Decision Maker Response

Cory A. Booker’s response

Oct 3, 2019 — Thank you for your tireless work to give this issue the attention it demands. I am grateful for the opportunity to participate.

Today in America, one in six children are in households with incomes below the federal poverty line — or about $25,000 per year for a family of four. For these kids, the odds are stacked against them from the very start; growing up without enough income to afford the basics is linked to problems with brain development, lower educational attainment, reduced long-term earnings, worse health outcomes, and greater likelihood of interacting with the criminal justice system. Eliminating poverty isn’t just a moral calling; we all lose when not everyone can participate in our economy.

Every candidate running for president should make clear where they stand. That’s why I introduced an entire plan dedicated to combating child poverty in America. First, I would fight to ensure that every child lives in a household that can afford its basic needs. I propose a massive “child allowance” for families with kids, expansion and modernization of SNAP, an overhaul of the TANF program, and a host of policies to expand affordable housing and end child homelessness. Second, my plan outlines steps to make work a real pathway out of poverty, including through a $15 minimum wage, pay equity, reimagining of the Earned Income Tax Credit, and essential work supports like quality, affordable child care. Finally, my plan breaks down barriers to access by modernizing program delivery and ensuring that all kids can benefit from the services they need.

All told, Columbia University researchers found my plan would cut child poverty by at least two-thirds — lifting 7.3 million kids out of poverty.

I am proud to stand alongside all of you to ensure that every kid gets a fair shot.