Census finds 46.5 million living in poverty

The median household income for the U.S. was  $51,017 in 2012, essentially unchanged from 2011.  

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The numbers come during a week when the House GOP is pressing to cut $40 billion from food stamps and to defund President Obama’s healthcare law, which significantly expanded Medicaid access. 

The liberal Center for Budget and Policy Priorities noted that the report says 4 million people were lifted above the poverty level by the use of food stamps, a record high.

Republicans argue that their cost-cutting initiatives will foster the economic growth needed to reduce the stubbornly high poverty rate. Their efforts were boosted by a Congressional Budget Office report on Tuesday that shows the national debt increasing to from 73 percent to 100 percent of the economy over the next 25 years.