The Trump administration is seriously considering implementing sweeping changes to the U.S. welfare system, a move that President Donald Trump says is needed to stop people "taking advantage of the system."
Trump made the announcement to reporters during an Oct. 16 Cabinet meeting.
"One thing we're going to be looking at very strongly is welfare reform. That's becoming a very, very big subject," Trump said, according to Politico. "And people are taking advantage of the system, and then other people aren't receiving what they really need to live, and we think it's very unfair to them."
"It's gonna be a very big topic under this administration," the president continued. "And it's started already, and we have a lot of recommendations that we're going to be making, and you'll be hearing about them very shortly."
Welfare reform was not a central theme of Trump's presidential campaign, but since his election, it has cropped up in speeches and his budget proposal.
"We want to get our people off of welfare and back to work," Trump said in February, according to CNN. "So important. It's out of control. It's out of control."
CNN also reports that the administration's first budget proposal called for massive cuts to food stamp and welfare programs by making the programs much more selective.
In an opinion piece published in The Washington Post, single, working mother Celena McDonnell called Trump's February comments a stereotype, arguing that most welfare recipient are employed but don't earn a living wage.
The White House already has a draft of an executive order that would require federal agencies to review their welfare programs, according to Politico.
That order, which has not been publicly announced, would establish new welfare rules, including strict work requirements, aimed at moving welfare recipients into the work force.
"Millions lifted from welfare to work is not too much to expect," Trump said during his February address to Congress, according to Politico.
White House Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney has previously echoed the president's comments.
"If you're on food stamps and able-bodied, we need you to go to work," he said, according to Politico.
The White House is not the only government branch considering welfare reform.
Two Republican lawmakers, Rep. Jim Jordan and Sen. Mike Lee have introduced legislation that would change welfare policy in ways similar to the order being considered by the president.
Major welfare reforms last came in 1996, under President Bill Clinton.