Remarks at a White House Meeting With the House of Representatives Republican Task Force on Welfare Reform

 

August 6, 1987

 

Well, we better get down to business here. I'd like to thank all of you, first of all, for coming down on what turned out to be very short notice. But there's a lot of pressing business before we all leave Washington, and one of the major issues is certainly welfare reform.

 

As I said last year in the State of the Union Address, the principal issue in any welfare reform proposal is whether or not it'll help people become self-sufficient and lead a full life or keep them in a state of dependency. I feel strongly that we're on the right track in proposing the Low-Income Opportunity Act, which would allow States to test new ideas for reducing dependency. We also believe in the need to reform work requirements and to provide training and education, a greater opportunity through work. The GROW program would allow us to do that.

 

I know that all of you've been under some pressure to sign on the so-called welfare reform bills that would increase benefits and make welfare more attractive. And I commend you for your willingness to follow a responsible path to prevent increased dependency. And, Bob, I understand that your task force has worked diligently with members of the administration to come up with a proposal that we can all work together on. And, Hank, I'm most appreciative of what you offered as an alternative.

 

Note: The President spoke at 11 a.m. in the Cabinet Room at the White House. In his closing remarks, he referred to Representatives Robert H. Michel of Illinois and Hank Brown of Colorado.