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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release December 9, 1994


Today, in a meeting with governors from both parties, I announced that the White House will convene a national bipartisan working session on welfare reform next month.

Welfare reform is a top priority for my administration, for the governors, for the new Congress, and above all, for the American people. Americans have asked their elected officials to put aside politics as usual and begin earnest work to solve our nation's problems -- and welfare reform is at the very top of our agenda.

I have called for this session as a first step in an honest dialogue about our country's broken welfare system and what we must do to fix it. Washington doesn't have all the answers, and government doesn't either. Every one of us in this country has to begin taking individual responsibility for turning this country around.

I have worked on this issue for my whole career in public life. When I was a governor, I worked closely with President Reagan and Sen. Moynihan to develop the bipartisan consensus that led to passage of important legislation to stregthen families and move people from welfare to work.

I believe we must end welfare as we know it, because the current welfare system is a bad deal for the taxpayers who pay the bills and for the families who are trapped on it. The American people deserve a government that honors their values and spends their money judiciously, and a country that rewards people who work hard and play by the rules.

People want their leaders to stop their partisan bickering, come together, and roll up their sleeves and get to work. This meeting will be the beginning of a new day not just for the welfare system, but for how our government works.