04.14.16

Congresswoman Lee Calls for a New War On Poverty

Washington, DC – Today, Congresswoman Barbara Lee joined House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, House Democrats, and anti-poverty experts at a House Democratic Steering and Policy hearing entitled “The Failure of Trickle Down Economics in the War on Poverty.” Among the witnesses was Oakland resident Violet Henderson, who shared her personal story of overcoming poverty.

“The testimony we heard today highlighted the daily struggles faced by more than 46 million Americans. For too many families, buying groceries, paying rent and accessing medical care is a daily struggle. In the richest nation on Earth, it is a disgrace that so many are living on the edge.

My constituent, Violet Henderson, spoke movingly on her personal experience escaping poverty as a victim of sex trafficking and a formerly-incarcerated individual. Violet has succeeded against seemingly insurmountable odds. Her story is an example of the resilience and dedication of many struggling Americans. I hope that her story becomes a call to action for Members of Congress to do more to help people like Violet.

We know what works to end poverty in America. While House Republicans push forward draconian cuts to safety net programs, my colleagues and I will continue to fight for investments in proven anti-poverty programs. Instead of more failed trickle-down economics, I hope Speaker Ryan and his so-called “Task Force on Poverty, Opportunity and Upward Mobility” will join us in advancing policies that lift families into the middle class. Unfortunately, this new GOP Task Force is composed of Members that have repeatedly voted to cut proven anti-poverty program that help families work their way into the middle class.

It’s past time for everyone in Congress to commit to a new war on poverty, so every family has the opportunity to live the American Dream.”

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Congresswoman Lee is a member of the Appropriations and Budget Committees, the Steering and Policy Committee, is a Senior Democratic Whip, former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus and co-chair of the Progressive Caucus. She serves as chair of the Whip’s Task Force on Poverty and Opportunity.