Rep. Ryan’s Plan to Fight Poverty – A Preview


July 21, 2014

This Thursday, July 24, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) unveils his plan to fight poverty and expand opportunity at an event at AEI. We encourage you to watch the live stream starting at 9 a.m., and share your thoughts about what you hear in the comments section below. We also encourage you to share your thoughts with Rep. Ryan via Twitter at @RepPaulRyan, and if you do reach out him, let us know that, too!
While we don’t know what the Ryan poverty plan will include, we know some of the plans and priorities he’s championed in the past. In April, Rep. Ryan laid out his budget plan for FY15, which passed the House later that month. The Ryan budget would be devastating for the poor, because it would:

  1. Slash federal Medicaid and CHIP funding by more than one-quarter by 2024
  2. Repeal the Affordable Care Act and, along with other health care cuts, result in up to 40 million people denied health insurance through FY 2024
  3. Slash SNAP/food stamps by $137 billion, denying food altogether to millions and/or cutting benefits harshly
  4. Reduce SSI benefits for 150,000 children with disabilities
  5. Cut domestic appropriations in FY 2016 by 15%, leaving 170,000 fewer children in Head Start, 200,000 fewer young children and moms served by WIC, 3.5 million fewer people receiving job training/placement, and 29,000 fewer teachers and aides in low-income schools.

In fact, 69% of the cuts in his plan came from programs for people with low or moderate incomes. For more detailed analysis of the Ryan budget, watch CHN’s webinar on the topic.

In statements Chairman Ryan has made in hearings about poverty and elsewhere, he emphasizes the value of faith community and other local private sector efforts to help the poor escape poverty. He has proposed turning programs like Medicaid and SNAP/food stamps into block grants, with federal funding limited and with more state or local ability to restrict services or benefits. We will be looking for these elements in his speech, and will assess whether his proposals provide the resources and flexibility to respond to need in good times and bad.

Chairman Ryan’s ideas on these programs and others that serve the poor are things to listen for in his talk on Thursday. Be sure to check back here, too, for more analysis and commentary after Thursday.

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