By now, most establishment Republicans (including Paul Ryan) have made peace with Donald Trump, realizing that he is the only choice they have to win come November. In an attempt to unify the GOP in preparation for the general election, House Republicans have released a new “anti-poverty proposal,” the first of six new policies to be released in upcoming months.
The plan, a personal project of Paul Ryan’s, is designed to attack the “roots” of poverty by improving education, encouraging work, and tailoring welfare benefits to fit specific needs. Ryan’s proposal will stiffen the work requirements tied to welfare programs, expand locations where housing assistance can be used, and push states to help with job placement.
“We need to go at the root causes of poverty to break the cycle of poverty, and we should measure success based on results, outcomes,” said Ryan as he spoke to an audience in Anacostia – one of the poorest neighborhoods within the nation’s capital.
This series of proposals, which will include policies on national security, government regulations, tax reform, the Constitution, and healthcare, blatantly avoids areas in which Ryan and Trump disagree (including trade reform and immigration).
According to Trump’s aides, the billionaire seems open to the new policies so far. “He [Ryan] wants to take people out of poverty. So do I, and we’re going to come up with a plan,” Trump told CBS on Sunday.
Numerous charities have come out in support of the plan, happy that it focuses on what works and what doesn’t work – instead of simply cutting existing programs.
“We have disagreements with some of the proposals. But we are pleased that the plan doesn’t propose to cut or block-grant anti-poverty programs, and we welcome the emphasis on making programs as effective as possible,” says Rev. David Beckmann, president of the Christian nonprofit “Bread for the World.”
Democrats worry that giving more power to states would lead to a dwindling of funds and predictably complain about the plan’s “sweeping” cuts to social programs. “This is a new spin on a bad deal,” argues Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD).