Congressional Tri-Caucus to Host Parliamentarian Kate Green to Discuss Child Poverty Reduction
Gabriel Vasquez (Former Staff)Poverty & Family Economics
Washington — At the request of the Congressional Tri-Caucus, British Labour Party member Kate Green will discuss what the United States can learn from Britain’s successful child poverty reduction measures during a Congressional briefing organized by First Focus and InclusionUS at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 15, at Rayburn House Office Building, Room B-318.
Green will talk about the U.K.’s Child Poverty Target, a 20-year bipartisan policy strategy pioneered by Green, which has garnered interest around the world since its inception in 1999 for its ambitious and successful approach to reducing child poverty. In the U.S., more than 250 organizations have supported the creation a child poverty target in the United States.
“Kate Green’s work in the U.K. clearly shows that reducing and eliminating child poverty is an achievable goal,” said U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee, D-CA, chair of the Democratic Whip Task Force on Poverty, Income Inequality and Opportunity. “In the richest nation on Earth, it’s simply unacceptable that one in five children are living in poverty. It’s past time for my Republican colleagues to get serious about enacting policies that lift families out of poverty. With 46 million Americans living in poverty, including 15 million children, Congress should act with urgency and bipartisanship to address this crisis.”
The staggering number of children in poverty in America greatly impacts their future chances of success. And childhood poverty not only impacts children, but public spending and economic progress. The Center for American Progress estimates that childhood poverty costs taxpayers $672 billion each year.
In the U.K., the British Government’s childhood poverty reduction strategy focused on these policies:
- Raising incomes through benefits and in-work tax credits
- Increasing incentives for parents to work, including support for child care costs, the right to request flexible work, and welfare-to-work programs based on a “make work pay” calculation
- Improving earnings from employment
- Early education and early years programs
- A new child support agenda
“We’re pleased to have Kate Green visit Congress to discuss how the U.K.’s Child Poverty Target and resulting policy changes cut Britain’s child poverty rate by 50 percent,” said U.S. Rep. Danny Davis, D-IL, member of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) and sponsor of the Child Poverty Reduction Act of 2015. “Cutting child poverty should be a top priority for our country. It’s not only the right thing to do, but it makes smart economic sense. It’s time we had bipartisan public debate that can lead to the most effective interventions needed to reduce child poverty in this country.”
As a first step to create a child poverty target in the United States, Congress last year approved a landmark $750,000 study on child poverty, which directs the National Academy of Sciences to provide an evidence-based, non-partisan analysis of the costs of child poverty and make recommendations on how to reduce child poverty by half in ten years. Funding for the study was included in an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2016 Labor-HHS Appropriations bill introduced by Congressional Hispanic Caucus Member U.S. Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard, D-CA.
“Even in 21st century America, millions of children continue to experience horrible, nightmarish poverty,” said Roybal-Allard, announcing the amendment. “Not only is child poverty immoral, but it weakens our country, draining the talent and productivity of our next generation. America is the richest country on the planet: if we can’t keep our nation’s children from going hungry, how can we presume to serve as a moral beacon for the rest of the world?”
In addition to Tuesday’s briefing, Green will participate in a roundtable with members of the Tri-Caucus and meet with the offices of Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-WI, and Bob Casey, D-PA, to discuss successful U.K. child poverty reduction policies.
“It’s clear that the U.K. has made investments in children that have paid off, and we’re thrilled to have Kate Green come to Washington, D.C., to talk about what Parliament has done right,” said Bruce Lesley, President of First Focus Campaign for Children, a bipartisan children’s advocacy organization. “During a time when one in four children in the United States lives in poverty, it’s imperative that we begin to act to achieve similar goals.”
Tuesday’s briefing is open to the press.
TRI-CAUCUS BRIEFING ON THE U.K. CHILD POVERTY TARGET
WHAT: Labour Party Parliamentarian Kate Green will brief Congress, the public, and media on the successful U.K. Child Poverty Target, a long-term policy initiative that reduced child poverty by half in the U.K. from 2000 to 2010.
WHO: Kate Green, Member and Chairman of the British Woman’s Parliamentary Labour Party; Congressional Tri-Caucus Members; and Bruce Lesley, President of First Focus Campaign for Children.
WHEN: 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 15
WHERE: B-318 Rayburn House Office Building
RSVP: To RSVP, please Register Here.
Kate Green will be available for interviews after the briefing. For other press opportunities, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
First Focus is a bipartisan advocacy organization dedicated to making children and families a priority in federal policy and budget decisions. For more information, visit www.firstfocus.org.