The 104th Congress is history, but its legacy lives on. The balanced budget agreement and the new welfare law were only the most visible elements of the 104th’s assault on anti-poverty programs, according to an appraisal just published by the Washington-based Center for Community Change. And much of last year’s agenda is likely to be revived soon.
For a solid backgrounder on last year’s legislative chaos, check out CCC’s new publication: “The 104th Congress: Less Money, Fewer Rules, More Power to the States.” The guidebook lays out the impact of new laws on health care, welfare, child care, nutrition, housing, legal services and other topics. It also reviews right-wing legislation that failed and provides an insider’s perspective on what to expect in 1997.
The new 105th Congress will likely seek even deeper cuts in funding for government agencies that serve the poor, according to the authors. Conservatives will probably renew attempts to revolutionize juvenile justice policy and eliminate tax benefits for the working poor. And as early as next month, there will be an aggressive new proposal for a balanced budget amendment headed for the floor. This time around, the Senate is much more likely to approve it. Be prepared. For a copy, contact CCC’s publications department at (202) 342-0567.