Democratic Whip Task Force on Poverty and Opportunity Sends Letter Seeking Prioritized Funding for Vulnerable

For Immediate Release:

April 22, 2013

Contact:

Stephanie Young, 202-225-3130

WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD), together with Task Force on Poverty and Opportunity Chair Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA), sent the following letter today to the Chairs and Ranking Members of the Appropriations Subcommittees on Labor, Health and Human Services, and on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development. The letter asked that those subcommittees prioritize funding for critical programs that help the most vulnerable in America and that create opportunities for them to enter the middle class. The letter, which was signed by over 80 House Democrats, asks that the subcommittee reports include language that supports the goal of developing a national strategy to eliminate poverty.  

The letter states: “In the greatest democracy in the world it should be unthinkable that any American be without shelter, adequate food, or any of life’s most basic necessities.  It is especially troubling that far too many Americans do not have a clear pathway to achieving economic stability and security for themselves or their families.”

The letter also notes: “The work of our anti-poverty programs is both an exercise in the responsibility all Americans have to one another as fellow citizens as well as an investment in a stronger economic future for our entire nation.”

Below is the full text of the letter:

April 22, 2013

Chairman Jack Kingston
House Appropriations Subcommittee on
Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies                
2358-B Rayburn House Office Building Washington, DC 20515

Ranking Member Rosa DeLauro
House Appropriations Subcommittee on
Labor, Health and Human Services,
Education, and Related Agencies                
2358-B Rayburn House Office Building Washington, DC 20515
 

Chairman Tom Latham
House Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies
1016 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515        

Ranking Member Ed Pastor
House Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies
1016 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515         
 

Dear Chairmen Kingston and Latham & Ranking Members DeLauro and Pastor:

We ask that the subcommittees prioritize funding for programs that help the most vulnerable in our society and that create opportunities to enter the middle class.

In the greatest democracy in the world it should be unthinkable that any American be without shelter, adequate food, or any of life’s most basic necessities.  It is especially troubling that far too many Americans do not have a clear pathway to achieving economic stability and security for themselves or their families.  But such is the reality for many of our citizens in cities, suburbs, and rural communities.  As your subcommittees prepare to mark up appropriations bills for FY2014, we urge you to include language in your reports in support of programs that alleviate poverty in America.  The work of our anti-poverty programs is both an exercise in the responsibility all Americans have to one another as fellow citizens as well as an investment in a stronger economic future for our entire nation.

We request that the your subcommittee reports include language supporting the goal of developing a national strategy to eliminate poverty, with the initial goal of reducing poverty by half within the next decade and ensuring that every American has equitable access to economic opportunity. We also ask for the reports to express the Committee’s belief that improving the effective coordination and oversight across agencies as well as implementing a collaborative, government-wide approach to shared goals and client-based outcomes will streamline access, improve service delivery, and extend the reach of every federal dollar spent to combat poverty.

Congress has the power to provide not only assistance in the form of support for anti-poverty programs but the hope that comes from knowing that those who are charged with steering policy have not forgotten our fellow Americans who are struggling.

Sincerely,

Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer
Democratic Whip Task Force on Poverty & Opportunity Chair Barbara Lee
Democratic Vice Chair Joseph Crowley
Congresswoman Karen Bass
Congresswoman Joyce Beatty
Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici
Congressman Robert Brady
Congresswoman Corinne Brown
Congresswoman Julia Brownley
Congressman G.K. Butterfield
Congressman Tony Cardenas
Congressman Andre Carson
Congresswoman Kathy Castor
Congressman Joaquin Castro
Congressman David Cicilline
Congresswoman Yvette Clarke
Congressman Steve Cohen
Congressman Gerry Connolly
Congressman Jim Costa
Congressman Danny Davis
Congressman Peter DeFazio
Congressman John Delaney
Congresswoman Suzan DelBene
Congressman Lloyd Doggett
Congressman Keith Ellison
Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty
Congressman Eni Faleomavaega
Congressman Sam Farr
Congresswoman Lois Frankel
Congresswoman Marcia Fudge
Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard
Congressman John Garamendi
Congressman Joe Garcia
Congressman Al Green
Congressman Raul M. Grijalva
Congressman Luis Gutierrez
Congresswoman Janice Hahn
Congressman Alcee Hastings
Congressman Ruben Hinojosa
Congressman Michael Honda
Congressman Jared Huffman
Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee
Congressman Hakeem Jeffries
Congressman Hank Johnson
Congressman Joseph Kennedy
Congressman Dan Kildee
Congressman Derek Kilmer
Congressman James Langevin
Congressman John Lewis
Congressman Alan Lowenthal
Congressman Ben Lujan
Congresswoman Michele Lujan Grisham
Congressman Edward Markey
Congressman Jim McDermott
Congressman James McGovern
Congresswoman Gloria Negrete McLeod
Congresswoman Gwen Moore
Congresswoman Grace Napolitano
Congressman Rick Nolan
Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton
Congressman Beto O'Rourke
Congressman Donald Payne, Jr.
Congressman Charles Rangel
Congressman Cedric Richmond
Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard
Congressman Raul Ruiz
Congressman Gregorio Sablan
Congressman John Sarbanes
Congressman Albio Sires
Congresswoman Janice Schakowsky
Congressman Robert Scott
Congresswoman Terri Sewell
Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema
Congresswoman Louise Slaughter
Congressman Eric Swalwell
Congressman Mark Takano
Congressman Bennie Thompson
Congressman Paul Tonko
Congressman Chris Van Hollen
Congressman Marc Veasey
Congressman Filemon Vela
Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz
Congresswoman Maxine Waters
Congressman Melvin Watt
Congresswoman Frederica Wilson 

Click here to read a PDF of the letter.

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