McGovern Statement on Republicans’ Wrong Way Poverty Agenda

Congressman Jim McGovern (D-MA), a senior member of the House Democrats' Task Force on Poverty, Income Inequality, and Opportunity and the Ranking Member of the House Agriculture Nutrition Subcommittee, released the following statement after House Republicans unveiled the poverty portion of their so-called “A Better Way” agenda:

“Americans need Congress to come together to offer bipartisan solutions that will help millions of families escape poverty – not make it harder for them to get ahead. Speaker Ryan likes to talk about fixing poverty, but the House Republican agenda outlined today would only make poverty worse.

“We live in the richest, most powerful country in the world and yet 46 million of our fellow citizens are in poverty – including more than 15 million children. Today’s House Republican poverty agenda claims to offer bold new ideas, but the harsh reality is it’s just more of the same failed policies that hurt America’s most vulnerable families.

“When Speaker Ryan announced his Republican taskforce to tackle poverty, it was pretty hard to take him seriously because every single Republican on the taskforce voted to cut SNAP by $40 billion. In Speaker Ryan’s home state of Wisconsin, 1 in 5 children struggle with hunger and 302,000 low-income children rely on free or reduced-price school lunches. Yet Speaker Ryan and House Republicans have repeatedly voted to slash the vital programs that help families in Wisconsin and across the country put food on the table. With today’s agenda, Speaker Ryan and House Republicans are just peddling more of the same empty rhetoric and offering no solutions to tackle hunger and actually help families in poverty.”

“In fact, House Republicans have repeatedly pushed dangerous cuts that hurt millions of Americans in poverty. Year after year, Republicans have consistently worked to gut funding for Head Start, Medicaid, and a wide range of initiatives dedicated to reducing poverty. In the most recent Republican budget proposal alone, House Republicans proposed a shameful $3.7 trillion in cuts to essential anti-poverty programs.

“Speaker Ryan’s latest attack on American families working to escape poverty isn’t a better way, it’s the wrong way. As much as Republicans try to distance themselves from Donald Trump, today’s agenda offering no solutions to actually help families escape poverty makes it clear that they’re cut from the same cloth. Slapping a fresh coat of paint on a failed set of policies doesn’t change the fact that this agenda will only make poverty worse. Americans deserve better and House Democrats will not back down from this fight.”