Congressman Jim McGovern

Representing the 2nd District of Massachussetts
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McGovern, House Democrats Call Out Speaker Ryan for Pushing Same Dangerous and Divisive Policies as Donald Trump

Jun 8, 2016
Press Release
McGovern: Speaker Ryan’s Poverty Plan Looks Like It Was Pieced Together in Basement of Trump Tower, Does Nothing to Lift People Up

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Jim McGovern (D-MA) – a senior member of the House Democratic Task Force on Poverty, Income Inequality, and Opportunity – joined today’s House Democratic press conference to call out Speaker Ryan for House Republicans’ dangerous poverty agenda unveiled this week and their failure to reject the hateful and divisive rhetoric and policies proposed by Donald Trump, their party’s presidential nominee.

Joining McGovern today were House Democratic Caucus Chairman Xavier Becerra (CA-34), Vice Chairman Joe Crowley (NY-14), and House Democratic Policy and Communications Committee Chair Steve Israel (NY-03).

Excerpts of Congressman McGovern’s Remarks:

“The Speaker of the House and House Republicans yesterday announced their so-called anti-poverty program and it is the same old, same old. It consists of retreads, oldies, but goodies from their conservative playbook.

“It looks like it was pieced together in the basement of Trump Tower because it does nothing to help lift people up and does everything to help put people down. And enough is enough.

“There’s no difference between what the House Republicans are proposing and what Donald Trump is proposing on the campaign trail. They don’t have a clue about what it’s like to be poor in this country. And Democrats are going to stand up and fight them. Democrats have solutions that could actually help get people out of poverty and put people back to work.

“The reality is that being poor in this country is hard work. A lot of the people who are struggling in poverty work for a living. They work full-time. Sometimes they work multiple jobs. The majority of people on SNAP who are able to work actually do work, but they earn so little that they still qualify for food stamps.

“Why aren’t we talking about raising the minimum wage to a livable wage? Why aren’t we talking about ways to make work pay so that people don’t have to be in poverty. But that’s not what’s in the Republican plan.

“It consists of more and more targeted cuts to programs that provide basic necessities like food. It is unconscionable what they have proposed and what they would do.

“The proposal that Speaker Ryan has released…basically amounts to nothing new. Nothing innovative. Certainly nothing bipartisan. And my hope is that none of the stuff he’s proposed will go anywhere.”

VIDEO: Click here for video of today’s press conference.

Full Transcript of Congressman McGovern’s Remarks:

“Nothing has frustrated me more in recent years than watching Republicans, day after day, beat up on poor people, belittle their struggle, diminish them, and present policies – quite frankly – that disrespect them.

“The Speaker of the House and House Republicans yesterday announced their so-called anti-poverty program and it is the same old, same old. It consists of retreads, oldies, but goodies from their conservative playbook.

“It looks like it was pieced together in the basement of Trump Tower because it does nothing to help lift people up and does everything to help put people down. And enough is enough.

“I think what bothers me even more is that the Republican narrative about poverty doesn’t reflect the reality. They would have you believe that poor people are poor because they want to be poor. They would have you believe that people living on SNAP are living the high life. That it’s the easy way to get by.

“The reality is that being poor in this country is hard work. A lot of the people who are struggling in poverty work for a living. They work full-time. Sometimes they work multiple jobs. The majority of people on SNAP who are able to work actually do work, but they earn so little that they still qualify for food stamps.

“Why aren’t we talking about raising the minimum wage to a livable wage? Why aren’t we talking about ways to make work pay so that people don’t have to be in poverty. But that’s not what’s in the Republican plan.

“It consists of more and more targeted cuts to programs that provide basic necessities like food. It is unconscionable what they have proposed and what they would do.

“Look, I think there’s no difference between what the House Republicans are proposing and what Donald Trump is proposing on the campaign trail. They don’t have a clue about what it’s like to be poor in this country. And Democrats are going to stand up and fight them. Democrats have solutions that could actually help get people out of poverty and put people back to work. Create good jobs that pay decent wages.

“So I hope it is clear to everyone, even those who have a quick glance at the proposal that Speaker Ryan has released that it basically amounts to nothing new. Nothing innovative. Certainly nothing bipartisan. And my hope is that none of the stuff he’s proposed will go anywhere.

“And finally, I’ll just say, to keep on doing this, to keep on scapegoating poor people, to keep on beating up on poor people is just a lousy thing to do.”

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