Congresswoman Barbara Lee Details Impact of Budgets on Poverty



March 19, 2013
Contact: Carrie Adams (202) 225-2661

Washington, D.C.— Today, Congresswoman Barbara Lee released the following statement highlighting the impact that budgets have on poverty:

“Good afternoon, I’m so pleased to bring together my distinguished colleagues for such an important press conference to highlight the impact that budget choices have on poverty. As Chair of the new Whip’s Task Force on Poverty and Opportunity, I’m particularly pleased to see several task force members here with us to speak about the ongoing crisis of poverty in this country.

“We are here today to talk about budgets. I’ve said for a long time that budgets are moral documents: they reflect our choices and our priorities. That’s why the Republican Budget is so unnerving: The Republicans are choosing tax breaks for Big Oil over SNAP benefits for hungry kids.

“Sixteen percent of Americans are living in povertythat’s nearly 50 million people living in poverty, almost 16 million of them children. The rates among communities of color are especially bad: African American and Latino communities are suffering under 24% poverty rates. In the richest nation in the world, this is unconscionable.

 “We should be investing in jobs creation, strengthening the middle class, and eliminating the barriers to opportunity that encumber so many vulnerable Americans. But, instead, the Republicans have proposed a budget that would slash the social safety net, shatter our economic recovery, and push struggling families over the edge.  The Republican budget gets 66% of its cuts from programs for people with low or moderate incomes.

“Paul Ryan calls the Republican budget a “Path to Prosperity.” That is false advertising—it’s nothing more than a “Path to Poverty.”

“We are here today to say that that is unacceptable, that that is not who we are as Americans, but better yet, that there are alternatives: The Democratic Alternative, The Black Caucus Budget, and The Progressive Caucus’ Back to Work Budget.

 “These budgets lift people out of poverty and invest in job creation. They ensure that we keep struggling families from going over the cliff by protecting SNAP, WIC, Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.

 “The choice is clear: we need to reject the ruinous Ryan budget and embrace these alternatives.      

 “We must go further to combat poverty and join together key stakeholders and work closely with the Administration to develop support for a national strategy to eliminate barriers to opportunity and eradicate poverty, with the initial goal of cutting poverty in half in ten years, which is a key part of the Whip’s Task Force on Poverty and Opportunity.”


Follow Barbara Lee on Facebook and Twitter @RepBarbaraLee. To learn more, visit lee.house.gov 

Congresswoman Barbara Lee is a former Co-Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) and currently serves as CPC Whip and Chair of the Taskforce on Global Peace and Security.