NEW YORK — Republicans taking over Congress in January will propose a welfare bill that eliminates a bedrock principal of social welfare programs: that anyone qualifying for benefits automatically gets them, a newspaper reports in today's editions.
Under the Republican proposal, people now eligible for welfare, food stamps and free school lunches would no longer have a legally enforceable right to such assistance, known as entitlements, the New York Times reported.
The effort to control social spending would also require state welfare officials to provide the Immigration and Naturalization Service "with the names, address and other identifying information" of illegal immigrants whose children are U.S. citizens, the newspaper said.
The Republican measure would repeal the Emergency Food Assistance Act of 1983, the Food Stamp Act of 1977, the Child Nutrition Act of 1966 and the National School Lunch Act of 1946, the newspaper reported.
Instead, under the Republican proposal, specific sums would be appropriated each year for food assistance and welfare to the states. If the money ran out before the end of the year, benefits could be cut, people could be removed from the rolls or new applicants could be turned away, depending on decisions made by the states.
President Clinton has called for overhauling the welfare system focusing on job training and limits on the duration of welfare payments, not on food programs.
Republicans told the newspaper that their plan would save money and force Congress to face the cost of welfare and food assistance, rather than allowing the programs to continue automatically.
The Republican bill, the Personal Responsibility Act, lists 60 programs, including Medicaid, maternal and child health care, the Women, Infants and Children nutrition program, aid to homeless people and screening youngsters to detect lead poisoning, the newspaper said.