Booker releases plan to cut child poverty

Booker releases plan to cut child poverty
© Greg Nash

White House hopeful Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerBooker leads other 2020 Dems in petition urging DNC to change debate qualifications The Hill's Campaign Report: 2020 Democrats trading jabs ahead of Los Angeles debate Booker cancels NH activities, campaign says he has the flu MORE (D-N.J.) Thursday released a plan that he says would cut U.S. child poverty by over two-thirds. 

“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,” Booker said.

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He offered projections that say his plan would cut childhood poverty from nearly 15 percent to 5 percent, lifting 7.3 million children out of poverty. It would also allegedly cut the rate of children near the poverty line from 33.4 percent to 17.1 percent. He did not provide a time frame for how long the transitions would take. 

“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. I know that we can do this, and as president, I will act.” 

Booker’s plan calls for a “childhood allowance” for families with kids, expanding on the current Child Tax Credit and authorizing a monthly payment program to give families a $300 monthly allowance for younger kids and a $250 monthly allowance for older kids up to age 18. Booker would also create a national transitional jobs program to help people living in poverty find employment and sign into law a Rise Credit, which would provide up to $4,000 to working Americans making less than $90,000 per year.

Beyond boosting families’ incomes, Booker’s plan would expand the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to end childhood hunger, fully fund the Housing Trust Fund to help eliminate childhood homelessness and expand access to child care. 

The New Jersey Democrat does not specify how he would pay for the sweeping plan.

The plan comes as Booker finds his poll numbers and fundraising stagnating in the middle tier of the crowded 2020 primary pack. He sounded the alarm last month about his campaign’s viability if he couldn’t raise $1.7 million in the final days of September, but his campaign hit that mark and ultimately raised over $6 million in the third quarter of 2019.