WASHINGTON – Today, Senator Mike Lee introduced a bill to address the deep problems in the federal government’s welfare programs that make it more difficult for low-income Americans to work their way into the middle class and stay there.  The “Welfare Reform and Upward Mobility Act” would get existing federal welfare programs under control and would help the working poor transition from poverty to opportunity and security.

“Poverty is not just the absence of money, but also the absence of opportunity,” said Sen. Lee. “Today’s poverty programs place artificial restraints on those who are trying to get ahead, build careers and provide better lives for themselves and their families. Successful welfare programs are those that make poverty more temporary, not more tolerable, and we need to move current policy in that direction.   The Welfare Reform and Upward Mobility Act will give all low-income Americans the opportunity to earn a good living and build a good life.”

"The enormous success of welfare reform in the 1990s--as millions were able to leave welfare and find good-paying jobs--demonstrates that government welfare need not trap people in dependency," said Sen. Cruz.  "Instead, the object of government assistance should be to help those who are struggling through difficult times and, at the same time, make it easier for them to find a good job and stand on their own feet.  The dignity of a job, of providing for your family, is transformative; and everyone deserves a fair chance at the American dream.  We know that welfare reform works, and this legislation will expand that successful formula across the multitude of federal assistance programs."

The Welfare Reform and Upward Mobility Act corrects and strengthens current welfare programs by restoring work incentives for individuals and families, improving state administration of welfare programs, rewarding states that transition beneficiaries from welfare to work, and imposing greater transparency in means-tested welfare spending.

The bill has been cosponsored by Senators Cruz, Vitter, and Inhofe. 

The bill has been endorsed by the National Taxpayers Union, Heritage Action for America, the Association of Mature American Citizens, and the Concerned Women for America.

Read more about how this bill will work here