Announcement of the Establishment of the Interagency Low Income Opportunity Advisory Board


July 21, 1987


The President today announced the creation of a new interagency advisory board dedicated to the administration's welfare reform initiative. The action is designed to enhance coordination of Federal public assistance programs and policies that now cut across department lines and to create a focal point for intergovernmental coordination. The Interagency Low Income Opportunity Advisory Board will provide a focal point within the Federal Government for developing and coordinating new policies to aid low income individuals and families and for facilitating implementation of those policies.


The Board Chairman will be Charles D. Hobbs, Assistant to the President, and it will include representatives of the following agencies: the Office of Management and Budget, and the Departments of Agriculture, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Justice, Labor, and Interior. Other members may be designated by the President from time to time. When the Board considers a program for which any other executive department or agency has responsibility, that department or agency will have representation on the Board for that purpose.


The Chairman will advise the President with respect to the system of Federal public assistance programs, activities, and related matters and will recommend to the President policies and guidelines pertaining to public assistance matters for all related programs within the executive branch. He will, in addition, review policy alternatives with outside groups -- especially multiprogram reform concepts or proposals of the States -- and with executive departments and agencies, the heads of which have been instructed, to the extent permitted by law, to cooperate with the Chairman in carrying out his functions. He will also monitor the implementation of public assistance policies.


Mr. Hobbs, currently an Assistant to the President, with primary responsibility for public assistance programs, previously served as Director of the White House Office of Policy Development and was chairman of the Domestic Policy Council Low Income Opportunity Working Group, which produced the report to the President entitled, ``Up From Dependency: A New National Public Assistance Strategy.''


The President's actions today, taken on the recommendation of the Domestic Policy Council, reflect his commitment to the objective announced in his State of the Union Address to Congress on January 27, 1987, when he asked Congress to approve a major new national strategy to reform America's flawed welfare system. The first step toward the reform envisioned by the President is the establishment of widespread, long-term experimentation in welfare reform through community-based and State-sponsored demonstration projects. The creation of an interagency policy forum devoted to this purpose will provide a means of integrating the many disparate Federal public assistance programs and policies that have the common purpose of alleviating poverty.