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Congresswoman Barbara Lee Introduces Resolution to Reduce Poverty in Half over Next Ten Years

For Immediate Release

April 22, 2009

Contact: Nicole Y. Williams

(202) 225-2661


Congresswoman Barbara Lee Introduces Resolution to Reduce Poverty in Half over Next Ten Years


Washington, D.C. – This week, Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-9) introduced a resolution that would set a national goal for the United States of cutting poverty in half over the next ten years. She authored similar legislation (H. Con. Res. 198) during the 110th Congress which passed the House of Representatives unanimously.

In 2007, there were over 37 million people living in poverty in 2007. Of those 37 million, 13 million we children under the age of 18 and over 15.5 million were persons living in extreme poverty with incomes less than one-half of the established Federal poverty guideline. Additionally, 45,700,000 Americans were living without health insurance.

In 2009, a family of four was considered poor under the United States Census Bureau’s official measure if the family’s income was below $21,834. Experts estimate that 7-10 million Americans will fall below the federal poverty line as a result of the current recession.

“Congress has a moral responsibility to meet the needs of those persons, groups, and communities that are impoverished, disadvantaged, or otherwise in poverty,” said Congresswoman Lee. “Poverty is a deep, structural problem that implicates our value system and our educational and economic institutions. It is a shame that in this country, there are still over 37 million people who lack the basic necessities of life such as food, shelter, clothing, health care, education, security, and opportunity. Sadly, it is predicted that millions more will fall into poverty as a result of the current economic recession.

“Our policy initiatives addressing poverty have not kept pace with the growing needs of millions of Americans. Many experts believe that the lack of an equitable distribution of housing choices across the country have led to isolation and concentrated poverty. It is time we make the commitment to put in place legislation that will confront poverty head on and provide pathways to prosperity for the people of this country.”

Congresswoman Barbara Lee (Oakland-D) is a leader in the fight against poverty both here and abroad. She is a founder and Co-Chair of the Congressional Out of Poverty Caucus dedicated to reducing the number of Americans who live in poverty.


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Nicole Y. Williams

Communications Director

The Honorable Barbara Lee (CA-9)

2444 Rayburn House Office Building

Washington, DC 20515

(202) 226-0323 (Direct)

(202) 579-1925 (Cell)

(202) 225-9817 (Fax)



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