Joe Kennedy III on Welfare & Poverty
The world's greatest nation shouldn't leave anyone behind
We see an economy that makes stocks soar, investor portfolios bulge and corporate profits climb but fails to give workers their fair share of the reward.
For this administration, dignity isn't something you're born with but something you measure. By
your net worth, your celebrity, your headlines, your crowd size.
[The American ideal that we are all equal]--today that promise is being broken. By an administration that callously appraises our worthiness and decides who makes the cut and who can be
They are turning American life into a zero-sum game. Where, in order for one to win, another must lose. We can cut taxes for corporations today if we raise them for families tomorrow. Coal miners or single moms. Rural communities or
inner cities. The coast or the heartland.
So here is the answer Democrats offer tonight: we choose both. We fight for both. Because the strongest, richest, greatest nation in the world shouldn't leave any one behind.
Source: Democratic Response to 2018 State of the Union address
, Jan 30, 2018
Voted NO on maintaining work requirement for welfare recipients.
- Prohibits any experimental pilot or demonstration project that: waives compliance with mandatory work requirements
- Rescinds and nullifies any such waiver granted before the enactment of this Act.
Proponent's Argument for voting Yes:
Rep. REICHERT: Congress must ensure that work continues to be the centerpiece of the TANF welfare program. We are here today debating the Obama administration's efforts to undermine work requirements. Bipartisan discussions were actually happening before the Obama administration announced they would waive work requirements for welfare recipients last summer. That announcement completely undermined bipartisan negotiations in our committee about ways to strengthen this program. Usually, if an administration wants to change the law, they must submit a legislative proposal for Congress to consider, but that's not what the Obama administration did with its proposal to waive the TANF work
Opponent's Argument for voting No:
- Rep. LEVIN: Last summer the administration proposed that states would be allowed to apply for waivers and have some flexibility in terms of the application of the work requirements--not the end of them or changing them, but the implementation of them. The idea that the administration is going to try to overturn welfare reform is ridiculous. States have to apply individually for waivers, and they have to explain in detail why the approach would lead to either more employment or better jobs for people who are trying to stay off welfare.
- Rep. NEAL: I chaired the Democratic position [on 1990s welfare reform]. One of the goals of welfare reform was to move unemployed Americans from welfare to work, and it did work. The legislation has been very successful in meeting that goal. Welfare reform put people back on the work rolls. Welfare rolls have dropped by half, & poverty amongst children has dropped as well.
Reference: Preserving the Welfare Work Requirement & TANF Extension Act;
; vote number 13-HV068
on Mar 13, 2013
Sponsored maintaining SNAP nutrition assistance program.
Kennedy co-sponsored House Resolution on SNAP
- WHEREAS hunger is a serious threat to individual dignity, productivity, learning, economic prosperity, health, and development;
- WHEREAS food insecurity means that people face an ongoing struggle against hunger;
- WHEREAS 50.1 million people lived in food insecure households in 2011;
- WHEREAS the supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP), established in the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008, is the nation's first line of defense against hunger and food insecurity;
- WHEREAS SNAP served more than 47.5 million individuals in October 2012;
- WHEREAS the SNAP benefits average less than $1.50 per individual per meal;
- WHEREAS SNAP participation rises when the economy is weak;
- WHEREAS millions of Americans need to turn to SNAP as a way to feed themselves and their families;
Whereas SNAP is an efficient public-private partnership that runs on the regular channels of commerce--regular retail food stores and electronic benefit transfer (EBT) systems;
- WHEREAS every dollar in new SNAP benefits generates up to $1.79 in economi
Source: H.RES.90 13-HRes90 on Feb 28, 2013
Fully fund Head Start; Job Corps; and WIC food program.
Kennedy co-sponsored fully fund Head Start; Job Corps; and WIC food program
Making appropriations to begin a phase-in toward full funding of the special supplemental food program for women, infants and children (WIC) and of Head Start programs, and to expand the Job Corps program for the year ending September 30, 1994.
Source: H.R.1722 1993-H1722 on Apr 20, 1993
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Page last updated: Apr 29, 2020