On Fiftieth Anniversary of the War on Poverty, Durbin Calls for a Renewed Commitment to Creating Opportunity for All Americans

[WASHINGTON, DC] – Fifty years after President Lyndon Johnson declared a “War on Poverty,” U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) spoke on the Senate Floor today to call for a renewed commitment to the government social safety net programs that have helped lift millions of Americans out of poverty. Today, Durbin asked his Senate colleagues from both sides of the aisle to consider legislative efforts to expand opportunity for all Americans, including increasing the minimum wage and extending emergency unemployment benefits. Yesterday, the Senate narrowly voted to begin debate on critical legislation to extend unemployment insurance benefits.


“Helping to reduce poverty and create opportunity in America helps all Americans. Denigrating and decimating anti-poverty programs won’t reduce poverty, or create jobs, or strengthen America’s struggling middle class,” Durbin said.


“Fifty years ago, a President and a Congress accepted the responsibility for lifting the poorest Americans out of poverty and expanding opportunities for middle-class families. Now it is our time and our responsibility. America can achieve great things when we put our minds to it. I ask our friends across the aisle, please work with us to create jobs and opportunity and hope for our fellow citizens.”