May 12, 2023


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-12) and House Democratic Caucus Chair Pete Aguilar announced the Poverty Task Force to help further the Caucus’ goal of advancing policies and initiatives that help reduce poverty for children and families across America. 

Rep. Lee will serve as Chair of the Poverty Task Force. Originally launched in 2013 through the office of former House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer, the task force will continue its mission to raise awareness among Members of Congress and the American people about the ongoing poverty crisis, the positive human and economic impacts of effective poverty alleviation programs and the need for a comprehensive national effort to eradicate poverty. 

“I am honored to partner with Democratic Caucus Chair Aguilar to continue to lead Congressional action to eradicate poverty in the 118th Congress,” said Rep. Lee. “Since its founding, the Poverty Task Force has fought to ensure the House remains focused on combatting poverty in all forms and creating opportunity for all Americans. I look forward to working with our diverse coalition in the 118th session to address issues ranging from economic mobility to education to health care through a racial and social justice lens. In the wealthiest country in the history of the world, we have the power and the tools to end poverty entirely. Together, we can use these tools to reduce disparities and secure justice for those struggling to put food on the table.” 

“America’s prosperity depends on making sure everyone has the opportunity to succeed,” said Chairman Aguilar. “House Democrats are committed to protecting and expanding safety net programs that have long helped us reduce poverty among families, seniors and people with disabilities. I look forward to Representative Lee’s leadership in helping our Caucus find solutions that will lift folks out of poverty and give families a better quality of life.”

The Poverty Task Force Vice Chairs will focus on the following priorities: 

•          Rep. Sara Jacobs, Vice Chair on Economic Mobility 

•          Rep. Jim McGovern, Vice Chair on Hunger

•          Rep. Bobby Scott, Vice Chair on Education and Workforce Development

•          Rep. Sylvia Garcia, Vice Chair on Housing and Transportation 

•          Rep. Rosa DeLauro, Vice Chair on Health Care 

•          Rep. Cori Bush, Vice Chair on Criminalization of Poverty


Congresswoman Lee is a member of the House Appropriations Committee and Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations. She serves as Co-Chair of the Steering and Policy Committee, former Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, Chair Emeritus of the Progressive Caucus, Co-Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus Health Task Force, and Co-Chair of the Pro-Choice Caucus. She also serves as Chair of the Task Force on Poverty and Opportunity. As a member of the House Democratic Leadership, she is the highest-ranking Black woman appointed to House Leadership.