Clinton hails drop in number of people on welfare
WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- President Clinton said Saturday more than 8 million people have left welfare during his presidency, a nearly 60 percent drop in eight years that has brought welfare rolls to their lowest level in 30 years.
In one of his last weekly radio addresses, Clinton also hailed the new budget passed by Congress that will provide hundreds of millions of dollars to offer health insurance to the poor, revive poor communities and renovate schools.
"Our best days still lie ahead. This budget proves it ... The successful desire of people to move from welfare to work proves it," Clinton said.
As part of his address, Clinton announced that 28 states would receive grants totaling $200 million to support child care and job training programs in order to encourage more welfare recipients to move into the workforce.
"Over the past eight years we've cut welfare case loads by more than 8 million people. Last year alone, 1.2 million parents on welfare went to work determined to build better lives," he added, saying welfare rolls had fallen nearly 60 percent since 1993 to their lowest level in 30 years.
"We are finally breaking the cycle of dependence that has long crippled the hopes of too many families," he said.
The president, who steps down on January 20, also praised the long overdue $1.8 trillion budget passed by Congress late Friday to fund the government for the fiscal year that began on October 1.
Clinton cited several areas where Congress provided money for his key priorities, including $900 million to renovate schools, $817 million to help working families to pay for child care and funding for his "new markets" initiative to bring investment to blighted rural and urban communities.
"From the streets of our central cities, to the hills of Appalachia, to the rugged vistas of our Native American reservations to the Mississippi Delta we are giving people the tools of opportunity to make the most of their potential," he said.
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