Cory Booker unveils plan to lift more than half of children out of poverty

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Sen. Cory Booker has unveiled a plan that the Booker campaign claimed will lift more than 7 million children out of poverty across the nation.

The plan, spurred by his own experience living in Newark, N.J., and informed by advocates from low-income communities, primarily focuses on reforming existing government programs to make them more efficient and robust safety nets. Booker said it would cut child poverty in America by nearly two-thirds, lifting 7.3 million kids out of poverty.

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“We all benefit when everyone has a stake in our economy,” Booker said. “Building on the same American spirit that gave us Social Security, Medicare, nutrition assistance, and so much more, we must come together to ensure that every child has a fair shot to participate in and benefit from our collective promise."

“We all benefit when everyone has a stake in our economy. Building on the same American spirit that gave us Social Security, Medicare, nutrition assistance, and so much more, we must come together to ensure that every child has a fair shot to participate in and benefit from our collective promise."

— U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J.

Booker’s policy, if enacted prior to 2018, would have purportedly helped lift about 16 percent of children, or nearly 12 million, out of poverty, according to statistics from the Census Bureau. In 2017, it would have impacted nearly 13 million children.

That means, according to the most recent year data available from the U.S. Census Bureau, Booker’s plan would lift more than half of the children currently living in poverty in the United States out of their current financial situation.

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., speaks during the Climate Forum at Georgetown University, Friday, Sept. 20, 2019, in Washington. (Associated Press)

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., speaks during the Climate Forum at Georgetown University, Friday, Sept. 20, 2019, in Washington. (Associated Press)

Among the tentpoles of his policy are reforms to the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program (TANF), the Subsidize Assistance Nutrition Program, an expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit and an effort to build “on the framework fo the Child Care for Working Families Act,” according to a release from the campaign.

The expansion of SNAP would increase the maximum benefits by 30 percent while adopting a low-cost food plan. It would also rescind Trump rules that stripped food benefits from people without consistent employment.

The TANF reform would restore the safety net’s “funding to its 1996 inflation-adjusted levels” and mandate that it remain there going forward.

“When it comes to child poverty, we cannot be silent,” said Booker in a press release. “In the richest country in the world, we have a moral responsibility to look after each other and make sure that every child living in America has the opportunity to grow and thrive.”

“When it comes to child poverty, we cannot be silent. In the richest country in the world, we have a moral responsibility to look after each other and make sure that every child living in America has the opportunity to grow and thrive.” 

— U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J.

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Booker’s proposal builds off his signature baby bonds policy, which would provide every newborn in the country with a $1,000 savings account.

“It would lay a powerful foundation in this country that would elevate incomes, elevate opportunity and elevate child success in this country,” Booker told Fox News at a campaign event in Las Vegas on Tuesday. “Child poverty is something that is a moral shame in our country, but also has economic consequences that are unacceptable in a nation that needs children to thrive.”