House Republicans are Fighting for A Better Way to Lift People Out of Poverty

COMMUNICATIONS • October 27, 2016

With our Better Way agenda, House Republicans are rethinking the way our country approaches poverty and building on what works.

Our Better Way to Fight Poverty presents more than forty solutions to lift people out of poverty — and help keep them out. Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-TX) has been instrumental in developing these efforts and sharing them with the American people. He knows we need to join together in “fighting for fiscally responsible methods to address poverty that are truly effective at putting people back to work.”

In an Op-Ed penned for the Texarkana Gazette, Ratcliffe explains: “Instead of lifting folks out of poverty, our country’s vast web of federal assistance programs has failed to cure the root of the problem. Rather than focusing on getting people back to work, these efforts, which carry a price tag of about $1 trillion of state and federal spending each year, haven’t provided the tools folks need to do better for themselves. But it’s not surprising to see failure on such a grand scale when we rely heavily on government bureaucracy and duplicative programs to provide solutions.”

Fortunately, there is A Better Way.

Our Better Way to Fight Poverty is full of ideas to support local communities. Ideas like increasing job training programs to provide the unemployed with the skills they need to find work. And increasing choice in educational opportunities to allow those in poverty to escape poor performing schools. Or encouraging private retirement saving by removing the red tape that makes it costly or difficult for individuals to put money away.

Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY), who remembers eating egg sandwiches for dinner growing up because, at the time, that was all his family could afford, sees every day that “the status quo is not working and we need to fight to change policies that keep people tangled in the web of poverty.”

Reed identifies the starting point in an Op-Ed for Street Sense. “We need to increase accountability for large government programs that help those in poverty to ensure the assistance is accomplishing a new goal—getting people out of poverty, not the old metric of simply declaring success based on the number of dollars spent or people seen,” he says.

Regardless of background, gender, race, or walk of life, every person in this country ought to have the chance at a better life and the opportunity to pursue their version of the American Dream. Our communities don’t have to be bound by poverty, and House Republicans are doing their part to make this a reality.

In an October op-ed for Univision, Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) realizes, “Far too often the federal government creates too many bureaucracies, layered with too much red tape, to provide an adequate safety net of programs that will actually help the most economically vulnerable.”

Local community flexibility is a keystone of our Better Way to Fight Poverty. Why? Because, as Curbelo puts it, “We must recognize that a one-size-fits-all federal strategy does little to address local concerns. Miami is different than Montana, and the programs that might benefit one neighborhood are drastically different than others. States should have more autonomy in using federal tax dollars to support programs that work, and wind down those that don’t.”

Poverty impacts all of us. These are our friends and neighbors, our classmates and coworkers, and for some, our brothers and sisters, or moms and dads. No one should be trapped living like this, and that’s why we as House Republicans are so passionate about creating policies that get people back on their feet, not keep them down.

It isn’t an easy issue to solve, but we’re here to do everything we can to end poverty, once and for all.

See our full plan to fight poverty by visiting better.gop.