WASHINGTON, DC – Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (MD) and Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA), chair of the Democratic Whip Task Force on Poverty, Income Inequality, and Opportunity, released the following statement today in response to the release of House Republicans' first plank in their "Better Way" agenda, aimed at addressing poverty in America:
“House Republicans’ so-called poverty agenda shows that they are continuing to double-down on the same policies that hurt the poor and do little to address the challenge of poverty in a serious way. Instead of taking real steps to help struggling families, Speaker Ryan and his colleagues have chosen to repackage the same failed policy proposals they’ve put forward in the past.
“This isn’t a ‘better way’ to address poverty, and it’s certainly not a new approach. Again and again, House Republicans have put forward proposals that require Americans to find work in order to access critical programs while consolidating programs like nutrition assistance, housing assistance, and child care into block grants. Evidence shows that these proposals won’t help lift Americans out of poverty, and in some cases, they can push low-income Americans even deeper into poverty.
“If Speaker Ryan is truly serious about helping the vulnerable and the voiceless, his words need to be backed up by real action to invest in proven anti-poverty programs. For now, it’s clear that his ‘better way’ is simply the wrong way.”