• Share
  • Read Later
Republicans muscled theirsweeping welfare reform packagethrough the House in a charged 234-199 partisan vote. The bill, which would scrap 45 programs for the poor in favor of few-strings-attached grants to the states, proposes the most fundamental change in the American social contract sinceFDR. "We are sweeping away a destructive system and we are putting in a system that can work," said Rep. Clay Shaw (R-Fla.). Among the basics to go: school lunches, foster care support and child care to the country's neediest women and children. Parents would be required to work after two years on welfare, and would be cut off from benefits after five years; all able-bodied food stamp recipients must work. President Clinton, calling the measure "weak on work and tough on children," seized on its lack of training, education, child care or transitional jobs for single mothers as they move to the work force. TIME congressional correspondent Karen Tumulty says Senate Republicans plan a far more moderate version. "It is actually likely to look like the House Democratic alternative, which is very conservative by Democratic standards. Both bills have the same work requirements, but this has more money for programs that ease the way from welfare to work."