Ocasio-Cortez targets poverty with new legislation

Ocasio-Cortez targets poverty with new legislation
© Greg Nash

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezSanders says Ocasio-Cortez will play a 'very important role' in his administration if he's elected Top Sanders adviser suggests polling underestimates campaign support Omar renews claim Stephen Miller is a 'white nationalist' amid calls for him to step down MORE (D-N.Y.) is targeting poverty and other social issues in a package of bills unveiled on Wednesday.

The progressive first-year lawmaker's legislative package, dubbed "A Just Society," includes six individual bills. 

"I am both energized and humbled to introduce legislation today to build upon the most transformative programs of the last century," Ocasio-Cortez said in statement.

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"From the New Deal to the Great Society, we have shown time and again that our nation is capable of implementing big ideas and bold solutions that match the scale of the challenges we face," she added. "We must once again recognize the breadth and consequences of poverty in this country and work together to ensure a path forward to economic freedom for everyone."

Ocasio-Cortez's Recognizing Poverty Act would prompt the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Bureau of the Census and the Bureau of Labor Statistics to generate new poverty guidelines. Those new guidelines, according to Ocasio-Cortez, would better inform the federal government about the current poverty level and increase the accuracy of social services eligibility such as Medicaid, food stamps and family planning services.

Her Place to Prosper Act would try to help with the housing crisis by introducing a 3 percent national cap on annual rent increases, among other provisions.

Individuals who have been convicted of a criminal offense would be ensured access to all federal public benefits in the Mercy in Re-entry Act,  and the Embrace Act would guarantee federal public benefits access to anyone, regardless of their immigration status.

The Uplift Our Workers Act, meanwhile, would prompt the Department of Labor and the Office of Management and Budget to create a "worker-friendly score" for federal contractors.

And a resolution entitled A Just Society Guarantees the Economic, Social and Cultural Rights for All orders the Senate to ratify the U.N. Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.