Welfare Reform in the Policymaking Process
Welfare policy, like other governmental policies, is made through a combination of consensus, compromise, and bargaining, and once one alternative has been selected, the policy process is not over. In spite of all the demagoguery surrounding welfare reform, there were some solutions floating around in the policy stream. Specific policy proposals were already being tested in the states, which, by the mid-1990s, were trying out new programs under the waiver process. Although a problem was evident with welfare and there were some solutions available to solve the problem, there was no guarantee that welfare reform would pass in the 104th Congress. Congressional Republicans also figured out a way to get back at Clinton for taking control of the welfare issue in Wisconsin. By spring of 1996, the issue of welfare reform was again becoming a focal point in Congress. On July 11, 1996, Republican congressional leaders announced that they would split welfare reform legislation from Medicaid.