In a first year marred with an incredible failure to accomplish even the simplest of legislation on anything, the Trump administration is working at break-neck pace to log something — anything — into the completed column in the ledger. With the clock ticking down on the months faster than they can act through regular channels, President Donald Trump appears to be searching for solutions in the form of Executive Orders.
The primary target this week, according to sources in the administration, is the welfare system. As reported by POLITICO:
‘The White House began circulating a draft order to federal agencies for comment last week, according to two administration officials, who were granted anonymity to discuss the internal deliberations.’
According to one of the sources, the draft order asks all agencies to review existing programs and regulations, then propose updated rules to meet “set of broad welfare principles.” These new principles would include things like work requirements, which are supposed to “encourage” welfare recipients to return to the work force.
Sources also said that the proposed executive order would either eliminate or streamline services that are duplicated. It would also establish guidelines for tracking accountability and to ensure adequate program performance while working better with “state and local governments.”
Trump has his goals readjusted to tax reform after the abysmal and repeated failure of Congressional Republicans to accomplish any headway on the repeal of the ACA (ObamaCare) and development of any type of replacement health care plan. The goalpost is tentatively set for Thanksgiving and backers of welfare reform hope to see something accomplished by then.
White House spokeswoman Natalie Strom said in an email:
‘We aren’t going to comment on rumors about future potential Executive Orders. When we have something to release, we’ll let you know.’
According to POLITICO:
‘The agencies in the process of reviewing the order include the Department of Health and Human Services, the Labor Department, the Agriculture Department, the Treasury Department, the Education Department and the Commerce Department.’
Welfare reform has long been a target of administrations, each seeming to think they had all the best solutions. Now it is Trump’s turn and he is sure to have all the best answers. The very best. You can believe that. NOT.
Welfare was revamped under President Clinton in 1996 in a set of sweeping changes that many argued did more harm than good to millions of already impoverished citizens. Democrats consistently fight for enhanced welfare programs, while Republicans would rather slash and dash welfare programs. It is suspected that the words “welfare reform” in the Republican dictionary are a catch phrase for targeting the poor.
‘Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) have introduced wide-ranging legislation that would make changes to welfare programs, including by imposing tighter work requirements on recipients of food stamps, also known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
‘Jordan and Lee have said they modeled their legislation on the 1996 welfare legislation, which imposed new work requirements and limits on welfare recipients.’
Trump has been mentioning welfare reform since his inauguration, saying that, “Millions lifted from welfare to work is not too much to expect.” His budget proposal for fiscal year 2018 included excessive cuts to programs included in the “social safety net” such as Social Security disability insurance benefits, the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, and food stamps. From White House Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney, “If you’re on food stamps and able-bodied, we need you to go to work.”
It can be almost guaranteed that if a program supports or aids people of lesser means that it will be on Trump’s chopping block so that he can free up funds for additional tax breaks for himself and his rich cronies. With the direction that Trump is taking this country, we could be headed for another great depression. The greatest depression. Because nobody does it better than Trump.