Questions for Paul Ryan on his “Poverty Tour”

As Budget Chairman Paul Ryan continues his “poverty messaging tour” today, with both a Budget hearing and CBC meeting, your ever-helpful Democratic Whip press shop put some questions together for you to ask him. There’s a lot to choose from, including his budget that disinvests in the majority of critical programs that prevent poverty and help people get out of it, and a voting record that doesn’t reflect an interest in ending poverty. Here are just a few questions to get you started:

  1. How do you square the circle of claiming to be focused on reducing poverty when your budget does the opposite, by disinvesting in the very programs that help Americans in poverty?
  2. Since your budget would kick 170,000 children out of Head Start, how do you propose providing these low-income children with access to the services and education they need?
  3. How can we help put more low-income Americans back to work if your budget cuts job training services for 3.5 million Americans?
  4. How can we afford to give millionaires a tax break, as your budget calls for, but not renew unemployment insurance for job-seekers?
  5. If your party continues to refuse to restore emergency unemployment insurance, won’t that push more Americans into poverty?
  6. Are you concerned that your party is ignoring calls to raise the minimum wage, which would help lift nearly 5 million people out of poverty?
  7. Will you urge your colleagues to take action on the minimum wage or unemployment insurance – both guaranteed to help Americans access greater economic opportunity?
  8. Can you explain why you supported cutting $125 billion from food stamps, which would affect millions of low-income children?
  9. Are you willing to re-think your push to end Medicare as we know it and restrict Medicaid funding since it shifts costs onto seniors?
  10. After 52+ attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, how would you help low- and middle-income Americans access affordable health insurance? If they lose the insurance they now have, how will they afford health care, especially in an emergency?