, the Deputy Assistant to 
the President for Domestic Policy, from Kevin Concannon, asking his 
intervention on Oregon's behalf with the Department of Agriculture.
  January 14, 1994. A letter is sent from Jim Neely to Bonny O'Neil, 
Acting Deputy Administrator for Food Stamps, to follow up on the 
November meeting.
  I will not read the rest of what goes on. It goes on for another 10 
pages of letters, meetings, requests, refusals to grant the waiver, 
suggestions as to how we had to change it, pare it, make it different 
to fit Federal standards. And I will not bother to read the six pages 
of my personal involvement with this --phone calls, letters, meetings.
  That is what it took to get a waiver so that Oregon could try an 
experimental program combining AFDC and food stamps and work.
  Mr. President, it is working. It is working. It would have worked a 
lot faster and it would have worked a lot better if Oregon could have 
put this into effect immediately, if Oregon could have gotten rid of 
that stack of documents immediately.
  So when those who oppose the Dole-Packwood bill say we can do this 
with waivers, here is an example of an attempt to do it with waivers. 
At the end, after 3\1/2\ years--pardon me, 4\1/2\ years--did we finally 
get the waiver, did we finally get the waiver in the form we wanted it 
and do exactly what we wanted? No. Do we still have to do more reports 
than we think we should? Yes. Is our program working? It is.
  There is not a State in this country that does not know better than 
we in Washington, DC, know what their problems are. And there is 
probably not a county in a State that does not know their problems 
better than the State government. And there is probably not a 
neighborhood in the county that does not know its problems better than 
the county government.
  The closer we can get this program back to the local level, the 
better it is going to work and the more money that can be spent on 
helping people instead of filing forms.
  So, Mr. President, I very much hope when we are done with this, we 
will pass the Dole-Packwood bill.
  I thank the Chair.
  Mr. MOYNIHAN addressed the Chair.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from New York [Mr. Moynihan].
  Mr. MOYNIHAN. May I respond to my friend and chairman after a very 
graphic, very powerful statement. I wonder if we have not wandered, 
perhaps without anticipating it, into a larger subject, which is that 
of bureaucracy in America and central government in America, federalism 
in America.
  The President in his 1992 campaign, starting with an address at 
Georgetown University in 1991, proposed to end welfare as we know it. 
He had in mind, I think he clearly had in mind the proposals set forth 
by David Ellwood in his book ``Poor Support,'' which was published in 
1988, which the chairman knows, on poverty and the American family.
 And Dr. Ellwood is now the academic dean of the Kennedy School. He has 
left Washington, but he had an idea for the type of limited welfare 
which would involve very much larger expenditures than we now have.

  The bill that was proposed finally toward the end of the second year 
of the administration would have cost $11,762,000,000 over 5 years; $12 
billion in additional outlays, which is a sense of what we have. But 
talking about ending welfare as we know it, it seems to me we have 
begun the debate about ending the Department of Health and Human 
Services as we know it.
  The pattern here is discouraging, but it is also predictable. When 
Government gives away money, there is only one way an administrator can 
get in 

[[Page S 11818]]
trouble, only one way a caseworker can get in trouble. And I wonder if 
my friend would not agree with me, the only way to get in trouble is 
giving money to someone who is not entitled to it, giving money by 
mistake, giving money by modes that could be depicted as inappropriate, 
improper, felonious, for that matter.
  It is in the nature of a Government program to say that we have to be 
absolutely certain that you are eligible before you would be given 
money. And that will overwhelm any other enterprise.
  The most striking line on the Senator's chart there, Federal Barriers 
To Moving Welfare Recipients Into Work, State Of Oregon, is that only 
10 percent of agency time is spent on JOBS activities.
  Now, the Job Opportunities and Basic Skills Program began with the 
1988 Family Support Act. It was the first effort to redefine welfare to 
say this is not a widow's pension with an indefinite stay assumed. This 
is a program to help young persons who are in need of assistance to get 
out of a dependent mode into an independent life through job 
  And all the years since we passed that legislation--and I recall--I 
have said several times, it went out the Senate door 96-1 in 1988, 96-
1. We rarely have such a vote. But no one from the Department of Health 
and Human Services has ever come near this Senator--I do not think 
there would be any other one--to say, ``You know, we are not getting as 
much out of this legislation as we hoped for because we are bogged down 
in administrative procedure.'' I see my friend from Oregon is agreeing. 
We can get 10 percent of the time in Oregon; and Oregon is not a State 
overwhelmed with this problem.
  Oregon is not the city of Los Angeles with 62 percent of its children 
on welfare. It is not the city of New York with more than half a 
million children on welfare. There are about 11 States in the Union 
that have a total population that is smaller than the welfare 
population of New York State. This is not being evenly distributed.
  But it is clear that here in Washington a responsible bureaucracy has 
not sensed how irresponsible its procedures have come to be seen in the 
Nation. How almost conspiratorial they have come to be seen, as if you 
are trying to prevent us from doing what we would like to do. There is 
a hidden agenda in all these--``Did you get yellow rain benefits under 
this program? That is all right; that program, not all right.'' Clearly 
there is some hidden motive in such seemingly absurd distinctions.
  That is the condition of the Federal Government. We look up and we 
find park rangers--as a child I do not know that there was any more of 
a benevolent role that a person could have than to be a park ranger 
with a Smokey Bear hat, welcoming you to Yellowstone Park or the Statue 
of Liberty, as a matter of fact.
  Suddenly they are being threatened, seen as oppressors. They are seen 
as persons involved in illicit acts intended on depriving citizens of 
their liberties. Well, bureaucracies that do not get that message will 
hear what the Department of Health and Human Services is hearing on the 
Senate floor. I have not heard one statement on either side of the 
aisle which has not in particular taken up the issue of the bureaucracy 
here in Washington. It is not large, 327 persons, but, indeed, neither 
has it been sensitive to the way it is perceived.
  As I say, in 19 years in the Senate dealing with this subject, no one 
has ever come to us from that Department--it was HEW when it began, 
when I first arrived--saying, ``We do have a problem here. I think we 
have some ways to deal with it.'' It was the same thing, if I may say, 
until last year when we enacted legislation which came out of the 
Finance Committee to take the Social Security Administration out of the 
Department of Health and Human Services where it kind of ended up after 
floating around in the 1940's.
  A majority of nonretired adults do not think they will receive Social 
Security. Now, that is a statement of a lack of confidence in 
Government that is pretty striking. If people think that the Government 
is lying about that, which is pretty elemental, your retirement 
benefits, your retirement and disability insurance, what else do they 
think? But it has not troubled the Department of Health and Human 
Services that persons did not believe in this most elemental contract. 
I mean, a person is paying for their Social Security benefits. Seventy 
percent of the American people, adults, taxpayers, pay more in Social 
Security payroll taxes, combining the employer and employee, than they 
do in income tax.
  If a majority of the nonretired adults think that the Government is 
lying, well, that is a problem which the administrators could not see 
because they felt they were not lying. In time you will find out we 
were not. We have never been a day late or a dollar short. It did not 
trouble them. And I have made the point, if you do not think you are 
going to get Social Security, you will not miss it when they take it 
away. Despite efforts to get earnings statements and a decent card to 
replace that pasteboard from the 1930's, we had no success.
  We have earning statements now. We had to legislate them, Mr. 
President. They could have done it entirely on their own. But we had to 
tell people, ``Yes, we know your name. We know what you made last year. 
We recorded it as such. Keep on going about the way you are going and 
this is what you will expect when you are 65.'' I mean, a simple 
statement that banks put out once a month, insurance companies put out 
once a year, that kind of thing.
  I have heard things on the floor that disturb me. And there is a lack 
of response. If there is anybody in the Department of Health and Human 
Services listening, may I say, ``You may be listening to the case being 
made for abolishing your Department.'' It has been dismantled piece by 
piece. Education was taken out. Social Security was taken out. Pretty 
soon there will not be--the Surgeon General's office is not being 
funded. In time there may be nothing left except the Hubert H. Humphrey 
Building. I wish he were alive, but I would not wish him to be alive to 
see what is going on today.
  I see my very good friend, Senator Abraham, is on the floor. And in 
the manner we have of alternating statements, I will be happy to yield 
the floor for the remarks by my friend.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Ashcroft). The Senator from Michigan [Mr. 
Abraham], is recognized.
  Mr. ABRAHAM. Mr. President, it has been almost 30 years since Lyndon 
Johnson began the much publicized War on Poverty--30 years and $5.4 
trillion later. It seems to me that poverty is winning that war. 
Today's poverty rate of 15.1 percent is actually higher than the 14.7 
percent it was in 1966 when the war on poverty began.
  What is more, as a result of impersonal, family-destroying welfare 
policies, we now have what the First Lady herself terms ``cities filled 
with hopeless girls with babies and angry boys with guns.''
  Former Reagan Education Secretary Bill Bennett's index of leading 
cultural indicators shows that while population increased only 41 
percent between 1960 and 1990, the violent crime rate increased more 
than 500 percent; the teen suicide rate more than tripled; and the 
divorce rate more than doubled. Also since 1960, illegitimate births 
increased more than 400 percent. By the end of this decade, 40 percent 
of all births in America will occur without benefit of marriage.
  We now know that the children who never know their fathers fare far 
worse in crucial aspects of life than do children who grow up with both 
parents. For example, children of single parents are twice as likely to 
drop out of high school, 2\1/2\ times as likely to become teen mothers, 
and 1.4 times as likely to be idle, out of school and out of work, as 
children who grew up with both parents.
  Why do we have such high rates of out-of-wedlock births with all the 
bad consequences it brings? In significant part, I think it is because 
we have a welfare system that discourages the formation of intact two-
parent families, all this while costing America's taxpayers $380 
billion per year.
  Mr. President, the welfare system is broken. I do not think there is 
anyone in America who believes the present system is working--not the 
recipients of welfare, not the bureaucrats who administer welfare 
programs, and certainly not the taxpayers who pay for them.
  I say we have to stop spending $380 billion a year on welfare only to 

[[Page S 11819]]
produce more welfare dependency, more poverty, more broken families, 
more babies born out of wedlock into lives of desperation without hope 
or solace.
  Mr. President, this is not a debate about just another Government 
program. It is a debate about our children. It is a debate about 
whether we are willing to do what is necessary to save literally 
millions of American kids with futures without parents and too often 
without hope.
  Some of our colleagues and others who are interested in this subject 
have come forth in recent days claiming that any approach that empowers 
the States to make their own welfare choices will somehow be less 
helpful to America's children. I ask my colleagues, and others who 
espouse this view, a simple question: What has been the legacy of the 
current welfare system to children? Let me repeat some of the points I 
mentioned earlier.
  First, both overall poverty and child poverty is higher than when the 
war on poverty began. Second, the teen suicide rate more than tripled 
between 1960 and 1990. Third, the rate of out-of-wedlock births has 
increased more than 400 percent since 1960. Again, children of single 
parents are far more likely to drop out of high school, become teen 
mothers, be out of work and out of school as children who grow up with 
both parents. And so, Mr. President, it is my view that if this is what 
constitutes a caring approach that helps our children, count me out. I 
will take my chances with a new approach that vests power and authority 
with the States.
  Our current welfare system is not working, and that is why reform is 
so important. The question is, what form should the new system take? I 
believe that any truly successful reform attempt must be guided by 
three core principles: Reform must consolidate and reduce welfare 
programs and bureaucracy; it must promote certain national objectives, 
such as strengthening families, self-sufficiency, and personal 
responsibility; and it must allow maximum State flexibility.
  First, welfare reform must consolidate and reduce Federal welfare 
programs and bureaucracy. There are at least 79 duplicative and 
overlapping welfare programs designed to aid the poor, ranging from 
AFDC to food stamps to public housing. If reform is to be successful, I 
think the system of assistance we provide must be comprehensive and 
integrated so that all of the component parts fit together coherently.
  Further, welfare reform must cut the welfare bureaucracy, not expand 
it. According to the Heritage Foundation, ``Welfare bureaucracies are 
prolific in inventing new programs which allegedly promote self-
sufficiency but accomplish nothing or actually draw more people into 
welfare dependence.''
  Second, welfare reform must establish and achieve several Federal 
goals: Specifically, strengthening families, requiring personal 
responsibility, and promoting self-sufficiency. I do not believe that 
the Federal Government should, or effectively can, design welfare 
programs for all 50 States and accomplish these goals. But I think it 
should set the goals in place and then give States the opportunity to 
fulfill them.
  We have tried a centralized, Washington-based welfare system for 30 
years, and it has been a failure.
  So I say let us leave the details to those closest in proximity to 
the people and their problems. But the Federal Government must have its 
voice heard as we work to support the fundamental principle that people 
must put forth some effort, that we must try to create intact families 
and encourage their formation in exchange for the assistance they 
  So, third, welfare reform must also allow for maximum State 
flexibility and experimentation. States must be given the authority to 
design the day-to-day regimen of their programs and to respond to the 
unique needs and circumstances that cannot be anticipated or 
appreciated by the Federal Government.
  The current system at least provides States the opportunities to seek 
waivers from certain Federal requirements. But this waiver system has 
proven to be clumsy and time consuming. It is laborious and often 
stalls or even kills innovative ideas.
  For example, my State of Michigan still is seeking a waiver so that 
it can implement its idea to cash out food stamps for clients who are 
working. Michigan thinks this would be an excellent way to reward aid 
recipients who are making progress toward self-sufficiency. The program 
would eliminate the stigma of using food stamps for those who work to 
at least partially support themselves; in other words, so that people 
do not have to go to the grocery store with food stamps and continue to 
feel that they are not productive in their own right. Unfortunately, 
the State has been waiting for approval from the U.S. Department of 
Agriculture for this waiver since March 1994.
  In short, Mr. President, the waiver system is inefficient because it 
puts the least innovative bureaucrats in bureaucracies--indeed, those 
bureaucracies at the Federal level who have the least incentive to make 
dramatic changes to the system, because many of them might lose their 
jobs--in charge of approving or disapproving new program ideas 
submitted by the most innovative Government agencies, those at the 
State and local level.
  Unfortunately, far too much of the State's time and resources are 
spent either complying with onerous Federal requirements or seeking 
  In my State of Michigan, it has been estimated that front-line 
welfare workers, those who deliver the services to Michigan's neediest 
families, spend two-thirds of their time interpreting the dizzying 
array of complex and arcane Federal rules and filling out paperwork, 
either to support those regulations or to seek waivers from them.
  We have had reports on this in several hearings in which I 
participated as a member of the Budget Committee. I was listening to 
this testimony from people who actually were on the front line of the 
welfare battle that persuaded me that it was time to really change 
direction and give the States the kind of authority that we are 
considering this week, because when I realized that two-thirds of the 
front-line welfare worker's time was being spent not helping people but 
filling out forms, I realized that redtape from Washington was a major 
source of the problem with our welfare system today.
  So, Mr. President, using these three guiding principles for welfare 
reform, I believe the best approach would be to combine as many welfare 
programs as possible into a single block grant and give the States 
authority to battle local problems, to develop innovative welfare 
reforms, and to tailor reforms to local circumstances with as few 
Washington rules, regulations, mandates, and strings attached as 
  We all want to reduce the number of out of wedlock births and 
increase incentives to work. But Federal mandates and strings that do 
not allow States to take into account their own varying local 
circumstances can only have adverse consequences. Each State has 
different poverty populations which may require different reforms to 
achieve the best results.
  Mr. President, many of our colleagues have raised concerns about the 
block grant approach. Specifically, some oppose the no strings block 
grant approach because they believe that State and local government 
leaders will not fulfill their requirements and their obligations to 
take care of the needy.
  Instead of doing their best to help poor people, on this view, State 
officials will, if freed from Washington control, commence a race to 
the bottom. States will compete with one another to cut welfare 
benefits so as to convince recipients to settle elsewhere. The result, 
it is said, will be mothers and children left with little or no 
assistance from the State. According to this view, only bureaucrats in 
Washington have the brains and heart to make decent welfare policy that 
will help all who deserve it.
  Mr. President, I cannot speak for any other colleagues here, but for 
myself, I know of no one that would let this happen. This is not the 
1850's, or even the 1950's. We are entering the 21st century. State and 
public officials do care about their citizens. In fact, I think they 
probably care about them more than the people do here in Washington.
  I would challenge those who adhere to this race-to-the-bottom notion 
to tell us what State--name the State--

[[Page S 11820]]
that would allow its families and children to fall through the social 
safety net.
  Again, I cannot speak for every State official, but I can assure you 
that, in my State of Michigan, we can and will continue to take care of 
our people. For example, in this era of fiscal austerity and tight 
budgets, our State held the line and protected education funding from 
cuts and dramatically increased spending for children at risk. In 
addition, we have achieved a long-awaited reduction in the infant 
mortality rate, and other similar kinds of project lines designed to 
help the most needy and the most at risk among our population.
  I think this example of Michigan shows how our States, if allowed the 
necessary flexibility, can come to grips with the problem of welfare 
dependency that is plaguing our Nation.
  With only limited flexibility under AFDC waivers, Michigan Governor 
John Engler managed to get 90,000 welfare recipients off the rolls and 
into paid jobs. Governor Engler did this not by abandoning the poor but 
by asking them to sign a social contract that committed them to 
working, engaging in job training, or volunteering in the community at 
least 20 hours per week.
  Our Governor and legislature also let welfare mothers--and this is 
innovation--keep the first $200 per month of their earnings without 
counting it against their assistance. And he let them keep 20 percent 
of the money they earned after the $200 cutoff point. The effect was 
predictable. It was one in which people had a much greater incentive to 
be productive, get into the work force, and get out of the cycle of 
dependency. The success is, I think, rather staggering.
  Since the policy began in October 1992, average earnings by AFDC 
recipients have gone up 16 percent to $460 a month as of April. The 
percentage of cases with earned income has skyrocketed, in Michigan 
terms, to 27.6 percent--triple the national average.
  As explained recently in the Detroit Free Press, the ability to keep 
part of their earnings prodded recipients to accept low-level, first-
rung-of-the-economic-ladder type jobs. As they gain more experience, 
they work longer hours and begin to land higher paying jobs. Thousands 
of them ended up earning such an amount of money, in fact, that they no 
longer needed AFDC assistance.
  Again, 90,000 people were saved from lives on welfare, and at a 
savings of over $100 million--after inflation. In my view, that is 
quite impressive, and it reflects only a part of the progress we can 
make by giving our States more freedom to order their own social 
spending priorities.
  Mr. President, we could do more, but, unfortunately, too often the 
Washington bureaucracy is in the way. Recently, at the hearings I 
referenced earlier, we heard from the people who run the social 
services department in Michigan. They came with huge notebooks, similar 
to the ones the Senator from Oregon recently had, in terms of paper 
load. They had notebook after notebook, almost from literally a table 
top halfway to the ceiling of the room in which the hearing was held, 
made up of the forms and the paperwork that the welfare workers in our 
State are forced to fill out just to seek a waiver--to be given the 
flexibility to do positive things to try to both reduce caseload and 
give people the incentive to find jobs and get out of the cycle of 
  Governor Engler, at one of our hearings, produced a scroll that 
stretched from one end of the hearing room to the other, and it 
indicated on it a list of all the programs and regulations that a State 
administrator had to confront in order to deal with the many, many 
programs which they are required to administer under these laws. Think 
of what we could do if the people administering those programs could 
cut that paperwork burden in half, or more, and devote their time to 
helping more people get out of the cycle of dependency and find 
opportunities and get on the first rung of the economic ladder and make 
their way independently. I think that would be quite an accomplishment.
  Some people come at this from a different perspective--people who 
generally share my respect for State and local prerogatives but who 
oppose the no-strings approach, for different reasons. They argue that 
block granting will produce no significant policy changes. They believe 
that the State bureaucracies and liberal social workers constitute 
entrenched bastions of the status quo, and they are equally committed 
to expanding and maintaining the current welfare system. But, in my 
judgment, there is no evidence to suggest that a new set of Washington 
rules, regulations, and mandates will produce better outcomes. I do not 
think there are any good arguments, either liberal or conservative, for 
centralizing welfare in Washington.
  Mr. President, I think the choice is clear: It is a choice between 
business-as-usual welfare reform with some window dressing, bells, and 
whistles, versus real reform that shakes up the current welfare system 
in ways that benefit both welfare recipients and the taxpayers. It is a 
choice between a Washington-centered welfare system and a new State 
  Given the magnitude of the current problem, I say the real change 
will occur only if we rely on the States.
  In summary, Mr. President, I believe the amendment before us 
encompasses many of the objectives for welfare reform I outlined at the 
outset of my speech. It reduces welfare growth by consolidating 
programs into block grants and cuts the welfare bureaucracy and the 
relevant departments by 30 percent; it sets national goals on the 
issues of work and illegitimacy; and it gives States the freedom to 
pursue innovative ways to reduce dependency and increase self-
sufficiency among welfare recipients.
  I know several amendments will be offered, and some I intend to 
support because I think they will more fully flush out some of the 
objectives I outlined earlier. I think when those amendments are 
adopted, the full amendment before us will achieve the objectives which 
I have been working for in the context of this legislation.
  So in closing, I argue that Washington has not cornered the market on 
compassion. As the experience of Michigan and many other States have 
shown, innovative State programs are better able to lift the poor out 
of welfare dependency, give people a chance to get on the first rung of 
the economic ladder and are, therefore, ultimately more compassionate 
than a one-size-fits-all program, head- quartered in Washington.
  I yield the floor.
  Mr. MOYNIHAN. Mr. President, I thank my friend from Michigan for his 
very thoughtful, very moderate remarks. I, however, wish to point out 
that the innovative programs that have indeed taken place in Michigan 
in recent years have done so under the Family Support Act of 1988.
  Michigan responded exactly as we hoped it would respond, as other 
States would respond, as other States have responded. It was that 
bipartisan exercise that said, ``Go and innovate. Do what you think is 
best. Fit your own needs.''
  I congratulate Michigan for what it has done. I hope they are 
confident that they can now do it on their own. That is where they are 
going to be.
  I said earlier that to a degree we perhaps do not recognize we are 
dealing with an urban crisis. In the city of Detroit, 72 percent of the 
children are on welfare. There has never been such an experience in our 
history. It will not go away easily. It has come about in a very short 
period of time--30 years, 35 years.
  I hope that we know what we are doing if we are going to say the 
Federal commitment to match State efforts need no longer be made. I 
think, sir, we will regret that, but we will find out as the debate 
  Now, we have a dissenting view and an alternative view, at the very 
least, from the distinguished Senator from Wisconsin, who also has a 
Governor who has been very active in these affairs under the Family 
Support Act.
  I am happy to yield such time as he may require to the distinguished 
Senator from Wisconsin.
  Mr. FEINGOLD. I thank the Chair, and I especially thank the senior 
Senator from New York. He has showed unparalleled leadership and wisdom 
on this particular issue and many other issues.
  Clearly, we have come to rue the day that we did not listen to the 
senior Senator from New York on this issue. I say to the Chair and all 
my colleagues, 

[[Page S 11821]]
we will come to rue this day as well if we do not listen to the senior 
Senator from New York on this issue that he has more understanding of 
than any Member in this body.
  Mr. President, I rise today to support real reform of our Nation's 
welfare system. I rise in support of genuine reform that focuses on 
temporary and transitional assistance to families, work and work 
preparation, guaranteed child care, positive family development, 
vigorous child support enforcement, the prevention of teen pregnancy, 
and teen and adult parental responsibility.
  Simply put, I strongly support the Work First plan which was recently 
introduced by the distinguished Democratic leader. The Work First plan, 
Mr. President, actually ends welfare as we know it and presents a clear 
contrast to the bill before the Senate, which I think is largely 
business as usual.
  Work First fundamentally changes the structure of welfare by creating 
a new, conditional entitlement for a limited time. The Republican plan 
merely repackages the Federal AFDC and jobs program into State 
entitlement block grants with cap funding that does not consider 
economic variability.
  Work First emphasizes and requires actual work in order to receive a 
benefit. The Republican plan has no real work requirements and provides 
no incentives for people to get or keep jobs. It merely measures 
participation in jobs or other bureaucratic programs in order for 
States to be able to qualify for future funding.
  In addition, Mr. President, Work First protects kids with a safety 
net of services if parents fail to participate and guarantees child 
care assistance for parents who do work. The Republican plan limits 
assistance for child care, has no safety net, and leaves families at 
the mercy of future economic downturns and the State and local 
responses to them.
  Mr. President, Work First requires States to invest in getting 
welfare recipients to work by maintaining a State match while creating 
savings from the existing welfare program.
  The Republican plan requires no State match and dramatically cuts 
welfare to finance a Federal tax cut for the rich, while virtually 
ensuring an increased tax burden on State and local governments when 
the robust economic conditions change.
  Mr. President, the distinctions between the two plans are very clear: 
Either we want to practice what we preach by providing temporary 
assistance while moving people into work, or we want to just talk a 
good game of State flexibility while at the same time reducing the 
State's ability and capacity or incentive to truly end welfare as we 
know it.
  As the senior Senator from New York pointed out, my own State of 
Wisconsin, which has been in the spotlight as a leader in welfare 
reform, actually provides a model of two conclusions about this issue. 
Wisconsin provides both a good example of the types of initiatives that 
Work First can inspire, but frankly it also provides a clear warning 
that good PR is a poor substitute for demonstrable results for families 
and for the States.
  In other words, all that glitters is not gold when we look at the 
Wisconsin model. There is good and there is bad. We want to make sure 
that this body knows the difference.
  First, we will talk about what has been very good. The New Hope 
project in Milwaukee, WI, demonstrates that the principles of Work 
First are a proven and effective alternative to the Republican proposed 
welfare program. New Hope began in 1992 as a demonstration project with 
51 participating families. Now it has been expanded just in the last 3 
years to 600 families. Its funds were secured through Federal, State 
and private sources. The projects targeted families receiving welfare 
and the working poor who qualified for some public assistance like food 
stamps and Medicaid.
  New Hope requires participants to work. It provides access to 
private-sector jobs, community service jobs if no job can be found in 
the private sector. Mr. President, it provides wage subsidies if 
necessary to bring a family's income above the poverty line. And, Mr. 
President, very importantly, it provides health and child care 
subsidies for families with up to 200 percent of poverty.
  While the project shares the goals of self-sufficiency with existing 
efforts, it goes way beyond this in three ways. First, the project 
guarantees access to a job. Second, it removes categorization of those 
who are poor and thereby removes some of the disincentive to 
participate in the current system. Third, it links subsidies to income 
level rather than creating sudden-death scenarios for participants when 
arbitrarily established time limits are reached.
  Mr. President, let me just say that New Hope speaks for itself in its 
results. There has been an 86 percent increase in the proportion of the 
participants who work. There has been a 75 percent decrease in the 
proportion of participants who are unemployed. The employed no longer 
require AFDC, and 25 percent of them no longer require Medicaid.
  Let me talk about the other example. Turning to the much-touted 
welfare reform initiatives in the State of Wisconsin championed by 
Governor Thompson, let me first commend Governor Thompson for his 
activism in the welfare debate. It is substantial. It is a credit to 
the skilled people working in the State's bureaucracy that as many 
innovations have been carefully implemented in the past 8 years, and 
our State has earned its reputation on this issue.
  Mr. President, I think it is important for people to know, since I 
served in the State Senate through many of the years this began, that 
the jury is still really out on the actual cause of the results 
Wisconsin has experienced--in other words, Mr. President, the sharp 
decrease in the welfare caseload, which has been impressive. We have 
had a 22.5-percent decrease in welfare from 1986 to 1994. But, Mr. 
President, the information we have is that this is probably not 
directly attributable in large part to the Thompson innovations but 
more likely to be attributed to unrelated aspects.
  Similarly, while the Republican bill before the Senate seeks to 
reform welfare by slashing funding to the States, the one thing that we 
are pretty clear that Wisconsin does demonstrate is that significant 
investment is necessary in order to realize even the slightest measure 
of success in preparing people for and getting them to work.
  Wisconsin's well-developed employment and training system, which 
features 30 one-stop-shopping job centers, is evidence of the 
investment that is really needed to get these kind of results.
  Mr. President, there is also recent empirical evidence that the cause 
of Wisconsin's success is most likely the function of factors not very 
easily replicated in other States, simply through the implementation of 
program policies.
  Michael Wiseman of the University of Wisconsin's Institute for 
Research on Poverty and the Robert M. LaFollette Institute of Public 
Affairs released a study in June 1955 entitled ``State Strategies for 
Welfare Reform: The Wisconsin Story.''
  Wiseman traces the short history of Wisconsin's welfare reform 
efforts beginning with the Thompson administration's first waiver 
initiative in 1987. He analyzes caseload data, unemployment rates, 
manufacturing employment, and benefit and eligibility levels in the 
context of each policy initiative requiring a waiver in order to test a 
variety of reform experiments. We have had many of these experiments. 
Let me just mention the variety.
  These experiments include:
  Learnfare, which requires teenage children of AFDC recipients and 
teen parents to regularly attend school or the family losses benefits;
  JOBS 20-hour requirement, which allows the State to require more than 
20 hours of JOBS participation for mothers with preschool children;
  Allowing lower benefits to be paid in the first 4 months after a job 
is taken;
  Continuation of Medicaid benefits for 1 year;
  Suspension of the 100-hour rule, which denies benefits if the 
principal earner works more than 100 hours in a month;
  Bridefare, which allows welfare applicants under age 20, if they live 
together, to enjoy liberalized benefit and eligibility standards, but 
reduces benefits if a second child is born;
  So-called two-tier benefits allow the State to pay the benefit level 
of the 

[[Page S 11822]]
sending State for new residents--I would add, this is currently being 
challenged in the Federal courts as unconstitutional;
  Prohibit ownership of a vehicle valued at more than $2,500; allow 
recipients to save up to $10,000 for education/training;
  A program called Work, not Welfare, which provides intensive job 
preparaton before requiring the recipient to work within 2 years or 
lose all benefits;
  Family Caps, which denies additional benefits for additional 
  Work First, which requires participation in job search/preparation 
for 30 days before benefits can be received; and
  Pay for Performance, which reduces the JOBS benefit for every hour of 
JOBS participation not completed.
  The Wiseman study points out that Wisconsin's welfare caseload 
declined by 22.5 percent between December 1986 and December 1994. The 
study states that the decline is primarily associated with restrictions 
in eligibility and benefits, a strong State economy. Our State 
unemployment rate still hovers between 4 and 4.5 percent. And finally 
this is mostly correlated with large expenditures on welfare to work 
  Wiseman goes on to state that continued reduction of welfare 
utilization is jeopardized by proposed changes in Federal cost sharing 
because the Republican plan requires no State match. Wiseman concludes 
that the special circumstances enjoyed by Wisconsin are unlike to be 
duplicated elsewhere.
  He cautions that other States and the Federal Government should not 
assume that expanded State discretion alone will produce comparable 
gains unless accompanied by major outlays for employment and training 
programs, reductions in benefits, and tightening of eligibility 
requirements. He further cautions that the first policy is expensive to 
taxpayers, the second and third policies harm recipients.
  Finally, just this past Thursday Governor Thompson unveiled a new 
statewide welfare program that replaces AFDC. This follows the recent 
State budget action, which transfers responsibility for administering 
welfare programs to the State's labor department. The new ``W-2'' 
Program places participants into four categories depending on their job 
  Those with the highest job skills will receive assistance from 
program staff to obtain full time private sector jobs. Those 
participants would also continue to receive food stamps and the EITC.
  Second, participants with less proficient job skills will be placed 
in full-time private sector jobs on a trial basis, on-the-job training 
subsidized by the State, with food stamp and EITC eligibility.
  Third, those who cannot secure private sector jobs or placed in trial 
jobs must perform community service for less than minimum wage with 
food stamp eligibility.
  Finally, the fourth category would be for people who are unable to 
obtain or hold a job, and who would be required to work in sheltered 
workshops, volunteer and participate in job preparation programs.
  What comes through with this latest proposal is the notion of high 
level investment throughout the Wisconsin plan. The notion that work 
comes first is another key element. It is sounding more and more like 
Governor Thompson is adopting the Work First strategy put forward in 
the minority leader's plan.
  In conclusion, Mr. President, Work First will be effective, because 
it adopts an attitude of uplift rather than put down, it requires 
investment by the States, not the cut and run strategy of the 
Republican plan. It develops and preserves families, rather than 
providing incentives to disintegrate them. It aggressively addresses 
teen pregnancy first through prevention, and by requiring teens to live 
in supportive home, or second chance home environments.
  So there is a very viable plan before us. It is a plan that brings 
together the best lessons we have learned in Wisconsin and that can 
actually be transferred to many other States. In that spirit I again 
thank the senior Senator from New York and yield the floor.
  Mr. MOYNIHAN addressed the Chair.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from New York.
  Mr. MOYNIHAN. Mr. President, I would like first to thank the Senator 
from Wisconsin and draw particular attention to the idea of second-
chance homes. This is an idea that has been around for some while. It 
received very strong support from persons such as James Q. Wilson, of 
the University of California at Los Angeles, as one possible 
intervention in the reproductive cycle of young persons in situations 
where they are overwhelmed by the single-parent culture in which they 
find themselves living. Not 3 miles from this Capitol you will find 
such neighborhoods, such settings.
  It is a deeply humane idea. It is an old idea--a maternity home. It 
may yet find a place in our response to the questions of illegitimacy--
nonmarital births, if you like.
  I am going to take just one moment, pending the Senator from 
Nebraska, to call attention to a matter in this regard. On the 1st of 
August, Mr. President, the Bureau of the Census put out its annual 
compilation called ``Population Profile of the United States, 1995.'' 
In that summary there is a statement that, ``26 percent of children 
born in 1994 were out-of-wedlock births.''
  That is discouraging, because it is not so. And the Bureau of the 
Census needs to know it is not so. They take this information from 
sample surveys, and survey responses in this regard are simply not 
dependable for reasons that do not have to be explained. Respondents 
are asked whether a child born to the family was out of wedlock. Some 
will say otherwise.
  The actual number for 1992 from the National Center for Health 
Statistics, which counts every birth, it does not take samples--the 
number for 1992 was 30.1 percent. That is an exact count. I have 
estimated that it will have reached 32 percent by 1994. What 1995 will 
be--we are on that ascent. Nothing indicates it has changed. It may 
have moderated.
  But, for the Bureau of the Census to say otherwise when it so easily 
could have left this matter to the National Center for Health 
Statistics, is a bit disappointing. The Bureau of the Census is a 
glorious institution and it makes mistakes. We all do. I just want to 
make that point.
  I see my friend, the formidable and indomitable Senator from 
Nebraska, is on the floor. It is going to be an honor to hear from him.
  I do not see any Senator from the other side of the aisle, and my 
friend from Iowa indicates he does not either, in which event, Mr. 
President, I hope the Senator from Nebraska might be recognized.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Nebraska.
  Mr. KERREY. Mr. President, I rise this afternoon to respond to a 
speech made yesterday by the senior Senator from Texas.
  Mr. MOYNIHAN. Will the Senator yield for just one moment?
  Mr. KERREY. I will be glad to.

                      Unanimous-Consent Agreement

  Mr. MOYNIHAN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent we might 
continue in session under the understanding that no amendments will be 
offered for such time as is required for the Senators who are now on 
the floor who would like to make statements. That includes Members on 
the floor who would like to make statements. Is that agreeable to the 
Senator from Iowa?
  Mr. GRASSLEY. As long as, if we have Republicans come, they share 
  Mr. MOYNIHAN. Yes, of course.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The Senator from Nebraska.
  Mr. KERREY. Mr. President, my purpose in rising today is to discuss 
the statement that was made yesterday by the senior Senator from Texas 
who was here, among other things, to criticize the majority leader's 
welfare proposal for being too soft on illegitimacy.
  Mr. President, at the start of my own comments about the welfare 
system--and I hope and expect to have several opportunities to come and 
discuss this issue--I would like to stipulate that I do not know a 
single welfare recipient. That is to say, I do not know a single 
welfare recipient on a first-name basis. Perhaps some of my colleagues 
do, but I do not. Perhaps some of those who argue so confidently about 
what works and what does not work have poor friends who are on welfare 
and thus speak from experience. 

[[Page S 11823]]

  I do know and have friends who receive corporate welfare, and I know 
and I have friends who have argued with me forcefully about the urgent 
need for various tax incentives which will create jobs, promote 
homeownership, provide for investment in technology or stimulate 
  I am on a first-name basis with lots of people who receive something 
for nothing but none of them are poor. And none of them appears to have 
become lazy or sexually promiscuous as a result of a taxpayer subsidy.
  Mr. President, many of us are debating something about which we have 
little recent firsthand experience--poverty. In such circumstances, it 
would serve us well to acquire an attitude of humility as well as a 
little gratitude for the circumstances of our own births.
  As our colleagues know, the Senator from Texas is an economist by 
training, and as such his thoughts ought to be respected. But they 
ought to be recognized for what they are--an economic analysis. As we 
examine this analysis and the proposal that springs from it, we should 
ask one question: Are teenagers and single mothers having babies as a 
consequence of a rational economic decision?
  The Senator remarked on a television program over the weekend that 
the problem with welfare is that we punish work and family while 
rewarding people for not working and for breaking up families.
  As far as this analysis goes, I agree with it. Our system of 
incentives is sending the wrong signal. We should reward behavior we 
want and discourage behavior we dislike. The Senator from Texas 
correctly notes that our welfare system has perverse incentives.
  Unfortunately, his analysis causes him not to propose positive 
incentives for things we believe are right and negative for those we 
believe are wrong. Instead, he proposes to basically wipe the slate 
clean and punish everything. God help us if we wrote campaign finance 
laws with such an attitude.
  Mr. President, the issue of teenage or out-of-wedlock birth is an 
emotional issue. We need to be certain as we discuss this issue that we 
calmly and rationally answer some basic questions before we begin our 
consideration of what our laws should say. The first of those questions 
is: Why are teenagers and single women having children? The Senator 
from Texas answers this question with an economic analysis. We are 
paying them to do it. For a teenager, he argues, a baby is a free ride 
out of a parent's home and a permanent meal ticket.
  Research does not support this conclusion. Economic circumstances are 
not high on the list of reasons why our babies are having babies. While 
it sounds true, unfortunately, it is not. Such arguments make it seem 
that some Americans are poor because welfare benefits are too 
  Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that an editorial that 
appeared yesterday in the Omaha World Herald be printed in the Record.
  There being no objection, the article was ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:

              [From the Omaha World Herald, Aug. 7, 1995]

                     An Ignored Law: Statutory Rape

       The results of a study done by the Alan Guttmacher 
     Institute indicate that at least half of the babies born to 
     teen-age girls are fathered by adults. Have these men no 
     sense? Have they no shame?
       Researchers said the study was the most comprehensive of 
     its kind. Nearly 10,000 mothers between the ages of 15 and 49 
     were interviewed from 1989 to 1991. Researchers found that 
     half of the babies born to mothers between ages 15 and 17 
     were fathered by men who were 20 or older. Generally, the 
     younger a mother was, the greater the age difference between 
     her and her baby's father.
       In California, a survey of 47,000 births to teen-age 
     mothers in 1993 indicated that two-thirds of the babies were 
     fathered by men of post-high-school age.
       Even disregarding the moral aspects of mature men sexually 
     exploiting teen-age girls, there is a legal problem in some 
     cases. It's known as statutory rape. The law wisely 
     recognizes that young girls--and boys, for the matter--aren't 
     as mature in their thinking and feelings as adults. 
     Therefore, to seduce a person under a certain age when the 
     seducer is above a certain age is a crime, whether the victim 
     willingly participated or not. The ages vary from state to 
     state. In many cases, a man 19 or older is guilty of 
     statutory rape if he has sex with a girl 15 or younger.
       The Guttmacher study has implications for the campaign to 
     reduce the number of teen-age pregnancies. If so many teen-
     age girls' partners are adults, then some educational 
     programs and anti-pregnancy campaigns are misdirected.
       Moreover, stricter enforcement of the statutory rape laws 
     may be needed. Certainly the Guttmacher study is a setback 
     for the view that teen-age pregnancies are due mostly to 
     teen-age hormones and immature kids who give in too easily to 
     peer pressure or curiosity. The problem of youthful 
     pregnancies, it turns out, is much more complex. And much 
     more appalling.

  Mr. KERREY. Mr. President, the Omaha World Herald is a conservative 
newspaper, one that all of us in Nebraska at least are familiar with if 
not read on a regular basis, and in yesterday's editorial they 
discussed an issue that is very relevant to the question of why are 
teenagers having children.
  The headline for the editorial is ``An Ignored Law: Statutory Rape,'' 
and the first paragraph references a study done by the Alan Guttmacher 
Institute which indicated that at least half of the babies born to 
teenaged girls are fathered by adults.
  It goes on to describe that 10,000 mothers between the ages of 15 and 
49 were interviewed between 1989 and 1991, and researchers found that 
half the babies born to mothers between ages 15 and 17 were fathered by 
men who were 20 or older, and generally the younger a mother was the 
greater the age differences between her and her baby's father. And the 
editorial goes on to describe, I think correctly, the need for 
increased vigilance by law enforcement people on the situation of 
statutory rape, I think a quite relevant and appropriate response given 
the analysis done by the Guttmacher Institute.
  The Guttmacher Institute did not say that these young girls were 
having babies as a consequence of seeing a financial incentive.
  Quite simply, teenagers are not examining Government benefits in 
general and making a rational economic choice when they decide to have 
babies, to the extent that this is a conscious decision at all.
  If this was the case, we might solve the whole problem by investing a 
little extra training in basic mathematics for whomever it is who 
thinks having a baby on welfare is a clever financial planning 
strategy. The truth is that if you could count on teenagers to see far 
enough ahead and understand enough home economics to respond rationally 
to the carrots and sticks the Senator from Texas proposes, or in this 
case mostly sticks, then the solution to this problem would get pretty 
easy. The problem is that most of us do not know any teenagers who can 
manage their lunch money from day to day much less engage in a detailed 
analysis of welfare benefits and decide whether or not to have a child 
based upon it.
  I do not know why children are having children; I do not have an 
easy, quick answer, nor can I in a simple fashion explain the 
terrifying breakdown in the American family in the last couple of 
generations. Senator Moynihan, who knows more about this subject 
probably than anybody in this body and maybe perhaps anybody in this 
country, displayed some disturbing charts yesterday that reveal a 
frightening social trend. I did not look at them and envision a sea of 
poor Americans making a series of rational economic decisions to have 
children out of wedlock.
  The Senator from Texas accuses the Democratic leadership of believing 
that having spent billions upon billions of dollars we can just handle 
poverty if we only spend a little bit more. I do not know anyone in the 
Democratic leadership who espouses this view. But let me say I do not 
consider it any more rational to say we can solve the problem just by 
spending more than it is to say, as the Senator from Texas does, that 
we can solve it just by spending less.
  The fact is that ending poverty will in the end likely cost us money. 
This is an inconvenient fact, to be sure, but it is a fact nonetheless. 
We are overlooking it these days because we have gone chasing after a 
rhetorical refrain about ``ending welfare as we know it,'' which, as I 
indicated at the start, is relatively easy for an awful lot of us since 
we do not know much about welfare. What we really mean, or should mean 
in my judgment is attempting to perhaps not end poverty but at least 
end the misery many still suffer as a consequence of it.
  Ending welfare as we know it is a simple legislative transaction. 
Just get rid of it, which is the strategy reflected in much of what the 
Senator from 

[[Page S 11824]]
Texas proposes. Ending poverty is much more difficult. It requires us 
to commit time and resources, which has become at least in some circles 
a political taboo in an age in which we seem to be competing against 
one another to see who can be the toughest.
  Mr. President, I look forward to coming back to the floor to address 
this subject in more detail, but I thought a response to the senior 
Senator from Texas was in order. No one doubts his expertise as an 
economist, but before we get carried away with economic solutions we 
ought to be asking whether we are dealing with an economic problem. To 
some extent, we are. But to a very large extent we are not. It is 
helpful to make the distinction.
  To close my first statement on welfare, Mr. President, I should 
declare that while I do not know on a first name basis one person who 
receives AFDC or AFDC child care support, I do know what it means to be 
on welfare.
 I do know what it is like to have the bottom drop out of your life, 
and while you are falling, to be caught in the net of American 

  Like many Americans who are wounded in wars and receive benefits that 
were earned in combat, I know that benefits given by our Nation do not 
have to make you lazy. They can make you grateful. I am forever 
grateful that I live in a country where people do care enough to try to 
help those who are suffering.
  Mr. President, I yield the floor.
  Mr. MOYNIHAN addressed the Chair.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from New York.
  Mr. MOYNIHAN. May I simply say for one moment, I thank the gallant 
Senator from Nebraska for an extraordinary statement with such candor 
and accuracy. But I add to the preface, just one point: Ending poverty 
is nothing so difficult as ending dependency. And that is perhaps what 
we are mostly talking about here.
  There are few Members, if any, in this Chamber who could meet a 
welfare mother and recognize her and call her by her first name. I 
think there are even fewer who know that kind of dependency in which 
you could have the city of Detroit with 72 percent of the children on 
welfare. None of us live in those neighborhoods. And we do well to have 
the courage of a man of servitude to say so.
  Thank you, Mr. President.
  Mr. EXON addressed the Chair.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. I believe we are alternating. And I believe 
the Senator has----
  Does someone wish to speak?
  Mr. MOYNIHAN. Mr. President, I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. EXON. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the quorum call 
be dispensed with.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. EXON addressed the Chair.
  Mr. THOMAS. Mr. President, if I may say this, we went through this 
yesterday when I was presiding. We decided we would go back and forth. 
Is that still the arrangement?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. That is the arrangement. But in order to go 
back and forth, individuals on either side of the aisle have to ask for 
recognition from the Chair.
  Mr. THOMAS. I would like to do that.
  Mr. EXON. The only reason the Senator from Nebraska intervened was 
not because I want to interrupt the order, but when a quorum call was 
suggested, when this Senator waited last night and again this morning, 
I thought I might move ahead.
  Mr. President, in order to go back to the usual procedure, I yield 
the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Chair thanks the Senator from Nebraska.
  Does the Senator from Wyoming wish to get recognition?
  Mr. THOMAS. Yes, sir. Thank you very much. I am sorry we had this 
confusion. As I said, we went through that yesterday.
  I will be brief, but I did want to use this opportunity to rise to 
support the leadership's bill. I support it, at least partially, 
because I think it has the best chance for success in the Congress, 
that it has the best chance to be the vehicle for doing something about 
change, something that I think we need to do. We have a monumental, 
historic opportunity now to overhaul a program that has been in place 
for a very long time, one that by almost any measure has not succeeded 
in producing the results that most of us want. It is not perfect, of 
course. None is perfect. On the other hand, they can be changed and 
should indeed be changed when we find that portions of it are not 
  The point of welfare, of course, is to put in place a program that 
provides the opportunity to assist people who need help and to assist 
folks to get back into the workplace. And that, it seems to me, has to 
be the measure. If that, indeed, is the measure, we have not succeeded. 
And there are those on the floor who simply want to continue to put 
more money into the program. But I suggest to you that there is little 
reason to expect change if we continue to do the same thing. So we do 
have a great opportunity.
  I want to compliment the Senator from New York and the chairman of 
the committee for the intense effort that has gone into this. I think 
there has been a rational and reasonable debate. There will continue to 
be. There will be substantial differences of view, both philosophically 
and practically, as to how we go about this. But I hope we do keep 
before us the notion that there is a goal and a purpose that most of us 
can share; and that is to be compassionate, to be helpful, to help 
those who need help, but not to make it a career opportunity.
  I was frankly surprised yesterday when the Senator from New York, in 
his numbers, showed that the median time on welfare was nearly 13 
years. That is not the purpose of this program, and we need to do 
something about that. I believe strongly--and there will be 
disagreement about this--that the States are the best laboratory to do 
something. The States are the best place to devise programs and to 
deliver services that meet the needs of that particular State. My State 
of Wyoming has different kinds of needs than does New York State or 
Pennsylvania. And we need to have the flexibility to be able to do 
  There are those who will say, ``Oh, no, the States don't have the 
compassion to do that. The States won't do this job.''
  I do not agree with that. I do not think there is any evidence at all 
to show that there is more compassion in Washington, that there are 
better ideas in Washington than there are in the States. I believe 
strongly in moving government closer to the people who are governed. 
And I have great confidence there.
  Mr. President, there are a number of issues. Of course, one of them 
will be the block grants and how much authority we give to the States. 
Let me just check in on the side of giving them as much authority as we 
can, making it as available to the States to put together several 
programs and then administer them as they believe it is best.
  I think there will be discussion about work opportunities. Let me 
tell you that we have had a program of work opportunities in our State, 
started by the last Governor, a Democrat as a matter of fact, but it 
has been limited to relatively few counties because we cannot get a 
waiver to go forward with it. It has worked.
  Wyoming wants to do that. We want to help people to be trained and to 
be able to work. It requires 35 hours of work a week. It is a good 
program. We have worked with the Smart Card Program in terms of food 
stamps that we cannot get a waiver to move it on. And it does work. It 
helps with fraud and abuse.
  So, Mr. President, in general I think that is one of the issues here. 
We ought to give the States as much authority to do what they want to 
do. The question, of course, of limiting payments to unwed mothers is 
one that will also be of great conflict here. I have to tell you that I 
do not favor that idea. But I do favor giving States the opportunity to 
do what they think is best. I do favor the notion that we ought to get 
away from cash payments and provide an opportunity for young unwed 
mothers to either stay at home or stay in a supervised living 
arrangement where they can go on and be trained and be useful members 
of society. I think we all agree with that.
  So, I am not going to take a great deal of time, but I again want to 

[[Page S 11825]]
that I think this is one of the issues that is really a pivotal issue 
in whether or not this Congress lives up to the expectations that 
people put on us this year. I know it is not a simple issue, but I do 
know that we ought to find and resolve it and come to closure. We ought 
not to find ourselves in the position of continuing to extend and avoid 
a decision by having endless amendments.
  Now, I suppose some will say, well, this is a deliberative body. 
There ought to be no limit. I have a little trouble with that. We ought 
to really seek to come to closure and seek to find some solutions. And 
there are some that we can find. And they are not partisan. Not all of 
the right answers are on this side of the aisle. They are not all on 
the other side. But I can tell you one of the answers that is not 
acceptable, and that is to continue to do what we have been doing and 
expect there will be changes simply because we say, well, we are going 
to just put some more money into it. It does not work. We have had 
plenty of experience on that. So I think we did receive a message.
  I think we are serious about breaking the cycle of welfare. I think 
we are serious about continuing to provide help to people who need it 
and serious about helping people to get off of that cycle so they can 
get into the system. I think we are serious about reducing the role of 
the central Government and strengthening the role of State governments. 
And the votes we cast in the next few days will give us some answers to 
these questions.
  So, again, Mr. President, I want to congratulate our leaders on the 
floor on this. They have done an excellent job, and continue to do so. 
And it is not easy.
  All I urge is that we do come to some closure, we make some 
decisions, and move forward in the area that we think is best.
  Mr. President, I yield the floor.
  Mr. MOYNIHAN addressed the Chair.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from New York.
  Mr. MOYNIHAN. Mr. President, if I can resume for just a moment to 
thank the Senator from Wyoming for his statements, to share his 
sentiments and, particularly, to address this matter of a second-chance 
home for very young mothers in settings where they can live 
independently, and neither should they be in the setting from which 
they came, from which many of them are, in fact, fleeing. It is an old 
idea whose time may have come round once again.
  I appreciate the Senator's statements in that regard.
  Mr. EXON addressed the Chair.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Nebraska.
  Mr. EXON. Mr. President, I want to add my thanks to those that have 
been said by many of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle this 
morning for the good leadership that we, obviously, have in the 
forefront of the U.S. Senate as we face this very, very difficult but 
must-do task of reforming welfare.
  Certainly, my colleague and friend from New York, the former chairman 
of the Finance Committee, has been trying to get this reformed for 
years and years and years. I say to the Senator from New York, Senator 
Moynihan, his dream is about to come true, I think. I appreciate the 
thoughtful leadership that he has provided over the years, the 
thoughtful bipartisan leadership that he has provided, and his 
counterparts on the other side of the aisle, as we move forward on this 
important matter.
  I have brief remarks, comparatively speaking, with regard to the 
welfare matter before us. Before I go into that, I warn all, I suspect 
we are not going to complete action on the welfare reform matter before 
we finally get to our shortened recess. During that time, there are 
going to be lots of wars going on, financed by special interests, on 
the radio and television.
  In that regard, I will simply advise all Senators, but more 
importantly, the public at large, that they should have seen the 
``Nightline'' show last evening. The ``Nightline'' show last evening 
went to the heart of what I suspect will be foremost on our airwaves 
during the recess, particularly with regard to the welfare reform bill.
  The ``Nightline'' program last evening went into great detail with 
regard to the totally unprincipled lobbying that is being done by 
certain high-minded interests with regard to the telecommunications 
bill we wrestled with in the Senate not long ago and which passed the 
House of Representatives last week.
  The House Members were deluged in the last few days of that debate by 
stacks and stacks of mail from their constituents. We all want to get 
mail from our constituents. We are here to represent them. But, 
clearly, I think with the investigation that is now being promised by 
prominent leaders of the House of Representatives, we may begin to get 
to the bottom of some of the problems that we have with the democratic 
processes today that are being perverted by money and moneyed 
  The ``Nightline'' show last night went into great detail about the 
mountains of mail that was being received, supposedly from constituents 
on a voluntary basis. There is an alarming trend developed with regard 
to the brief investigation that has so far been done on the amount of 
mail being received by House Members from their constituents that their 
constituents were not writing to them at all, but their constituents' 
names were on the bottom of preprepared mailings. They had several 
instances of people live on the ``Nightline'' show last night whose 
names and addresses were signed to memorandums or lobbying or 
constituent letters, depending on how you want to describe them, people 
who never sent the letters. Letters were signed by dead people. Letters 
were signed by one person who knew nothing about it. In fact, he was 
bicycling in Europe someplace during this time.
  So I hope that the House of Representatives will pursue their 
investigation to see how moneyed interests, with highly paid expert 
lobbyists, cannot fool the public all of the time but sometimes they 
can fool Members of the Congress by totally fraudulent avalanches of 
mail sent in for a specific purpose, to vote one way or another on a 
bill when the constituent had no knowledge of it whatsoever.
  Certainly, the new modern revelations and revolutions that we are 
having in communications today has given a new power into the hands of 
the manipulators, the highly paid manipulators that dwell inside the 
beltway. The ``Nightline'' program showed some of that last night.
  This is simply a forerunner to say that at the present time, there 
are highly paid advertising schemes going on on television. I say, 
again, that the majority of the people cannot be fooled all of the 
time, to partially quote Abraham Lincoln, but it is clear to me that a 
substantial portion of the public can be fooled, temporarily at least, 
and can be led into writing their Members of Congress on something with 
a key phrase or two. The key television phrase that is being used 
against Democrats in five States today, Democrats up for reelection, is 
to ``Write your Democratic Senators and tell them to support 
workfare.'' Boy, that is a catchy phrase. There is an untold amount of 
millions of dollars spent today, first, to see what catchword or phrase 
rings with people and ``workfare,'' of course, is something that most 
people would like to see.
  So thousands and hundreds of thousands of dollars will be spent by 
money groups and political parties during this recess to bombard the 
Members of the House and the Members of the Senate. I emphasize once 
again and I invite, I encourage, and I have a significant staff that 
works with me in responding to constituent suggestions. I want 
legitimate input from my constituents. I do not want my constituents or 
my office or this Senator to be taken advantage of by the high-price 
money that has invaded the political system.
  We, in the House and Senate, are partially to blame for this 
ourselves because we are the first ones who started to divert the 
political system with high-paid, efficient attack ads--attack, attack, 
attack--and maybe I can win whether I should or not. There is nothing 
shameful that millions of dollars cannot overcome and at least 
temporarily justify. It is wrong. Therefore, I hope that the welfare 
reform bill we are talking about today will not be unduly influenced by 
money through television and radio advertising that is intended to 
mislead the public rather than inform it.
  I think we all remember very well that key television ad of last year 

[[Page S 11826]]
made it impossible, because the people were misled temporarily, that ad 
where Lucille and her live-in boyfriend were sitting at the table in 
the kitchen saying--it was the most effective television ad I had ever 
seen. They were talking about the problems that Americans have meeting 
their medical expenses. And then they talked about the President's 
plan. They said, ``He is trying to do something about it,'' but the key 
line at the end was, ``But there must be a better way.''
  That is the old technique that the trial lawyer used in trying to 
plant doubt in the minds of the jurors. If you can plant a doubt, then 
you are not going to get a conviction. There are lots of things wrong 
today, but I think things are right when we are tearing into the matter 
of welfare.
  I rise in support of the amendment to be offered by the distinguished 
minority leader and Senator Breaux, the Work First welfare plan, the 
only one of its kind that I know about today.
  The Work First welfare reform plan is a step in the right direction 
and should be the rallying cry around which we can all gather, 
Democrats and Republicans, to get something constructively done with 
regard to welfare reform. The Daschle-Breaux plan attacks welfare 
reform head on. It helps turn welfare recipients into productive 
breadwinners. It weaves a safety net that protects the children of 
welfare parents. It allows the States greater flexibility to administer 
their welfare plans and to make positive changes.
  If I were to summarize this amendment in one word, it would be: 
responsibility. It requires the responsibility of those currently 
receiving welfare to take charge of their lives and find work. 
Responsibility is a two-way street. The amendment requires the Federal 
Government to act responsibly by making sure that the States will have 
sufficient funding and oversight to do the job properly.
  Mr. President, the current welfare system has veered off course. 
Senator Moynihan has demonstrated and talked about this time and time 
again. There is no doubt about that. Not enough welfare recipients are 
making the leap from support to gainful employment. The well-beaten 
path of welfare has become a dangerous rut that grows deeper and deeper 
with the years. For many, welfare has become a permanent state of 
  Welfare's failings did not develop overnight, nor will they be solved 
in a day and a night. However, in the past decade, we have taken 
constructive steps to reform the system and we build on these reforms 
with this amendment. In 1988, I vigorously supported the Family 
Security Act, which was signed into law by President Reagan. That 
bipartisan legislation, passed by a vote of 96 to 1, provided States 
with the flexibility to establish programs to assist with job skills, 
education, and child care.
  The philosophy behind the Family Security Act is as sound today as it 
was 7 years ago. We best help people in need by giving them the tools 
to get off of welfare and onto the job rolls once and for all.
  Unfortunately, while some States showed modest success in 
implementing their reform programs, the Family Security Act never 
achieved its full potential. Welfare reform continues unabated, 
however, in many States, including my State of Nebraska. And the 
Democratic amendment provides the States with the flexibility and 
funding to carry out and administer those reform plans. Let me briefly 
explain how.
  First, the Daschle-Breaux plan replaces the unconditional, unlimited 
AFDC aid with conditional benefits over a limited period of time. I 
believe that most Americans would agree that there has to be an 
endpoint to benefits for able-bodied adults. Otherwise, we find 
ourselves still saddled with a welfare system that is self-
  Second, the Democratic leadership amendment emphasizes work. Let me 
repeat that. The Democratic leadership amendment emphasizes, above all 
else, work. Welfare reform without work is but a hollow promise. For 
States the plan establishes the Work First block grant, giving them the 
resources and flexibility to assist welfare recipients to obtain work. 
By the year 2000, States will be required to put 50 percent of eligible 
recipients into jobs. In addition, the States will be penalized for 
missing the target and rewarded for surpassing it.
  The Democratic plan emphasizes a partnership between parents and the 
States through the parent empowerment contract. Parents must engage in 
an intensive job search, or have their benefits reduced. Moreover, the 
plan provides incentives to stay in the work force by adding an 
additional 12 months of child care and Medicaid for those who go to 
  Third, the Democratic plan is sensitive to the consequences of 
welfare reform--especially as to how it affects children. Children 
should not be pawns in this debate. I would never hold children hostage 
merely to satisfy some ideological itch. Rationing assistance to 
innocent children is not only heartless, it is terribly shortsighted. 
The Democratic plan protects the well-being of children above all else. 
They are not left to the vagaries and whims of local conditions and 
officials. They are not pitted against competing interests. They are 
not shortchanged on services. If a mother loses her benefits after a 5-
year time limit, her children will still be eligible to receive 
assistance for housing, food, and clothing.
  Fourth, the Democratic leadership plan cuts and invests. It cuts 
spending by reducing the welfare rolls and invests those savings to 
provide even greater rewards for the American taxpayers. This is fiscal 
  Mr. President, I am fearful, however, that other well-intentioned 
proposals essentially bundle up the problem and shuffle it off to the 
States. As a former Governor, I see concerns here. We must not just 
pass the welfare problem on to the States without some assurance that 
it can be financed. You simply cannot, in my opinion, pass the buck 
without passing the bucks.
  In conclusion, Mr. President, I want to remind all that earlier this 
year, I was one of four original cosponsors of the unfunded mandate 
bill. We passed that legislation, and the President signed it into law. 
This is one of the greatest accomplishments of the 104th Congress. We 
had bipartisan support for the unfunded mandates bill, and for good 
reason. From town councils to the Governor's mansion, we heard the cry 
for relief from unfunded mandates. For too long Congress shifted the 
costs of regulations and mandates to the States. Their ledgers bled 
from red being forced to comply with the unfunded mandates.
  The Republican formula for block grants is troubling, especially to 
States like Nebraska that have a growing poverty population. Under the 
new formula, Nebraska will receive no additional funding above the 1994 
level. However, in the early 1990's, my State's AFDC population grew by 
18 percent. We also have experienced a 24-percent increase in the 
number of children living in poverty over the last 3 years. So I am 
very concerned that my State might not have the resources that it needs 
for a safety net for our poor children.
  Mr. President, the Republican claim that they put welfare recipients 
to work is not a valid one. One of my Republican colleagues has said on 
countless occasions that folks should get out of the wagon and start to 
pull. That may be an appealing sound bite, but despite the modification 
made by the majority leader yesterday, this Republican initiative does 
little to ensure that goal. The Republican bill is not tough love, it 
is just tough luck.
  If we are truly sincere about welfare reform, we have to help people 
get and keep jobs and keep them off of welfare. If we want to put 
people back to work, we have to help them with training and job 
placement. Our society and our world has changed dramatically from the 
days when a high school diploma could alone still land you a good job. 
We are in an economy that puts a premium on education and training. 
Yet, other plans provide no incentive or resources for either the 
States or individuals to get welfare recipients into the workplace and 
keep them there.
  We can do better, and we must do better, with the likes of the 
Daschle-Breaux amendment.
  There are now plans underway to tighten the provisions being 
considered to the Democratic proposal. We offer an open invitation to 
come join us, to work constructively together with suggestions. 

[[Page S 11827]]

  It is my hope that we can move ahead on this matter in a true 
bipartisan fashion and carefully consider a consensus. But let me 
emphasize, Mr. President, unreasoned haste can clearly make matters 
worse on this measure, which is of great import and great magnitude. 
Mr. President, we should work together.
  I yield the floor.
  Mr. MOYNIHAN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent the unanimous-
consent order be extended until 1:15.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. MOYNIHAN. I thank the Senator from Nebraska not only for the 
generosity of his remarks, the clarity of his concern, the depth of his 
concern, but to connect his opening remarks to the closing remarks.
  I do not think the Senator will receive many letters from welfare 
recipients. I do not think many of those children will be writing 
postcards. No one, certainly, will be paying them.
  That, Mr. President, is the nub of the issue. We are talking of 
people who have but little voice in this land and less real influence 
in the end. We are seeing it all about us now.
  Mr. President,
   the Census Bureau has just released the ``Population Profile of the 
United States: 1995'' which reports that ``26 percent of children born 
in 1994 were out-of-wedlock births.''

  However, according to the National Center for Health Statistics 
figures which I have frequently cited, the illegitimacy ratio was 30.1 
percent in 1992, and I estimate that it will have reached 32 percent in 
  According to Martin O'Connell, Chief of the Fertility Statistics 
Branch of the Census Bureau, ``The higher figures are correct. The 
`Population Profile' seriously undercounts the number of children born 
out of wedlock as the figures it reports are based on a small sample 
and incomplete information. Senator Moynihan is right.''
  This is one area where precision of fact is imperative. In order to 
understand a problem, we must first be able to accurately measure it, 
and few problems are of such enormous consequence as this unrelenting 
rise in illegitimacy.