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by Green Party Media Team Wednesday, May. 15, 2002 at 7:39 PM

Welfare 'reform' will impose massive federal control, enforce dependence, turn many women into second-class citizens, and continue to deny health coverage and child care



For immediate release:

Tuesday, May 14, 2002


Nancy Allen, Media Coordinator, 207-326-4576,

Scott McLarty, Media Coordinator, 202-518-5624,


Welfare 'reform' will impose massive federal

control, enforce dependence, turn many women into

second-class citizens, and continue to deny

health coverage and child care

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Greens blasted the plans by

President George W. Bush to earmark 0 million

of the billion welfare budget for experiments

to promote marriage as a way to get women off

welfare and to force most welfare recipients to

work a 40-hour work week without child care and


"Too many Democrats crumble when they encounter

Republican rhetoric about family values," said

Rahul Mahajan, Green candidate for governor of

Texas. "Bush's plan doesn't promote healthy

families or moral values. These are schemes to

make many women more helpless and dependent, to

push them into jobs and marriages without regard

for the women themselves or the care and health

of children. They have everything to do with

posturing on the supposed moral shortcomings of

poor people, and nothing to do with alleviating

dependence and poverty. The real measure of

success is the extent to which any plan reduces


"So-called welfare reform often doesn't solve the

problem of getting people into good jobs, because

it neither creates real jobs with good wages nor

ensures good wages and good benefits in jobs that

already exist," said Robert Miranda, elected

Green member of the Social Development Commission

in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, which is responsible for

administering welfare in that state. "Instead,

welfare reform of the past decade, whether from

Clinton or Bush, has meant cheap labor and

enforced dependence."

Greens have called for living wages, full

benefits, collective bargaining rights, and

democratic workplaces for all people who work,

including those moving from relief to jobs.

Greens support national health insurance for all

Americans; assistance for employment through

stable and responsible locally based business

instead of make-work and dead-end Walmart-wage

jobs; and recognition of caregiving as real work

that deserves compensation, not a luxury or an

excuse to avoid jobs.

Many Greens want the reauthorization of Temporary

Aid to Needy Families (TANF) to increase

investments in child care, education and

training, and job creation rather than impose

stricter workfare requirements on states and

participants as proposed by Democrats and

Republicans in Congress. Greens cite the

Carter-Bayh bill, supported by liberal Democrats

like Hillary Clinton (NY) and John Rockefeller

(WV), which includes such regressive agenda and

which would also divert TANF funding to

noncustodial parents and to groups that seek to

win custody rights over children for abusive


"Do all poor people have to return to slavery and

indentured servitude before Congress finds the

backbone to say no to Bush's insane welfare

proposal?," asked Donna Warren, Green candidate

for Lieutenant Governor of California. "Bush's

plan is counterproductive, disrupting, and drains

money from efforts to move poor people from

government dependency. The Greens know this, 39

states know this, and Bush knows this. It is

amazing that Congress pretends not to know."

Green activists and candidates list specific

dangers in the Bush plan:

*** It doesn't provide what many mothers trying

to rejoin the work force need most: child care,

training and education where effective

(especially GED preparation and English as a

Second Language), and transportation. "At the

same time Bush would expand the workfare

requirement to 40 hours a week, there's no

acknowledgement that working mothers have special

needs," said Miranda. "It's devastating for many

women and some men who take care of children,

elderly, or disabled family members."

*** Bush's plan discriminates against mothers,

including lesbian mothers, who need help but may

find themselves barred from public housing and

other relief. The plan creates a second-class

level of 'undeserving' lesbian mothers and single

heterosexual mothers who are unwilling or unable

to wed. Proponents claim the plan will

strengthen marriage. But by compelling marriage

solely for economic convenience, the plan

encourages unstable, temporary, and even

exploitative relationships. "Many women who

remain single or have separated from partners in

order to escape exploitation, abuse, or

dependence will now find themselves thrust back

into the kind of circumstances that forced them

to seek welfare in the first place," said Mark

Dunlea, Vice-Chair of Green Party of New York


*** The plan's "Super Waiver" option allows

states to spend welfare relief and job training

funds on projects like the promotion of marriage.

It also allows some faith-based organizations --

groups that seek exemption from discrimination

statutes in hiring and training, providing

services, and licensing requirements -- to claim

larger shares of public funding.

"I thought Republicans opposed 'social

engineering'," observed Dr. Jonathan Farley,

Green Party congressional candidate from

Tennessee. "I don't want to be married by Big

Government. I want to be married by a priest."


The Green Party of the United States

National office: 1314 18th Street, NW

Washington, DC 20036

202-296-7755, 866-41GREEN

Index of Green Party candidates in 2002

- END -

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