Civil and Human Rights Coalition Responds to Paul Ryan Poverty Plan

Media 07.24.14

Washington, D.C. – Nancy Zirkin, executive vice president of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement after House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan unveiled a proposal to reform the social safety net:

“Congressman Ryan’s proposal to block grant safety net programs is counterproductive to its stated intention of reducing poverty and represents a backdoor cut to vital social services at a time when wealth disparities are growing. Block grants remove accountability for making sure that funds are spent responsibly and not cut, whittled down, or repurposed by states.

In April, Congressman Ryan presented his 2015 budget, which cut safety net programs in order to reduce deficits. The fact remains Ryan’s anti-poverty agenda is antithetical to his budget. While we are encouraged that Representative Ryan supports expanding the earned income tax credit, he does so by cutting other vital programs.

This plan would be of little help for families across the country. We hope that Representative Ryan will step away from the budgetary gimmicks and double down on pushing for a real anti-poverty proposal with resources that will make it work.”

Nancy Zirkin is the executive vice president of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 200 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its 200-plus member organizations, visit