Republican Senators Launch Poverty Working Group

A group of Republican lawmakers Senators announced they have formed a working group to seek insights and develop solutions to America’s poverty challenges. Named the Senate Opportunity Coalition, the group was founded by U.S. Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), and includes Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) and James Lankford (R-Okla.)

The Senate Opportunity Coalition, aims to craft an aspirational agenda informed by constituents’ experiences and guided by proven community-based policies. The group launched their effort by releasing an extensive white paper, “Pave the Path to a Brighter Future,” about just some of the issues exacerbating poverty in America, from insufficient housing options and the pains of food insecurity. Each senator also details solutions and success stories from which policymakers can draw inspiration.

In some cases, members of the Senate Opportunity Coalition can harken to their own life stories to better understand how poverty plagues communities. Scott, whose rise out of poverty is chronicled in the newest season of Opportunity Lives’ “Comeback” series, has long been a champion for the cause of economic mobility. For Rubio, his Cuban refugee parents toiled at multiple jobs to ensure their children had a shot at the American Dream.

“The fact of the matter is that the American Dream is not reaching everyone. For decades, government has been primarily focused on treating the symptoms of poverty. Our policy approach should focus more on actually reducing and eliminating barriers to upward mobility,” Lankford said in a statement. “I’m honored to join this coalition to explore policy solutions that will reduce poverty and provide opportunity for everyone, no matter where they come from or where they currently live. We have to find and remove impediments for people to rise out of poverty, and be able to pick and choose the life that they want for the future, and not feel trapped.”

Learn more about the Senate Opportunity coalition at Sen. Scott’s office.