“It is unacceptable that in the richest nation in the world, there are nearly 47 million people living in poverty.”
- Congresswoman Barbara Lee
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Congresswoman Lee is dedicated to working towards a comprehensive solution to address the root causes of poverty. She believes that it is critical to provide strong support for people who are in need. Our nation needs robust programs that meet the needs of low income people in education, job training, childcare, fair and affordable housing, and universal access to healthcare. If we can provide struggling families with this support and provide access to living wage jobs in an environmentally sound and sustainable Green Economy that provides fair and equitable opportunity for all, we will dramatically reduce poverty in America even as we grow the economy and reduce our long term deficits.
She is a co-founder and co-chair of the Congressional Out-of-Poverty Caucus which seeks to raise awareness about the need to fight poverty, hunger, and homelessness in America and I am actively working to advance legislation that will promote poverty eradication. Congresswoman Lee recently introduced H.R. 3300, the Half in Ten Act, which would establish the Federal Interagency Working Group on Reducing Poverty which will create and carry out a national plan to cut poverty in America in half in ten years. This legislation is supported and endorsed by the Half in Ten Campaign.
She also serves as the Chair of the new Whip Task Force on Poverty and Opportunity, which will work to raise the awareness of Members of Congress and the American people about the ongoing crisis of poverty, the positive human and economic impacts of reducing and eliminating poverty, as well as the need for a comprehensive national effort to eradicate poverty and remove barriers to opportunity that prevent low-income Americans from reaching the middle class.
As a member of Labor-Health and Human Services-Education (LHHSED) Appropriations Subcommittee, Congresswoman Lee continues to fight Republican efforts to gut critical human needs programs and instead call for smart investments in programs which will protect vulnerable families like:
- Job Corps She continues to advocate for robust funding of effective programs like Job Corps. Smart investments like this will strengthen and expand student academic, vocational and support services at the existing 125 Job Corps centers operating across the country. Job Corps is a vital pathway to success for the nation's most vulnerable economically disadvantaged youth.
- Community Health Centers She continues to support successful and cost effective programs like Community Health Centers. CHC’s specialize in providing cost-effective, high-quality primary and preventive health care that improves patient health and generates $24 billion annually in savings to the health care system. Health centers are able to do this all while delivering care at a cost of just $1.64 per patient per day.
- Promise Neighborhoods Program Programs like Promise Neighborhoods model combine high-quality education with community and family-based supports and provide continuous services from cradle through college to career. This program improves outcomes for our students and encourages the local communities to use their knowledge of assets and challenges to create a set of programs that will be most effective for their community.
H.R.377: Food Assistance to Improve Reintegration Act of 2011 - Repeals the denial of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps) eligibility for a person convicted of a felony which has as an element the possession, use, or distribution of a controlled substance. (Introduced 1/20/2011)
H.R.382:Income Equity Act of 2011- Denies employers a tax deduction excessive compensation, meaning greater than 25 times the lowest compensation paid to any other employee or $500,000. Also requires reporting of excessive compensation. (Introduced 1/20/2011)
H.R.385: Poverty Impact Trigger Act of 2011 - Amends the Rules of the House of Representatives to require a consideration of the poverty impacts on any bill over $10 million. (Introduced 1/20/2011)
H.R.589: Emergency Unemployment Compensation Expansion Act of 2011 - This bill would extend unemployment compensation to individuals by adding an additional 14 weeks of benefits to the existing Tier I of the Emergency Unemployment Compensation program, the temporary federal program first created in 2008 as a response to the recession. (Introduced 2/9/2011)
H.R. 3300: Half in Ten Act of 2011 - Establishes within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) a Federal Interagency Working Group on Reducing Poverty, which shall develop a National Plan or Strategy to reduce the number of persons living in poverty in America in half within 10 years after release of the 2011 Census report on Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2010.
H.RES.261: Encourages media organizations to publicize the issues addressed by the Cairo Consensus, and nongovernmental organizations, faith based organizations, community organizations, and private citizens to act to improve gender equality, end violence against women, expand access to reproductive, maternal, and other health services, lower infant, childhood, and maternal mortality rates, and eradicate world poverty. (Introduced 5/10/2011)
H.RES.260: Expresses support for the goals and ideals of Professional Social Work Month and World Social Work Day. (Introduced 5/10/2011)
H.R.283: Living American Wage (LAW) Act of 2011 - Expresses that the federal minimum wage should be adjusted at least every four years so that a person working for it may earn an annual income at least 15% higher than the federal poverty threshold for a family of two. Also expresses that the living wage should be set at a level high enough to allow two full-time minimum wage workers to earn an income above the national housing wage. (Introduced 1/12/2011)
H.R.287: Homes for Heroes Act of 2011 - Provides assistance to expand the supply of supportive housing for very low-income veteran families (families with incomes not exceeding 50% of the area median income).(Introduced 1/12/2011)
H.R.631: WAGES Act - Establishes an increasing base minimum wage for tipped employees, increasing over two years from $3.75 an hour to 70% of the wage in effect under FLSA but in no case less than $5.50 an hour. (Introduced 2/10/2011)
H.R.755: Investing in Our Future Act of 2011 – Creates an excise tax on currency transactions exceeding $10,000 to fund state child care assistance, developing countries in addressing various diseases, the Green Climate and Adaptation Funds, and federal budget deficit reduction. (Introduced 2/17/2011)
H.R.870: Humphrey-Hawkins 21st Century Full Employment and Training Act- Establishes a Full Employment National Trust Fund for Employment Opportunity Grants to states, local governments, and Indian tribes for job-creating activities in communities whose economy is not at a level of full employment, and Workforce Investment programs. (Introduced 3/2/2011)
H.R.1028: Equal Access to COBRA Act of 2011- Expands COBRA coverage (health insurance continuation benefits) to include employees' domestic partners and their dependent children. (Introduced 3/10/2011)
H.R.1106: Dorothy I. Height and Whitney M. Young, Jr. Social Work Reinvestment Act - Establishes the Social Work Reinvestment Commission to provide independent counsel to Congress on policy issues associated with the recruitment, retention, research, and reinvestment in the profession of social work, and for other purposes.
For more information contact the Office of Congresswoman Barbara Lee at 202-225-2661 or send a message from my email gateway at lee.house.gov