US weighs welfare shift to end open-ended aid

Administration officials said they are considering a plan -- already opposed by the nation's governors -- that would convert the nation's largest cash welfare program into a block-grant system.

Under the Aid to Families With Dependent Children program -- which cost nearly $8 billion last year -- the government has an open-ended commitment to reimburse each state, and some administration officials say that does not provide the states a strong enough incentive to hold down costs. Under block grants the federal government would give states a set amount of money.

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