GOP Blasts Clinton on Welfare Reform

A House of Representatives panel is backing President Clinton's request to delay a requirement that thousands of parents on welfare work for their benefits.

When he was governor of Arkansas, Mr. Clinton pushed for the 1988 welfare-reform law that includes work and on-the-job training requirements for unemployed parents who receive cash assistance under Aid to Families with Dependent Children, or AFDC.

But his administration now says the measure, scheduled to take effect in October, would be a burden on the states and would shift money from education and training programs to long-term welfare mothers.

The administration had asked for a two-year delay in the law, but the House Ways and Means Committee voted Tuesday to postpone it for just one year. The panel included the item in legislation to cut the deficit.

Republicans argued that in seeking the delay, Clinton was retreating from his campaign pledge to reform welfare. "His first move in dealing with welfare reform ... to repeal one of the better pieces of existing law, which made the move from welfare to workfare, is an outrage," said Sen. Don Nickles (R) of Oklahoma.

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