New welfare rules written by Congress and the Bush administration are taking effect, denying assistance to the poor for education and drug addiction treatment. The rules also require welfare recipients to work more hours a week, without providing additional child support subsidies.

Washington Post


“States are kind of in a low-grade panic,” said Ron Haskins, a Brookings Institution senior fellow who helped to write the 1996 law and later worked on welfare in the Bush White House.

In a climate of such flux, most of the nearly 2 million families on welfare nationwide are not yet feeling any change. Many will soon.

Riordan heard about the threat to her last year of college a few weeks ago. “I feel nauseous,” she said. “This is my ticket . . . out of poverty.”


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