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Poverty & Homelessness

An estimated 37 million Americans are living in poverty today. Our neighborhoods, our schools, and our families are in need of some help. I have constantly spoken-up and spoken-out in defense of the poor. Congress must work hard toward a dramatic reduction in poverty, toward good schools, and near-full employment, so opportunities are available to all Americans. Congress must ensure that children, parents, and loved ones don't slip through the cracks into an endless cycle of poverty.   

We are a great nation, but we cannot continue to be great unless we honor our responsibility to the least fortunate among us. Whether working to change tax policy or raise the minimum wage, Congress must do whatever it takes protect poor and low-income Americans. 

Combating Homelessness

Since arriving in the House of Representatives in 1987, my voice has been heard to prevent the poor, the hungry, the homeless, and so many others from being overlooked. One of my first speeches on the floor of the House of Representatives was to urge passage of the first comprehensive law addressing the various needs of the homeless. This is known as the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act. I said it then and still believe it today:  "Our Nation shares a moral obligation to help the many homeless families and individuals forced to live on the streets."

I was a leader in designating November 2007 as the first-ever National Homeless Youth Awareness Month and also support the National Homelessness Task Force Act of 2007, legislation which calls on Congress to establish a bipartisan task force to examine homelessness in the United States and make recommendations to alleviate its causes and effects. This issue demands more attention. There are an estimated 3.5 million people experiencing homelessness each year, including 400,000 veterans, 600,000 families, and sadly, 1.35 million children.

 
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