Skip to main content
CNN.com /TRANSCRIPTS

CNN TV
EDITIONS





AMERICAN MORNING WITH PAULA ZAHN

Bush Considering Funding to Promote Marriage for Welfare Recipients

Aired January 29, 2002 - 08:41   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR: One of the trial balloons the administration has been floating is to plan to spend government money to encourage single mothers to get married.

Let's turn now to White House Correspondent Kelly Wallace -- good morning, Kelly. Is there any chance this plan will ever fly?

KELLY WALLACE, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, good morning to you, Paula.

We're told no final decisions have been made, but what this administration is considering is spending at least $100 million, as you noted, to encourage single women on welfare to marry. Now, you might ask, how would the administration do this? We're told that basically the money will go to pilot programs, maybe programs such as marriage counselling, programs that have been proven to work to encourage single mothers, again on welfare, to marry.

Now, the administration is saying basically it believes the '96 welfare reform law is working, that welfare rolls have decreased by more than 50 percent, but that this president is a strong believer in strengthening families, so he wants to look at what can be done to try and improve more families on welfare -- Paula.

I am just wondering how that would work in a pilot program. I mean, you know, a number of these women are involved in abusive relationships, some of them might be involved in more stable relationships. Any ideas as to how the pilot program would work?

WALLACE: Well, what it would do, understanding again, details really sketchy because we're told no final decisions here, but looking at things such as providing more counseling to women and their mate to try and encourage them to work out their problems, maybe providing assistance to children so that might help keep families together. There's a delicate balancing act here, Paula.

You know conservatives have been pushing, really trying to require states to push marriage in their welfare reform plans, believing that having a two-parent family is better for children and would basically be a better way to escape poverty, but you have liberals on the other side saying, is that really the right thing for taxpayer dollars, and how much of a role should government play in people's personal lives? And then the point you just mentioned, do any of these programs really work? Will they really increase marriage rates at all?

So that's why we're told if the administration goes forward, it would try to put some money at experimental programs to see if those programs work, and if they work, to try and add funding to those programs in the years ahead -- Paula.

ZAHN: So the politics at play here, I guess, are pretty obvious. Is that enough to placate the conservatives?

WALLACE: That is really going to be the big question, because conservatives, we understand have been making this a very, very big priority, so they might say this experimental program money is simply not enough.

On the other hand, as we said, liberals certainly would not support seeing the administration require states in any way to push welfare reform or to push marriage in their welfare reform plans.

Also, Paula, it's interesting, we're watching the administration strike a balance as well as how much funding for welfare reform. Some conservatives say since the roles have gone down so much, perhaps the federal government doesn't need to spend as much any more, but liberals, on the other hand, say more money needs to be spent to try to get people from welfare out of poverty.

It looks like the administration is going down the middle, trying to keep funding exactly where it is, saying it's working, but more still needs to be done -- Paula.

ZAHN: All right, Kelly. Thanks for filling us in on this proposal that is being widely debated at this hour. Thanks again, Kelly.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com


 
 
 
 


 Search   

Back to the top