Cory Booker Teams with James Clyburn on Poverty Bill
Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) teamed with House Assistant Democratic Leader James Clyburn (SC) on Thursday and introduced a bicameral bill aimed to fight poverty in America. The Targeting Resources into Communities in Need Act expands the 10-20-30 formula, which requires a minimum of 10% of federal funds of a particular federal spending account go to communities in which the poverty level has been 20% or higher over the past 30 years. The lawmakers say that the formula has been successfully instituted as a result of previous legislation. This new bill expands the number of federal accounts using the formula to distribute more funds to targeted persistent poverty communities. And to ensure federal investment reaches all high-need communities, including smaller pockets of deep poverty and those communities experiencing more recent economic downturns, the bill would also require certain federal agencies to target resources to census tracts (a geographic designation significantly smaller than counties) with poverty rates currently exceeding 20%. Agencies would be instructed to direct 5% more of their funding into high-poverty census tracts, relative to the preceding three years’ share. “While genius is spread equally across the country, opportunity is not,” Booker said. “By more strategically targeting limited federal resources to the places that need them the most, we can bring investment to communities that for too long have been left behind.” Clyburn added, “Poverty in the richest country in the world exists not from a lack of resources but a failure of political will. This exciting new legislation employs proven anti-poverty tools to target federal funds where they are needed most and where they will do the most good.” More on the bill here.