Welfare Reform Debate Begins on Senate Floor

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August 7, 1995

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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.