WELFARE REFORM CLEARS THE HILL

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The Senate has joined the House in passing sweeping welfare reform legislation that would replace the Aid to Families with Dependent Children program with block grants to the states. The bill also caps the amount of federal spending on welfare for the next seven years. President Clinton, who has yet to float a politically viable welfare reform package of his own, plans a quick veto. Immediately after the 52-47 Senate vote Friday, Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, the New York Democrat who has publicly criticized the President for foot-dragging on the issue, warned Clinton that bipartisan negotiations must "be done here in Congress. We must be involved." The bill includes provisions that scale back food stamp benefits and reduce aid to immigrants, disabled children, drug addicts and alcoholics. Supporters estimated the bill would save the government $58 billion by 2002.