On MSNBC, Center For American Progress' Rebecca Vallas Explains Why The GOP's Anti-Poverty Forum Won't Help Poor Americans

Vallas: “What Should Have Been Top Of The Agenda If Republicans Really Were Serious ... Is Raising The Minimum Wage”

From the January 10 edition of MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry:

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REBECCA VALLAS: I think unfortunately we have seen that Republicans have gotten better at selling themselves on this. Right? They have upped their game big-time when it comes to talking about poverty. Gone are the days of the 47 percent, now we're hearing opportunity and we're hearing right to rise. The problem is that once you get beneath the surface, it might be better lipstick, but it's the same old pig. Right? It's about block granting and slashing vital programs and sending them to the states. It's about telling everyone to get married, telling everyone to just get a job.

What you didn't hear yesterday was what should have been top of the agenda if Republicans really were serious about expanding opportunity and cutting poverty, and that is raising the minimum wage. In this country our federal minimum wage is a poverty wage. And so what that means is we've got millions of Americans who are working harder than ever, and they're falling further and further behind, and they aren't able to make ends meet through work alone, they have to turn to public assistance. If you were to raise the minimum wage, you would not only lift millions of Americans out of poverty, but you would also shrink spending on public assistance, which is what Republicans are claiming that they want to do.


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