Ways and Means Republicans Host Welfare Reform Discussion with the Secretaries’ Innovation Group

December 6, 2017 — Blog   

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, House Ways and Means Republicans hosted their annual meeting with the Secretaries’ Innovation Group (SIG) where they discussed next steps on achieving meaningful welfare reform that creates more opportunity and improves lives across America. SIG is a membership organization that consists of Human Service and Workforce Secretaries who serve on behalf of Republican governors from across the nation. House Republican Conference members also attended the meeting today.

Following the meeting, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) said:

“The State leaders who attended our meeting today are developing bold ideas and leading programs that help create work opportunities, change lives, and strengthen families in their communities. I always enjoy this annual meeting because it gives us an opportunity to hear directly about which programs truly deliver real results for Americans. Today, I was so impressed to hear the Secretaries’ innovative solutions to help low-income families move off of welfare and back into the workforce. There is so much Republicans in Congress can learn from their success as we work with President Trump to reform our nation’s welfare system. Together with SIG’s leading thinkers, Ways and Means Republicans are committed to delivering solutions that truly help families escape poverty, climb the economic ladder, and achieve their own success.”

Ways and Means Human Resources Subcommittee Chairman Adrian Smith (R-NE) added:

“Helping more Americans achieve independence must be the number one goal of our country’s anti-poverty programs.  On the Human Resources Subcommittee, we are focused on ensuring taxpayer dollars are directed toward efforts producing real results in empowering people to move from welfare to work.  Today’s meeting was a valuable opportunity to hear from the experts who operate welfare programs around the country and know firsthand the challenges we face.  The ideas we discussed together will improve our framework as we move toward reforming our welfare system next year.”

Eloise Anderson, Chair of SIG and Wisconsin Secretary of Children and Families said:

“Today was another step forward in the partnership between states and federal policymakers with a vested interest in seeing more families succeed. We appreciate the open dialogue and the opportunity to share our state-level innovations that favor healthy families, work, and economic self-reliance. We look forward to continuing to engage across congressional committees because we know the importance of serving families, and not programs, when it comes to helping them move from welfare to work.”

Background

Since 2012, SIG members have met with Ways and Means Members for discussions about major social policy issues. The timing of this year’s meeting is especially fortuitous as Congress prepares to consider welfare reform next year. Members of both SIG and Ways and Means engaged in a discussion on ways to partner together to build support, and refine ideas outlined in the Committee’s four principles for reform and “A Better Way”:

  1. Expect work-capable adults to work or prepare for work in exchange for benefits.
  2. Get incentives right so everyone benefits when someone moves from welfare to work.
  3. Focus on results of welfare programs, not enrollment and dollars spent.
  4. Improve program integrity to preserve welfare benefits for those most in need.