Center for American Progress

RELEASE: Resources for Cutting Poverty and Expanding Opportunity in the United States
Press Release

RELEASE: Resources for Cutting Poverty and Expanding Opportunity in the United States

Washington, D.C. — With House Democrats holding a hearing today on policies that lift struggling families out of poverty, the Center for American Progress offers a series of new resources and analyses on what is at stake in Congress. CAP is introducing a blueprint for cutting poverty and expanding opportunity that House Republicans should consider if they are indeed serious about tackling poverty and paving a pathway to the middle class for all.

“While Speaker Ryan often talks about his commitment to cut poverty, the current House budget actually generates three-fifths of its spending cuts from programs that help low- and moderate-income Americans,” said Melissa Boteach, Vice President of the Poverty to Prosperity program at CAP. “These proposed cuts would not only compromise the life chances of today’s children, they would also affect the vast majority of Americans at some point during their lives. If House Republicans were serious about cutting poverty, they would embrace policies such as raising the minimum wage, investing in early childhood education, and enacting paid family and sick leave.”

“House leaders say they want to protect our children from the national debt, but their budget advocates massive cuts to programs that make those children healthier. A truly pro-growth budget would invest in childhood health,” said Harry Stein, Director of Fiscal Policy at CAP. “Economists have shown time and again that environmental, health care, and nutrition programs make children healthier and help them grow up to be more productive and prosperous adults, but the House budget cuts all three of these sectors.”

Half of all Americans will face at least one year of poverty or teeter on the brink of poverty during their working years, and four in five Americans will experience at least one year of significant economic hardship. Child poverty alone costs the United States an estimated $672 billion every year, or nearly 4 percent of the gross domestic product.

CAP released the following today:

A Blueprint for Cutting Poverty and Expanding Opportunity in America by Rebecca Vallas and Melissa Boteach

This piece outlines the policies House Republicans must embrace if they are serious about tackling poverty and paving pathways to the middle class, such as raising the minimum wage, building a 21st-century social insurance system, and adopting work-family policies.

Yes, America Can Afford to Dramatically Reduce Poverty and Increase Opportunity by Rachel West

The price tags for many poverty-reducing investments pale in comparison to the billions of dollars in tax breaks that benefit primarily wealthy individuals and corporations. CAP’s analysis underscores that the United States can afford to provide adequate nutrition, increase access to high-quality child care, reduce homelessness, and invest in low-income children and workers with the right budget priorities.

House Budget Cuts Would Weaken the Economy for Future Generations by Harry Stein and Brendan Duke

Cuts to environmental, health care, and nutrition programs undermine children’s health and the economy they will inherit. CAP’s Economic Policy team examines how the recent House budget resolution—similar to earlier House budgets authored by Republican leaders—would burden America’s children and grandchildren with slower economic growth.

Supporting Women’s Health and Rights to Address Economic Inequality by Maggie Jo Buchanan

Until Congress acknowledges the reality that women’s reproductive lives do not exist in a different world from the economy, any approach to ending poverty will fall woefully short. In order to achieve broad economic security and help women exit and stay out of poverty, policymakers must ensure that women have meaningful access to comprehensive health care—not the limited coverage that is the current House Republican agenda.

CAP experts are available to discuss these papers, as well as policies being considered by Congress. The House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee hearing begins at 1:00 p.m. ET and will be live streamed at this link.

For more information on this topic or to speak with an expert, contact Liz Bartolomeo at [email protected] or 202.481.8151.