by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Republicans searching for their next major task after tax reform may have found their answer, and it’s not infrastructure.
Over the past few weeks, President Trump has been talking up reform of anti-poverty programs, and House leaders have begun preliminary talks with his administration on what they could accomplish through a welfare overhaul, aides say. The White House, meanwhile, is preparing an administrative reordering of the welfare system regardless of whether congressional Republicans act.
Trump has suggested more than once that welfare reform might be the next big legislative item on his agenda, although he has also indicated that a major infrastructure bill or another attempt at healthcare legislation could be next up on the docket.
For their part, House Republicans would be willing forge ahead on welfare reform. The GOP conference and outside conservative groups share the goal of changing anti-poverty programs to encourage or require work. It’s an ambition that melds the two conservative priorities of lowering government spending and increasing the supply of labor.