THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary (Aboard Air Force One) ________________________________________________________________________ For Immediate Release June 1, 2000
STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT
Today I am pleased to announce that new guidance is being released that builds on my Administration's long-standing commitment to reform welfare, reward work, and support working families in their transition from welfare to work. The Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, and Transportation are releasing updated guidance on how states and communities can coordinate federal resources to address the transportation challenge in moving people from welfare to work. The guidance provides a variety of innovative strategies that communities can fund, ranging from making public transit more accessible for weekend and evening shifts to helping individuals lease, purchase or repair a car. In addition, the Departments of Housing and Urban Development and Health and Human Services are releasing new guidance for housing and welfare agencies to work together to help families in public and assisted housing move toward self-sufficiency using services, such as job search assistance, mentoring, counseling, transportation, and child care.
A new evaluation of the Minnesota Family Investment Program confirms that promoting and rewarding work has powerful positive impacts on low-income families. The Minnesota results show that welfare reform can substantially increase employment, reduce poverty, decrease levels of domestic abuse, and improve children's behavior and school performance when states combine strong work requirements with investments in supports for low-income working families. Employment and earnings impacts were especially large for families in public and assisted housing. This research also found that welfare reform can increase marriage rates and marital stability among low-income families.
These results highlight the importance of the interagency guidance on housing and transportation released today and the need for continued investments to support working families. I call on the Congress to enact my budget proposals to support working families: expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit, improving access to affordable and quality child care, expanding health care for low-income working families, providing more housing vouchers for hard-pressed working families, helping more low-income families get to work by making it easier for them to own a car or obtain public transportation, and helping more low-income fathers work and support their children.