Welfare Reform

Ex-Congressman Known for Welfare Reform Work Dies

Clay Shaw, 74, added work requirements to welfare rules in bipartisan effort with Clinton administration


An architect of the nation's landmark welfare overhaul is being remembered Wednesday for his service in Congress and as mayor of Fort Lauderdale.

Clay Shaw, 74, died Tuesday after a long battle with lung cancer, his family announced. After serving six years as mayor of Fort Lauderdale in the 1970s, the moderate Republican came to Washington in the Reagan administration and established himself as a key legislator on issues related to Social Security, taxes, welfare and trade.

Shaw is perhaps best known for his work on the House Ways and Means Committee, and in 1996 he crafted and steered a major rewrite of the nation's welfare system through Congress. The revised law added work requirements for welfare recipients and became a widely heralded, bipartisan achievement for then-President Bill Clinton and the GOP-led Congress.