Rep. John Anderson (R-Ill.), third-ranking GOP leader in the House, said yesterday he wholeheartedly supports the "general concept" of President Carter's welfare overhaul plan.
And Joseph A. Califano, Jr., who as Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare helped design the mammoth proposal, said he expects no "major objections" to it in Congress.
Anderson, interviewed on "Meet the Press" (NBC, WRC), said, "I'm not prepared to say at this moment that I could support all the particulars of the program.
"But in its general concept of trying to address the problems of the breakup of families, doing something about the escalating cost of welfare, getting people off the welfare rolls and into working jobs where they become taxpayers instead of tax eaters, those are all principles I can support."
Califano, interviewed on "Face the Nation" (CBS, WTOP), said he does not anticipate congressional changes in the program's basic structure.
Some members of Congress may want to tinker with certain provisions of the plan, such as the type of work incentives offered, Califano said, "but I don't think we're going t have major objections to the overall structure of the program."
Carter announced his proposal in Plains, Ga., on Saturday.
He said it would cost $30.7 billion a year - $2.8 billion more than the present system - and would cover 32 million Americans.
Under the program, the needy would get a single monthly payment in place of the array of payments now made in various categories. Carter also proposed creating 1.4 billion jobs or job training slots, and requiring many recipients to go to work or lose their benefits.