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A Brief History of Donald Trump's War on Welfare

By imposing work requirements, the president is escalating his decades-long campaign against government aid.
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Carlos Barria/Reuters

President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Tuesday that will force recipients of federal assistance—benefits for housing, food, and healthcare—to demonstrate their employment to be eligible for aid. The move, widely anticipated by welfare agencies and eagerly awaited by conservatives, represents a significant change to the social safety net.

The administration is also mulling a plan to require drug testing for recipients of food aid, according to a report by the Associated Press. The decisions reflect long-standing complaints that conservatives have lodged against welfare—criticisms that Trump appears to hold close to heart.