children, poor January 19, 1999BY JUDITH HAVEMANN AND WALTER PINCUS WASHINGTON POST WASHINGTON–President Clinton will propose in his State of the Union address tonight a $1billion expansion of the federal government’s efforts to help the nation’s most disadvantagedfamilies move from welfare to work, White House officials said Monday.The officials said the initiative will help about 200,000 welfare families get jobs.“Despite the enormous progress we have made in the last few years in moving people from welfareto work, we need to make an extra effort for the people still on the rolls because they will be thehardest to place,” said presidential adviser Bruce Reed.The initiative is aimed at increasing employment of low-income, absent fathers of children onwelfare, so they can pay child support and get involved in their children’s lives. Many of thesefathers have prison records, and only 30 percent have held a job in the past year, according to arecent study. Only about 10 percent to 15 percent of children on public assistance receive any formalchild support from their absent parent.
Clinton also plans to propose a tax credit of up to $500 per child, age 1 or younger, to offset costsfor parents who choose to stay home to care for their kids. The proposal is part of a larger child carepackage that seeks $18 billion over five years to aid working poor and middle-class families.The administration also will propose $1 billion over five years to improve health care for many ofthe nation’s 32 million uninsured adults.
The money would be used to encourage community clinicsand hospitals to work together to keep track of patients and make sure they get needed treatment.Scheduled for delivery in the House chamber at 8 p.m. Chicago time, shortly after his lawyers wrapup their first day of arguments in the Senate impeachment trial, Clinton’s speech will not include asingle mention of the word impeachment, aides said. The president insisted on going ahead with hisspeech, despite its awkward timing, to demonstrate that he is conducting business as usual even asthe Senate considers whether to remove him from office.Among other domestic and foreign policy proposals previewed Monday by White House officialswere:* An initiative to bring greater accountability to state and local school systems.
Clinton will offer afive-point plan to hold schools accountable for the $20 billion in federal educational spending theyreceive.The plan would reward districts that make sure teachers are qualified in the subjects they areassigned to teach, enforce classroom discipline, intervene to help low-performing schools, endsocial promotion of students who have not mastered the material taught during the year and issue“report cards” to parents on issues such as class size, teacher qualifications and student scores.* A near doubling–to $4.2 billion–over the next five years of the U.S. program helping todismantle Russia’s aging nuclear and biological weapons, protect facilities holding nuclear materialsand create nonmilitary research projects for Moscow’s former weapons builders.