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  • Next Step in War on Poverty

    by Representative James E. Clyburn

    Posted on 2014-01-09

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    CLYBURN asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 minute and to revise and extend his remarks.) Mr. CLYBURN. Mr. Speaker, in 1964, when President Johnson declared war on poverty, this, the richest Nation in the world, had a poverty rate of 19 percent. By 1973, 9 years later, that rate had been brought down to 11 percent. We were definitely winning the war on poverty.

    Unfortunately, too many politicians found success running down the achievements of the war on poverty. Scapegoating ``welfare queens'' furthered a narrative that the war on poverty was not worth fighting. But nothing could be further from the truth.

    For example, Medicare and Medicaid, two poverty programs, made a difference, a tremendous difference, in the health security of older Americans. These two antipoverty programs have reduced the poverty rate of our senior citizens from over 30 percent to less than 10 percent.

    The Congressional Black Caucus' 10-20-30 initiative targets communities of need with effective infrastructure investments. This proven approach was pioneered in the Recovery Act of 2009. Expanding this effective poverty fighter should be our next step in the long march of the war on poverty.


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