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 today's Republican hearing on poverty in the House Ways and Means Committee:
“As we await recommendations from Speaker Ryan's task force on poverty, we are deeply troubled by comments made by House Republicans at today’s House Ways and Means Committee poverty hearing. The Republican Majority continues to demonize those living in poverty or near poverty. They invoke fraud as a justification to force cutbacks to those safety net programs that have proven results in helping millions keep food on the table, heat their homes in winter, or train for a changing job market. From nutrition assistance to child care and other services funded by the Social Services Block Grant, House Republicans continue to propose cuts that tell Americans living in poverty: 'you're on your own.'
“As the Republican task force prepares to release policy recommendations, which will likely propose to block grant more programs and increase requirements of those living in poverty while decreasing resources to that population, we continue to urge its Members to abandon these extreme policies and work with us to invest in proven anti-poverty programs that will meaningfully reduce poverty and inequality and create opportunity for all.”