Today, House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) and Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA) introduced the "Half-in-Ten" Act of 2013 that would establish the Federal Interagency Working Group on Reducing Poverty, which will develop and implement a national strategy to reduce poverty by half in ten years, as well as provide regular reports on their progress to Congress.
"As the sequester continues to cut deeply across many programs that provide critical services and create opportunities, it is likely to significantly hurt those who are the most vulnerable in our economy. That's why this is a particularly important moment for Congress to explore ways to improve anti-poverty initiatives and develop a real strategy to protect the most vulnerable and reduce poverty by half in ten years," said Whip Hoyer. "I am proud to cosponsor this bill with Rep. Barbara Lee, and I thank her for her leadership on the issue of poverty alleviation and for chairing the Democratic Whip Task Force on Poverty and Opportunity that I established earlier this year. I hope Democrats and Republicans will work together to bring this bill to the Floor in a timely fashion and pass it into law."
The "Half-in-Ten" Act is focused around a central principle of combating poverty in America, with the initial goal of cutting it in half in ten years. The bill also calls for improving the coordination of state, local, and federal efforts to lift vulnerable American families out of poverty and into the middle class. Included in the bill is an effort to revise and modernize how the Federal government measures the impact of federal programs by focusing on the outcomes for individuals and families.
"We need to ensure that our nation's vulnerable are protected, but we're not doing an adequate job of that. Our policies and programs addressing poverty have not kept pace with the growing needs of millions of Americans. It is time we make the commitment to confront poverty head-on, create pathways out of poverty, and provide opportunities for all," said Congresswoman Lee.
This legislation was introduced in conjunction with several efforts from Congressional Democrats to protect the nation's vulnerable, including fighting against draconian cuts to social safety net programs introduced by Republicans, the formation of the new Democratic Whip Task Force on Poverty and Opportunity, which Congresswoman Lee chairs, and broader efforts to promote and protect economic security for all Americans.