WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) and Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA), chair of the Democratic Whip Task Force on Poverty, Income Inequality, and Opportunity, released the following statement in response to today's report by the U.S. Census Bureau:
“Today’s report by the U.S. Census Bureau makes one thing abundantly clear: under President Obama’s leadership, our recovery spread across the economic spectrum. We’ve seen sustained improvement in the three key economic indicators – median income, the poverty rate, and health coverage – over two consecutive years for the first time in nearly three decades. The Census Bureau’s findings prove that American workers and entrepreneurs remained resilient as a result of Democratic leadership. The report showed that the poverty rate has fallen to 12.7 percent, with 2.5 million Americans rising above the poverty line in 2016, marking the first time since the Great Recession that the poverty rate has fallen back to pre-recession levels. And after growing 3.2% above inflation, real median income hit its highest mark on record.
“However, today’s report also underscores a deeply concerning reality: if President Trump and Congressional Republicans implement their draconian policies, millions of Americans will be left poorer, sicker, and less secure. In their budget proposals, Republicans have proven that they will stop at nothing to dismantle proven anti-poverty programs that allow hardworking families to afford the basics like energy costs and meals in order to pay for tax cuts for the wealthy.
“At a time when we are beginning to see modest gains in the fight to eliminate poverty and reduce inequality, we cannot allow these devastating budget cuts to turn back the progress on the hard-fought economic recovery from the Great Recession. That is why House Democrats will continue leading the fight for policies that create good paying jobs, raise wages, and expand opportunity.”