Press Release ● Poverty, Income Inequality, and Opportunity
For Immediate Release: 
April 2, 2019
Contact Info: 
Mariel Saez (Hoyer) 202-225-3130
David Stephen (Lee) (202) 225-2661
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) and Chair Barbara Lee (CA-13) announced the selection of five freshman Members to serve as Vice Chairs of the Majority Leader Task Force on Poverty and Opportunity for the 116th Congress.  The freshman Members selected for the Vice Chair position are:
  • Rep. TJ Cox (CA-21) as Vice Chair on Rural Poverty
  • Rep. Sylvia Garcia (TX-29) as Vice Chair on Urban Poverty
  • Rep. Deb Haaland (NM-01) as Vice Chair on Families and Children Living in Poverty
  • Rep. Ben McAdams (UT-04) as Vice Chair on Economic Opportunity, Education, and Workforce Development
  • Rep. Joe Neguse (CO-02) as Vice Chair on Housing and Transportation
“These freshman Members will bring new perspectives and new energy to the Task Force as Democrats use our House Majority to tackle some of the nation’s most pressing challenges in combatting poverty and expanding opportunity,” Leader Hoyer said.  “I want to thank Chair Barbara Lee for her hard work and leadership of the Task Force since its creation in 2013. Her efforts have made a real difference in bringing poverty issues to the forefront of our national dialogue and highlighting innovative solutions that have already begun to be implemented in cities, towns, and rural areas across the country.  I look forward to continuing to work with her and with our new Vice Chairs to continue and expand on these efforts in the Majority.”

“As Chair of the Majority Leader Task Force on Poverty and Opportunity, I am proud to announce our new Vice Chairs who will bring innovative new ideas that will help us further our task force’s mission of eliminating poverty once and for all,” said Congresswoman Lee. “For too many families – especially in communities of color – just paying the bills and keeping the lights on has become an insurmountable financial challenge. It is a moral outrage that 40 million Americans are living poverty and even more on the economic brink. No one in the richest nation should have to choose between keeping the lights on and putting food on the table. This Task Force will continue to make poverty elimination a central theme in our Caucus and for the American people.”

“Rural communities like the Central Valley face unique challenges – and we need a Congress that is laser-focused on tackling the issue of poverty in rural communities,” said Congressman Cox. “I’m proud to be part of the most diverse freshmen class in history, and I’m proud to be part of a new generation of leaders who are raising new and innovative ideas to combat this issue. The Central Valley wants aggressive policies and aggressive solutions, and I’m honored to be at the table for that conversation.”

“I am honored to be selected as a Vice Chair to the Task Force on Poverty and Opportunity with my fellow Vice Chairs,” said Congresswoman Garcia. “Addressing poverty and the growing wealth gap here in America is among our nation’s top economic and security challenges in the 21st Century. I look forward to working with Congresswoman Lee and my fellow colleagues in devising strategies to eradicate poverty and grow prosperity for American families everywhere.”

“I know the struggle many families face – piecing together health care, relying on food stamps to make ends meet, and even bunking on families’ couches because housing was too expensive. Families in our country are resilient, but we have an economic system that keeps people down leaving many families to bear the burden of poverty. The barriers that stand in the way range from lack of access to education and job training and outrageous health care prices to lack of affordable childcare and rising housing costs without wages keeping up. As the Vice Chair on Families and Children Living in Poverty, I plan to use my experience as a single mom and the stories that I hear from families in my district to tackle issues that will end cycles of poverty in New Mexico and across the country,” said Congresswoman Haaland.

“I appreciate the opportunity to join my colleagues on Rep. Barbara Lee’s and  Majority Leader Hoyer’s task force. I will work on expanding access to opportunity for individuals and families to ensure broad-based prosperity in our communities. People deserve support in their personal effort to move forward on a path to independence,” said Congressman McAdams.

“I’m honored to join the Majority Leader Task Force on Poverty and Opportunity as the Vice Chair on Housing and Transportation, both issues that are incredibly important to Colorado’s 2nd Congressional District,” said Congressman Neguse. “As our communities expand, and the economy changes, many constituents in my district find it more and more difficult to live where they work. Therefore, it is essential that we fully invest in affordable housing options and infrastructure that meets the needs of our mountain communities and our growing city centers. I look forward to working with the Task Force on Poverty and Opportunity to enact common-sense legislation that invests in our communities and provides opportunity for individuals across Colorado and across our country.”

Launched in 2013, the Majority Leader Task Force on Poverty and Opportunity works to raise awareness of Members of Congress and the American people about the ongoing crisis of poverty, the positive human and economic impacts of effective poverty alleviation programs, and the need for a comprehensive national effort to eradicate poverty.  The Task Force consults with key stakeholders to develop support for strategies to eradicate poverty and build opposition to proposed cuts to anti-poverty programs by the Trump Administration and Congressional Republicans.