‘A Racist Narrative’: Biden Warned of Welfare Moms Driving Luxury Cars

By Sam Stein


In 1996, Congress passed welfare reform far more sweeping than the version they’d done just eight years prior. The legislation put a five-year lifetime limit on how much assistance could be given to any family and gave states much greater latitude on how the program was administered. It created more stringent work requirements, limited the ability of legal immigrants to get assistance, and put restrictions on food stamp eligibility.

“Compared to ’96, The Family Support Act was a relatively progressive bill,” said Elizabeth Lower-Basch, a senior policy analyst at CLASP, a national nonprofit organization that promotes policy solutions that work for low-income people. “’96 fundamentally restructured the core underlying program.”

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