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Ryan: Poverty Data Underscores Need for Welfare Reform

September 16, 2015

WASHINGTON, DC — This morning, the U.S. Census Bureau released its annual report showing the number of Americans living in poverty. The poverty rate in 2014 was 14.8 percent with an estimated 46.7 million people living in poverty. The Census Bureau stated that “neither the poverty rate nor the number of people in poverty were statistically different from the 2013 estimates.” House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) released the following statement in response.  

“Our current approach to fighting poverty, though well-intended, is failing too many Americans. This disappointing data, five years into an economic recovery, underscores the need for a new effort to modernize our country’s safety net programs. Solving the poverty challenge will require us to go into poor communities, customize approaches based on people’s needs, and focus our resources on what produces results. Rather than just treating the symptoms of poverty, our goal must be to help people move from welfare into work and self-sufficiency. Opportunity and upward mobility are bedrock principles of this country, and that’s why we must continue to work until they are within reach of all Americans.”