At the beginning of the year, the House of Representatives adopted, without objection, a resolution advanced by the Progressive Caucus declaring support of a national goal of cutting poverty in half. Today, the House has the opportunity to bring that goal to life.
The Progressive Caucus Alternative Budget, which will be considered by the House of Representatives today, proposes a set of initiatives intended to advance the goal of dramatically reducing poverty. The Alternative Budget is one of a number of actions that the Progressive Caucus has taken under the leadership of Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) to bring renewed attention to the importance of addressing poverty in America.
The Alternative Budget proposes to expand high-quality child care assistance and Head Start; make the Child Tax Credit fully refundable so that families with little or no income would qualify for the full amount of the credit; expand the Earned Income Tax Credit for childless workers and larger families; provide new block grants to states to develop broad anti-poverty strategies, including targeted grants to states for low-income families that have a parent or child with a disability; reverse cuts in child support enforcement; and other steps.
A number of the Alternative Budget recommendations—including expanding child care assistance, making the child tax credit fully refundable, expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit for childless workers and larger families, creating 2 million new housing vouchers, and ending restrictions on access to public benefits for legal immigrants—were among the recommendations put forward by the Center for American Progress’ Task Force on Poverty in “From Poverty to Prosperity: A National Strategy to Cut Poverty in Half.”
The Progressive Caucus has paired its poverty reduction strategy with a call for a new stimulus package and an emphasis on rebuilding and reinvesting in a more competitive economy, with renewed attention to the nation’s neglected infrastructure needs.
The Progressive Caucus’ Budget highlights the serious misplaced priorities of the federal government in recent years. It demonstrates how a renewed commitment to addressing poverty and promoting shared prosperity calls for new policies and new budget priorities.
For more information on the Center’s policies on poverty, see: