After receiving an appointment from House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD), U.S. Congressman David N. Cicilline (D-RI) announced today that he will serve on the Democratic Whip Task Force on Poverty and Opportunity during the 113th Congress. The task force will be chaired by Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA).
"I am pleased Congressman Cicilline will be joining the Task Force on Poverty and Opportunity. Congressman Cicilline has been a leading voice for creating opportunities for people to reach the middle class, and is committed to ensuring all American families have a shot at achieving the American Dream," said Whip Hoyer. "He will be a valuable member of the Task Force as it works to raise awareness and develop proposals to eliminate poverty, grow our middle class, and ensure every American has the opportunity to make it in America."
The Democratic Task Force on Poverty and Opportunity was established by Whip Hoyer to raise awareness about the ongoing crisis of poverty in America and the effectiveness of existing programs to reduce poverty. The task force will meet regularly to develop a national strategy that seeks to cut poverty in half over the next ten years by creating a growing economy that provides new opportunities for working families and building a strong social safety net that helps guarantee no American ever suffers the most severe consequences associated with poverty.
"I am honored to have the opportunity to serve on this important task force and to work on a comprehensive strategy to eradicate poverty," said Cicilline. "We should continue to focus both on protecting and strengthening the middle class and finding solutions for Rhode Island families and families all across this country who are living in poverty today. We should be working to lift families from poverty into the middle class and our goal should be to create a country in which every person who works hard and plays by the rules can provide for themselves and their families."
During his two terms in office, Cicilline has established a strong record as an advocate for education, workforce training, and other issues important for expanding economic opportunity. During last week's Budget Committee consideration of the Ryan budget, Cicilline co-sponsored an amendment offered by Congresswoman Gwen Moore (D-WI) that would protect the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) from budget cuts. He is also an original cosponsor of the Child Tax Credit Permanency Act, H.R. 769, a bill that would make permanent the expansion of the Child Tax Credit -- an initiative that has benefitted nearly nine million families and pulled two million children out of poverty over the last three years.
According to Kids Count, 16.7% of Rhode Island children live in families below the poverty threshold.