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John McCain on Welfare & Poverty

Republican nominee for President; Senior Senator (AZ)


Lower and middle income Americans need more help

Q: Back when you voted against the tax cuts in Congress, you said you opposed them because they favored the wealthy too much. So which is it? If they were too skewed to the wealthy at first, are they still too skewed to the wealthy?

A: Lower and middle income Americans need more help. Obviously, that’s the case today. That’s one reason why we’re giving them rebates. I support the Reagan tax cuts, and they had spending restraints associated with it. I made it very clear when I ran in 2000 that I had a package of tax cuts which were very important & very impactful, but I also had restraints in spending. And I disagreed when spending got out of control. I disagreed when we had tax cuts without spending restraint. Guess what? Spending got out of control. Republicans lost the 2006 election not over the war in Iraq, over spending. Our base became disenchanted. If we had done what I wanted to do, we would not only have had the spending restraint, but we’d be talking about additional tax cuts today.

Source: 2008 Republican debate at Reagan Library in Simi Valley , Jan 30, 2008

Require 40 hours work per week from welfare recipients

Source: 2004 Presidential National Political Awareness Test , Nov 7, 2004

Supports block grants, welfare-to-work, state control

Source: 2000 National Political Awareness Test , Jan 13, 2000

Anti-poverty shared by gov’t & faith-based orgs

McCain indicates his support for direct federal poverty aid through religious, community-based or other non-profit organizations. He says, “Welfare and anti-poverty assistance is a shared responsibility among federal, state and local government; the private sector; community and faith-based organizations. Welfare policy must provide a strong safety net, while promoting work, responsibility, self sufficiency and dignity.”
Source: 2000 National Political Awareness Test , Jan 13, 2000

List unoccupied HUD-owned homes, & give them away

McCain introduced the “Urban Homestead Act” (S.485), which would publish a list of unoccupied multifamily housing projects, substandard housing projects, and other residential property owned by the federal government (HUD); and would transfer ownership to a requesting community development corporation, after HUD satisfies any related indebtedness.
Source: Senate statements S.485 , Feb 25, 1999

Use tax code to address unemployment & working conditions

Source: 1998 National Political Awareness Test , Jul 2, 1998

More housing assistance; tax breaks against homelessness

Source: 1998 National Political Awareness Test , Jul 2, 1998

Pro-block grants; pro-welfare-to-work

Source: 1998 National Political Awareness Test , Jul 2, 1998

Voted YES on instituting National Service as a new social invention.

Congressional Summary:Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education (GIVE) Act:
    Adds to National and Community Service Act of 1990 (NCSA) purposes:
  1. providing year-round opportunities in service-learning;
  2. involving program participants in emergency and disaster preparedness, relief, and recovery;
  3. increasing service opportunities for retiring professionals;
  4. encouraging service by individuals age 55 or older and continued service by national service alumni;
  5. focusing national service on the areas of national need.

Proponent's argument to vote Yes:Sen. BARBARA MIKULSKI (D, MD): [In developing national service over many years] we were not in the business of creating another new social program. What we were in the business of was creating a new social invention. What do I mean by that? In our country, we are known for our technological inventions. But also often overlooked, and sometimes undervalued, is our social inventions.

We created national service to let young people find opportunity to be of service and also to make an important contribution. But not all was rosy. In 2003, when I was the ranking member on the appropriations subcommittee funding national service, they created a debacle. One of their most colossal errors was that they enrolled over 20,000 volunteers and could not afford to pay for it. That is how sloppy they were in their accounting. I called them the "Enron of nonprofits."

And they worked on it. But all that is history. We are going to expand AmeriCorps activity into specialized corps. One, an education corps; another, a health futures corps; another, a veterans corps; and another called opportunity corps. These are not outside of AmeriCorps. They will be subsets because we find this is where compelling human need is and at the same time offers great opportunity for volunteers to do it.

Opponent's argument to vote No:No senators spoke against the amendment.

Reference: Serve America Act/GIVE Act; Bill H.R. 1388 ; vote number 2009-S115 on Mar 26, 2009

Voted YES on welfare block grants.

Replacement of federal welfare guarantee with block grants to the states.
Status: Conf Rpt Agreed to Y)78; N)21; NV)1
Reference: Conference Report on H.R. 3734; Bill H.R. 3734 ; vote number 1996-262 on Aug 1, 1996

Voted NO on eliminating block grants for food stamps.

Vote to not allow states the option of getting food stamp funds as a block grant administered by the state, rather than as a federal program, if they meet certain criteria.
Reference: Bill S 1956 ; vote number 1996-218 on Jul 23, 1996

Voted YES on allowing state welfare waivers.

Vote on a procedural motion to allow consideration of an amendment to express the Sense of Congress that the president should approve the waivers requested by states that want to implement welfare reform.
Reference: Bill S.1956 ; vote number 1996-208 on Jul 19, 1996

Voted YES on welfare overhaul.

Approval of an overhaul on the federal welfare system.
Status: Bill Passed Y)87; N)12; NV)1
Reference: Contract w/ America (Welfare Refm); Bill H.R. 4 ; vote number 1995-443 on Sep 19, 1995

Fully fund AmeriCorps.

McCain signed a letter from 43 Senators to the President

To: President George W. Bush

Dear President Bush:

We write to express our strong support for AmeriCorps and recognize the leadership you have shown on this issue over the years. We know you agree that AmeriCorps is an outstanding program which has proven successful in addressing our homeland security needs, leveraging volunteers, and improving the quality of services available to a broad range of Americans.

Unfortunately, as you know, the Corporation for National Service officially announced yesterday unprecedented and drastic funding cuts, from 50 to 95 percent in every state. These cuts mean that under the State Competitive funding stream the Corporation will only fund 2,036 volunteers, compared with 11,236 last year. Many states will see their volunteer allocations under the competitive stream drop by as much as 90 percent and 16 states are shut out completely.

In your 2002 State of the Union address, you called for every American to dedicate 4,000 hours to community service throughout their lives. In your 2004 budget request, you proposed increasing the number of AmeriCorps volunteers from 50,000 to 75,000. Unfortunately, due to serious errors made by the Corporation, fewer than half this number of Americans will be allowed to serve their country through service.

We should support, not oppose, efforts to encourage more Americans to enter public service. We should do everything in our power to reward the American men and women who have chosen to serve the country and their communities in the hope of meeting the nation's critical education, safety, health, and homeland security needs.

We urge you to request additional funding in the supplemental appropriations bill to ensure that AmeriCorps remains a strong and vital program today and in the future.

Source: Letter from 43 Senators to the President 03-SEN5 on Jun 17, 2003

Other candidates on Welfare & Poverty: John McCain on other issues:
Former Presidents:
George W. Bush (R,2001-2009)
Bill Clinton (D,1993-2001)
George Bush Sr. (R,1989-1993)
Ronald Reagan (R,1981-1989)
Jimmy Carter (D,1977-1981)
Gerald Ford (R,1974-1977)
Richard Nixon (R,1969-1974)
Lyndon Johnson (D,1963-1969)
John F. Kennedy (D,1961-1963)
Dwight Eisenhower (R,1953-1961)
Harry_S_TrumanHarry S Truman(D,1945-1953)

Former Contenders:
V.P.Al Gore
Pat Buchanan
V.P.Dick Cheney
Sen.Bob Dole
Ralph Nader
Gov.Sarah Palin

Political Thinkers:
Noam Chomsky
Milton Friedman
Arianna Huffington
Rush Limbaugh
Tea Party
Ayn Rand
Secy.Robert Reich
Donald Trump
Gov.Jesse Ventura
Abortion
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Civil Rights
Corporations
Crime
Drugs
Education
Energy/Oil
Environment
Families/Children
Foreign Policy
Free Trade
Govt. Reform
Gun Control
Health Care
Homeland Security
Immigration
Infrastructure/Technology
Jobs
Principles/Values
Social Security
Tax Reform
War/Iraq/Mideast
Welfare/Poverty

Page last updated: Jul 04, 2014