“Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), “welfare” in the common lexicon… did not address the causes of deprivation but only sought to alleviate the plight of the poor (and lessen the social threat they might pose).”
This long established program was plagued by “complex regulations and demeaning practices” which made it hard for women to enroll. The Welfare Rights movement lead to states loosing regulations on the AFDC application process. This lead to an increase in families receiving AFDC benefits.
Nixon proposed a minimum annual income to replace AFDC, which he deemed a failure. The public generally bought into the misinformed notion that the majority of welfare recipients were black women, putting many people, particularly in the south against Welfare reform. Others believed the proposal was not enough to be considered a replacement of AFDC benefits. Ultimately Nixon’s proposal was denied in the Senate.
Nixon’s involvement with Welfare Rights and environmentalism shows that “Nixon did not shy away from the idea of expansive government.”