In response to the great depression, President Roosevelt signed into law the Social Security Act of 1935 as part of his New Deal. The act allowed for the Department of Health and Human Services to introduce the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program. Under the AFDC, welfare benefits were more of an entitlement targeted towards impoverished widows, allowing them to stay at home and raise their children. However as the number of women in the work place increased, the entitlements being handed out were criticized for encouraging a dependency on federal assistance by single mothers.
Critics, such as the author Charles Murray claimed that the AFDC created a system which contributed to the problem because while it did assist the unemployed economically, It discouraged the people receiving benefits from attempting to obtain employment. As the cost of the welfare program rose, so did the general animosity from the American taxpayers. The federal government noticed the increasing dissent within the states, and begun to allow the experimentation of attaching restrictions to their welfare programs.
Following his inauguration in 1992, Bill Clinton fulfilled his promise to “end welfare as we know it” by signing the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act into law. Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act was praised for replacing AFDC with Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF). TANF functioned to end the entitlement status of welfare benefits which encouraged the formation of two parent families.
On September 28th, 1996, the bill was brought to the house where it was sent to the committee on Ways and Means (thomas.loc.gov). In October of the same year, the Senate made some corrections that were needed.
Mr. Domenici and Mr. Bingaman introduced the bill which was read twice, considered, then read again and passed. On April 29th of 1997, to amend the bill, congress modified its provisions restricting welfare and public benefits for aliens (thomas.loc.gov).
On February 11th, 1997, Mr. Levin brought forward the will and it was referred to the committee on Ways and Means as well as the Committee on Commerce. The provisions provided for an exception to limited eligibility for SSI and food stamps for totally and permanently disabled permanent alien residents (thomas.loc.gov)
In April of the same year, Mr. Diaz-Balart and Ms. Ros-Lehtinen introduced the bill which was then referred to the Committee on Agriculture as well. In the provisions, restrictions for welfare and public benefits for aliens to provide an exception to limited eligibility for supplementary security income (SSI) and food stamps programs for permanent resident aliens who are applicants for naturalization was added (thomas.loc.gov)
Mr. Johnson and Mr. Frank introduced the bill on February 13th with provisions concerning the extension of the one year transition from disqualification for a current welfare recipient while...