The center focuses on health care access, immigrants' access to services, food and nutrition, the state's eligibility and enrollment system, and TANF.

Recent Public Benefits Publications

Medicaid Update (12/22/1995)

This issue of Washington Watch summarizes major points of the Medicaid provisions of the vetoed budget bill and the administration proposal. Also provided is a brief description of some major differences between the President's Medicaid proposal and the Coalition alternative.

Your Congressperson Needs Support in Voting NO on the Welfare Reform Bill (12/13/1995)

Both houses of Congress recently passed separate bills to reform the nation's welfare and social services programs. Since then, the House and Senate have been working to produce a compromise "conference" bill. When an agreement over whether to convert child nutrition programs (e.g. school lunch) into a block grant is reached, the bill will be sent to both houses for final approval (a House vote may be Dec. 14th or 15th), and on to the President. Organizations and others who care about the needs of the poor are concerned that many members of Congress may vote for this welfare reform bill in the mistaken belief that it is dramatically better than the original House bill, and that it limits damage to poor families.

Where Are We in the Budget Process? (11/22/1995)

Details of the Budget Reconciliation Bill and specifics on Medicaid, welfare and other programs are still filtering in. This Washington Watch is meant to give you a quick update on key issues. We will provide more detailed analyses as the actual bill language becomes available.

Nonprofit Gag Amendment Added to Continuing Resolution (11/10/1995)

On November 7, the compromise version of the Istook Amendment was added to the House Continuing Resolution*(CR) by the House Rules Committee. The following day the House passed the Continuing Resolution, with Istook included by a vote of 230-170. On November 9th the Senate passed the Continuing Resolution with an alternative to the Istook Amendment offered by Senator Alan Simpson and Senator Larry Craig. At the moment we have few details about this version; however, we have been told that the basic principles of the Istook Amendment are included in the Simpson/Craig version.

Senate and House Bills Abolish Medicaid as We Know It (10/24/1995)

Senate Finance and House Commerce committee proposals to repeal Title XIX, the Medicaid Program, and replace it with the "Medigrant" block grant program are expected to be voted on this week.

House and Senate Conferees on Welfare Reform Bill Named (10/18/1995)

In the coming weeks Congress will be making final budget and policy decisions on a wide range of programs. We will be sending out more frequent analyses with more details on specific programs. This issue will focus on the House and Senate Welfare Reform bills with updates on EITC and the Istook Amendment. Later we will follow with a focused report on Medicaid and Medicare and a look at the impact of Congressional reforms on child welfare programs and various immigrant related proposals and their disproportionate impact on Texas.

Senate Welfare Bill Passes 87 - 12 (09/29/1995)

On September 19th, by a vote of 87-12, the U.S. Senate passed the Dole welfare reform bill.

Senate Welfare Bill Heads for a Final Vote (09/18/1995)

Senator Dole announced that the final vote on the welfare reform bill (S.1120) will take place Tuesday (Sept. 19) at 2:15 p.m. Whatever the final Senate Bill looks like, lawmakers are warning of a tough battle ahead in the House-Senate conference " with Democrats saying they could not support a bill that moved to the right and conservatives saying they could not support a bill that did not.

Critical Period of Congressional Action Approaches (09/11/1995)

The next few months will bring to a head all the promises and threats raised by the Republican victories in last year's election. The future size and shape of American government may be determined by critical choices being made now.

Adjustments to the Senate Republican Leadership's Welfare Reform Bill (08/21/1995)

On August 8th, Senator Bob Dole postponed debate on his welfare reform bill, S.1120, with the intention of working out differences in the legislation. Since that time, there have been a few indications that adjustments will be made to the bill.

Senate Welfare Reform Debate Postponed to September (08/10/1995)

Senate leaders have announced that action on the Senate's welfare reform legislation will be postponed until after the Senate's 3-week summer recess. This is due both to disagreements among Republicans, and to the resistance of Democratic Senators to the Dole proposal.

Welfare Reform Debate Begins on Senate Floor (08/7/1995)

Two weeks ago, disagreement among Republicans threatened to delay Senate action and force welfare reform into the budget reconciliation bill in the fall. Late last week, action on welfare reform resumed with the introduction of Senator Bob Dole's (R-KS) Republican compromise bill (S. 1120) and the Democratic bill drafted by Minority leader Tom Daschle (D-SD). The Democratic and Republican plans borrow heavily from the bill already passed by the House (H.R. 4), and differ only marginally from each other. Both plans block grant AFDC, impose a five year lifetime limit for benefits, shift responsibility for determining eligibility to states, and require beneficiaries to establish paternity. The differences between the plans are outlined below.

What's Hot (07/24/1995)

Welfare Reform Vote Delayed, Sen. Gramm Presents Competing Proposal, Other Features.

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