Skip to main content

tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  July 10, 2014 6:00am-7:01am EDT

6:00 am
billion medicaid program that you may need in order to help situational or generational the testimony you read for us, ms. tiller, the young woman -- i think she was probably still on medicaid after she got her job at the fast food restaurant. so you, you know, i don't want you to be lulled into supporting, gutting this while we pay $614 billion in corporate welfare. i do have a question for you, ms. reynolds, about the mind set of the individuals. don't you think we have to change the mind set of the community too? an example i come up with. if you run into a client, for example, who found themselves in the county jail because they had a bar fight and when they come out, don't we have to get the
6:01 am
business community to hire people who might have a public record, for example? >> we in fort worth have been very fortunate to work with the business community. we have developed a living wage tool kit at our organization. everybody we -- catholic charities fort worth makes a living wage. several of our local businesses have made a choice. >> ok. i don't have 10 minutes like the chairman did. it's not changing the individual mindset. the community has to embrace it too. otherwise you have permanent unemployment. i'm so happy that people get educational opportunity through your program because ms. tiller, you focus on work first programs. sometimes it's very difficult. we have skills match in this country. how do you deal with skills match when you don't allow education, one of my main critiques of the tanf program? >> well, it's not that we don't allow education. a lot of times we'll take the skill set that the individual can come in with, see if we can transfer it into some type of employment so simultaneously
6:02 am
not only will they be working and beginning to provide more for their families and attend educational programs. and we support college -- >> do you -- do you worry about -- the femininization of poverty? tanf is primarily utilized by women and, you know, everybody here is educated in this room. and we all know that an associates degree, bachelors degree is just necessary in this economy to have a job. don't you worry about that? i'm going to ask you another question too. your model, your business model, america works, you've come into milwaukee and it's sort of putting the nonprofits in the public sector out of business. how does your business model enable you to provide services to clients that are adequate to get them out of poverty? >> we're able to turn around
6:03 am
those profits to help individuals. >> you use profits back into the programs and not into the shareholders? >> both. we want to reinvest as well because we want to do more programs, do more research and help additional populations. >> the gentlelady's time has expired. >> thank you, all, for your time. >> the gentleman from texas is recognized for five minutes. mr. williams. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i'd like to thank all of you for being here. you have wonderful stories. we appreciate you greatly. first of all, ms. renlts and i call fort worth our home and we are both t.c.u. horned frogs. go, frogs. ms. reynolds, you've said -- we've been talking about a term you said which you termed generational poverty. it's a mind set. you talked about that. no goals. no future. do a lot of the people that you work with, do they trust government more than they would the private sector? >> absolutely not. the majority of people we serve come through our doors because
6:04 am
they trust catholic charities. catholic charities has a strong brand throughout the community and i believe each person that comes into catholic charities throughout our nation has a lot of care. and they have warm -- >> well, i agree. being from fort worth i know the good things you do and i appreciate it very much. >> thank you. >> and also, we try to tell many cases relationships with people, maybe better relationship with government as a whole. people can help better than many cases the federal government. just going another direction real quick. i want to thank you for the work you're doing on the border. i know what you're doing down there and i want to thank you with the challenges we have there. ms. turner, thank you for your testimony. i appreciate that. what i heard you say earlier was that actually government delivers negative incentives to you. in other words, the government's
6:05 am
rude, government says don't have a savings account. government says don't make any more money than what you're making. do you think with that being said that actually we should be more like the private sector where it allows for growth and unlimited success? >> i don't -- did i say government or did i say caseworkers? >> i assume you're talking about government programs and so forth. >> i was talking about the caseworkers that work for the government. >> well, that's the government. >> no, i don't think we should go with the private sector. i don't feel like i need someone else to tell me how i should be spending my benefits or where the benefits shall come from. i don't feel we should go that way. i feel like i should be in charge what's good for me. i feel like i should have a say so on what comes down the pipe which is going to affect me and my family and my children and so many americans. that's what i feel. i don't feel like the government should tell me that i have this
6:06 am
and this is what you're going to do with it and if you don't do it then you will be penalized. that's how i feel about that. >> you don't think the government should tell you that? >> no, i don't think the government should tell me that. i feel like if i go into an office and sit down across the table i should be treated like a human being. i should be looked at as a human being. i shouldn't be talked down to. i shouldn't be looked at as someone who just wants to come and rely on government programs because that's not true. i'm very strong. i'm very independent. i'm very smart and i know what's right and wrong for me and my family. >> you sound like a private sector person talking. i appreciate that. back to you, ms. reynolds. what would you say are the biggest barriers that your clients face, and they're trying to come out of poverty, what is the biggest challenge? >> that leap. 80% are working. but they're just the working poor. they don't make enough to get out of poverty.
6:07 am
yet they make too much to qualify for any governmental assistance. and too often the federal system incentivizes people not to work and to backslide because you've become -- it's financially better. they're more financially astute about how that should look. so for us the thing that would , be more beneficial is an incremental decrease as well as losing benefits as well as the case management that could more quickly work hand in hand with families to remove the barriers to get them where they need to go. i agree that anybody that comes to services should be treated with compassion, dignity. i do believe accountability is incredibly important. i think support is incredibly important. i learned how to balance a checkbook from my father who's a c.p.a. a lot of our families who walk through the doors have no clue what to do, no clue how to get to the next level. we talk about pell grants. it's a great benefit. but at the same time only 10% of students -- low-income students who start community college nationwide ever finish.
6:08 am
something's wrong. what often it is is a small situation, childcare issues, barriers, some families spiraling out of control. they need that support, they need that push, they need that push to make that leap out. >> you're doing that. with that being said, i yield back, mr. chairman. >> thank you. mr. mcdermott. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i'm old enough to remember george bush being sold to us as a compassionate conservative and i appreciate five, six hearings about poor people but i'm not sure i really understand. ms. gaines-turner, you are someone we can learn from about how it actually works. now, everybody up here makes $170,000 a year. so we don't have much contact with what you go through on an average month. could you tell me what your education level is, how far you went in school? >> i graduated high school.
6:09 am
>> so you got a high school education? >> yes. >> and the federal government describes poverty level for a family of five -- that's three kids and a couple parents, at $27,900. can you tell us what your income as a family -- monthly, after taxes, or yearly after taxes, can you give us an idea where you are? >> so my husband gets paid every week and he makes $8.25 an hour. after taxes he has about $170 a week. >> $170 a week. >> i get paid $10.88 an hour. just recently in june my hours were cut down to 12 hours a week due to the budget. my paycheck was $222. for two weeks. for two weeks. >> for two weeks. that would be about $111 for a week.
6:10 am
>> yes, sir. >> ok. so that's -- so that's what your plun is now. tell me about how the food stamp thing interacts with that. what level -- is that -- your salary, whether you get the food stamps or is it the family level? >> it's me and my husband's income. >> and you have to report each week or each month? >> you have to report each month. >> each month. so when you drop, you reduce yours and you get more food stamp money? >> that's the way it's supposed to work. that's not how it always works. so in june my income reduced and i went into the county assistance office and gave them that information and my food stamps stayed the same. so it was supposed to rise but it didn't because the caseworker said she didn't get the paperwork so now that i'm back to my full-time hours in july, you know, my income now -- my food stamps will go back to $380 is what my food stamps will be.
6:11 am
>> so we're looking at a family that right now is making about maybe $300 a week, that's $1,200, you're living on that amount of money. >> yes, that was for the -- yes, that was for the month of june. >> do you get cash money from any other source, from tanf? >> no, i'm not on cash assistance. >> no cash assistance? >> no. >> the only thing you have is the food stamps on top of that? >> yes. >> and your rent, how much do you pay for rent? >> my rent right now is $277. >> so a quarter of your money -- well, not a quarter -- about a fifth of your money each month goes to rent, little bit more than that? >> yes. >> and then food -- do you have a car? >> no. i take public transportation to work, me and my husband. >> you're on public transportation -- >> uh-huh. >> and how much is your utilities? >> you would figure one month i might get a water bill for $230
6:12 am
and then you have to think about the gas bill which is maybe another $107, something like that, give or take. and then you have to think about the electric. like i said, i have three children with medical disabilities, so i don't have a choice to turn on the air-conditioner to make my house is cool in the summer months so my children don't have seizures. in the winter, i don't have a choice when temperatures drop, i have to turn that gas on. so, you know, i'm always -- i'm always -- we're always trying to climb up. climb up. there is a constant climb. and that is the one thing i think that's important for me being here today just for people to understand. you just broke down my whole everything. could anyone live off that amount of my like me and my husband do every day, every month, every week? it's difficult. it's not something we choose to do. of course we want to get a full-time job. of course my husband wants to go
6:13 am
back to school. he has a masonary degree. of course i want to go back to college. i am a smart, intellectual, independent person. but unfortunately my circumstances don't allow me to go to school and to also work and juggle our family, you know. i have things that i need to do. i want a tee ball program, volunteer. i'm an assistant girl scout coach. i do things to contribute to my community. >> i thank you very much for being open and willing to expose your financial situation to us. it takes great courage to come here and talk about what life is really like. >> thank you. >> thank you. mr. rice. >> i want to thank all three of you being here today. it's really interesting and an honor to be in front of you. what each of you do for your community and i appreciate it very much. i was very fortunate to be involved in homeless shelter and transitioning people -- transitioning people from
6:14 am
situational or generational poverty and into success over a 20-year period and it was certainly a very rewarding thing. one thing i worried about in our particular facility called myrtle beach haven, in terms of the accountability aspect, we always saw that was important. we didn't want to encourage people to stay homeless. so we limited the time people could stay and said they need to be looking for work when they came in. that wasn't all -- always most success model but the successes that we had we were very proud of. then in terms of the case management aspect, that's something that always worried me. the manager of the house took it on himself to take people around to apply for this maze and myriad of potentialal benefits that may or may not be aplickal this maze and merit of
6:15 am
potential benefits that may or may not be applicable to each person. i would love to get your advice on how we can better handle the case management at myrtle beach haven. mrs. turner you said something , that intrigued me or made me curious. you said the federal programs -- well, you named them -- welfare and food stamps, you said they're not working. what did you mean by that? you said these federal programs are not working. what did you mean? >> what i meant was the federal programs in which we have right now, they do work, but the problem is is that once you get to a certain platform you are knocked back down. that is what i was speaking about. i didn't mean they are not working. what i'm saying is they need to be improved. i feel like we need to get a task force -- i'm stating here for the record. we need to get a task force that will pay attention to food stamp programs, to savings, to
6:16 am
education, and to medical. they need to be monitored. that's what i meant. >> not just a myriad of unrelated programs that -- you're saying more like case management, right? when you say monitor you mean somebody needs to be looking at them? >> i think someone needs to be looking at them to see how we can improve them, to make sure they're not cut, to make sure there are not billions and billions taken away from a single mother who relies on food stamps to feed or children or a wic program or a head start program. >> more money spent ineffectively when there is such limited money to go around, we don't want money ton tob spent -- we don't want money to be spent ineffectively either, transition people to being independent, is that correct? you want to make sure money is used effectively? >> of course we want them to be used effectively. >> i think you agree that the only path out of -- will federal programs -- if people rely totally on federal programs,
6:17 am
does that take them out of poverty? >> no. >> will it ever? >> i think some people just naturally make it but over all a reliance on federal programs solely is not going to move someone out of poverty. >> mrs. tiller, do you agree with that? >> no. >> it will never take them out of poverty? >> no. >> mrs. turner, do you agree with that? >> i am sorry, not hear the question clearly. >> people rely on federal programs -- the thing we're talking about, the generational poverty, if they just simply rely on federal programs and they don't try to make themselves better and go out and get a job, will they ever get out of poverty? >> i don't think anyone relies ever wants to rely on federal programs. i feel like people want to go out and get a job. >> do you agree that's the path out of poverty is they have to go out and get a job and become self-reliant? >> if they are capable of going out and getting a job, sir, and have the necessary things to do that, then, yes. but you also have to think about there are some people who are not capable of going out to find
6:18 am
employment because where they live, there aren't any jobs. i mean, let's think about it. there is a recession right now. how many jobs are there? and good-paying jobs? let's keep that in mind. >> all i am saying is if you rely on federal programs, you're never going to come out of poverty. the only way out of poverty is to become self-reliant and find yourself a job. i got 20 seconds left and i want to ask you one other question. you mentioned earlier that the limit on hours in the affordable care act, you said there can't be the limits on hours, didn't you say that? >> i didn't say the affordable care act. what i said is the limit on hours is you have employers that won't pay and that's what you're referring to -- i said employers won't pay their -- they won't pay their workers enough hours to give them medical insurance. that is a big problem. that is something we need to address. why is that a person can work for a company for 32 years and
6:19 am
have to wait a whole year just to get a quarter raise? that is what i'm talking about. why is it that big companies and corporations can only pay a person 30 hours and not giving them four hours to receive medical benefits? >> i thank the gentleman for his time. ms. lee. >> thank you very much. first, let me thank you, mr. chairman, and our ranking member for this very important hearing and this very important panel and i want to thank both of you for inviting these witnesses, especially ms. gaines-turner, because it's so important that we hear from americans who are most impacted by the policies that we discuss at this committee. so i want to thank you very much for this. let me once again thank all of the witnesses. before i begin my questions, i want to mention, mr. chairman and to our ranking member, next tuesday, i'm co-hosting a bipartisan poverty simulation that will allow members of congress and their staff just a
6:20 am
small glimpse into the lives of families who are living in poverty every day. it will be just a brief example of what this experience is like. we are trying to raise more awareness around the country as to what ms. gaines-turner, for instance, what her life is like, and so we're inviting democrats and republicans to participate with us. and we'll get you the information. we'd love your participation. first, ms. gaines-turner, let me talk to you. we were just breaking down the numbers in terms of your salary. we figured you and your husband both make a little over $14,000 a year. and with s.n.a.p. benefits and your income, you're probably about $23,000, $24,000 which is about -- below, again, the poverty level of $27,900. now, you're living on the edge. that's very clear. millions of americans are living on the edge. you both are working -- you both
6:21 am
are outstanding citizens and you're dealing with all kinds of issues in your life and i want to just commend you, first of all, for juggling so much. but -- and for your advocacy and for being here today. also, i want to just ask you how, you know, so many people view people who are on public assistance or who need government assistance, not that government assistance and relying on government assistance is going to lift everyone out of poverty. it's a bridge over troubled water. i was on public assistance and food stamps and i thank my government for being there for me. but it was a bridge over troubled water until i could figure out what to do next and get my degree and take care of my kids and move on. what's your perspective people living in poverty -- below the poverty line and who are working
6:22 am
and who -- some consider lazy or relying on public assistance to just get over? and let me ask my second question to ms. tiller. i want to do this. the federal ban on food assistance -- and thank you very much for your testimony. the federal ban on food assistance, which is a critical piece of the safety net, this ban for those convicted of a drug felony for life, lifetime ban on food stamps and public assistance, want to get your comment on that. and to ms. reynolds, let me thank you again. i'm a social worker by profession. i understand case management. so important. but those clients that you serve, what happens if the safety net were cut in terms of case management, and what happens if there's a reduction of about 30% of federal assistance as proposed in the ryan republican budget? ok. ms. gaines-turner. thank you very much. >> thank you, ms. lee, for your comments and thank you for your support constantly and pointing
6:23 am
out how difficult it is. i feel like, you know, a lot of people don't know how difficult it is. i don't know one person, maybe in this room, that can juggle the things that me and my husband have to juggle every single day with having three children on medical disability going back and forth back to work, maybe having to take an under the table job just to bring in extra money. there's not a lazy bone in my body. there are many people who live in the inner city under the poverty level that are not lazy. we want to be a part of the conversation. we want to have full-time jobs and go to school and go to college and things like that. i actually believe that certain people just put that stamp of lazy on us, to put a smokescreen, not really see what's going on, to point the finger at us, to look down at us, to try to humiliate us or twist our words, you know. i feel like we are the most --
6:24 am
people that there is. every day we wake up and cut coupons like everybody else and get up and go to work and strive for that american dream because that's what everybody strives for, right, the american dream. that's what we need to get back to is the american core and that is where if you strive harder and work hard and do your just diligence that you can get ahead no matter what race, gender, creed, or where you come from, inner city or out of city. >> second go round? >> no we don't have -- you have a lot of colleagues that showed up. >> well, i'll ask for a written responses. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i appreciate the fact you have taken on this issue of poverty and that we are really trying to get to the bottom of it. i have my own story of my own about poverty. i sit here today because there are a lot of folks who helped me to get to where i am. so i'm interested, ms. reynolds, because i have gone back and worked with a number of programs of the poverty and generational poverty in particular is what
6:25 am
i'm going to speak to. i'm sorry i wasn't here for all your opening remarks. i did read the piece you gave to us. generational poverty has its own culture, hidden rules, and belief systems. that's what i've run into as we've had programs that tried to help people get out of poverty. what we see, and you say it here, generational poverty need a deeper level of case management because it requires a mind set change. what i have seen in my experience -- and not in all cases, but some that have broken my heart, where some got an opportunity to get a skill or a degree and slip back again because of just anxiety about, can i make it on my own? will the paycheck actually come? will i lose my job? so you say here you're happy to provide these examples to show how you've been able to work through that. can you give me a really brief idea how your casework moves to
6:26 am
help people being in poverty and having that dependency and then the fear of being on your own? >> that's a great point because it is about getting jobs but it's also about making sure people who maybe grew up on federal benefits, people who maybe grew up in a situation where they never saw a parent go to work for a variety of reasons and it has nothing to do with laziness or motivation. it has everything to do with helping folks understand that they can rewrite their life story. although i have never been in poverty, my family's been closely impacted by poverty and i dedicated my life to poverty and studied it quite closely. i think what is so needed with generational poverty is helping with that mind set shift of you can rewrite your life story. this does not need to be where your life story ends. we can look at something different because often when you're in survival mode, basic human theory tells us you're focused on surviving, focused on today.
6:27 am
and our case managers lift heads up and help people see a tomorrow. >> so thank you very much. i appreciate that. i'd love to off-line have a little more conversation with you. talk about some of the programs i'm involved in back in my community. ms. gaines-turner, thank you for being here today. thank you for sharing your story. thank you for helping us have a glimpse about what's happening in your family. i respect the fact that you and your husband are raising three children together. family i think is something we have forgotten about as an equation in this poverty situation. we know the number one poverty indicators is a child being in a single family home. i think when he do have that certainly as a part of the equation. thank you for what you and your husband are doing. >> thank you. >> i just want to ask you. do you think if there were casework involved, as catholic charities is doing with the people that they're helping to pull up -- and i think ms. tiller, you are doing the same kind of thing. you're working beyond just the
6:28 am
job piece but helping them with all the other life situations. either in your situation or those that you know and you see around you that are in that situation, do you think if we did a better job at the government level with nor more casework and helping people to find the jobs, understand how to balance the budget and that kind of thing, would that help? >> yes. it definitely would help. it would help. it would help a great part. i'm not saying that case management doesn't work and i'm not saying that all caseworkers are nasty and all people that work for the government are nasty. that's not what i'm saying. what i'm saying is we need to make sure we support the programs that support the people that do work. that's what my colleagues -- >> thank you -- >> not colleague but other witness. >> found something that is very common in what you all were saying in the casework because i've experienced in in getting people to get from that defensey
6:29 am
dependency to the independencey. y. it's very difficult, the anxiety that's produced and i think that's one of the nuggets we ought to take out of this and looking to help people. thank you all so much for this. >> mr. jeffries. >> thank you, mr. chair. i thank the ranking member, both for your leadership on this issue. we know that 50 years ago, january of 1964, i believe, president lyndon johnson came to the floor of the house of representatives for a joint session of congress and declared a war on poverty. that war on poverty has largely been successful in helping millions of americans lift themselves out of an impoverished condition and set on a pathway toward the middle class. of course, there's still a long way to go. although it does seem in this town that there are some more interested in a war on working families than a war on poverty. but that's something that we're going to ultimately have to overcome as well. in the context of this present hearing, i thought i'd start
6:30 am
with ms. reynolds just to kind of explore the perspective that you laid out. i believe, i guess in your experience, you've laid out three broad categories of poverty, is that correct? >> correct. >> and those three categories are chronic, generational, and situational? >> correct. >> now, i guess your view is with respect to each category there is a different preferred strategy in order to arrive at a successful resolution is that true? >> correct. >> and i think you testified that you believe generational poverty requires a mind set adjustment, correct? >> situational -- sometimes situational poverty can require that as well. >> ok. and can you elaborate on just sort of the mind set you believe exists as what you describe as generational poverty and what
6:31 am
type of adjustment you believe needs to be made? >> sometimes people in generational poverty has been beat down in a lot of things. they tried to get up and fallen back down. in addition to that, some people living in poverty have maybe never seen a different side of life. have never seen what opportunities exist or frankly never believe in themselves they can get there. >> if i could stop you there. individuals trapped in generational poverty are beat down by what would be an example of something that has beat them down to create this type of mind set? >> it can be a whole series of things. it can be a lack of opportunities. it can be observing others. it can be a family member. we see that often sometimes too. >> is it fair to say that those trapped in generational poverty is not affected by a mind set but a mind set that is brought by substantive barriers or obstacles they confronted in their life? >> absolutely. >> one of those substantive barriers -- you define success in three different ways. making a way to support the family, correct, was one.
6:32 am
three months of savings, a second definition of success. and then no debt. >> no public assistance. >> no public assistance. ok. with respect to sort of the current minimum wage that exists in america, $7.25 per hour. now, is that a wage that enables a family or an individual to lift themselves out of poverty? >> no. >> in your view? so based on your own practice, i believe, where you support the concept of a living wage, do you think it's good public policy in america to have a wage that exists to allow individuals working hard 40 days -- 40 hours a week throughout an entire year to actually be able to support their families? >> sir. you know, being in fort worth, texas, and being with catholic
6:33 am
charities fort worth and i'll speak on behalf of them, our focus has not been on policy reform at the federal level because there are multiple complexities for us. we make sure that clients are trained in jobs that pay a living wage, that's our focus. and encouraging local corporate responsibility, which we have great partnerships with businesses and support our mission in an incredible way. >> a living wage is good public policy, correct? >> a living wage is an important element to get a client to. >> i think you also mentioned in your testimony the importance of a college education in addressing poverty, is that correct? >> not just college education, no, sir. associate degree and certification programs can also help. in our local community, getting an associates degree to become an aviation mechanic, you start $50,000, $60,000. that is moving families out of poverty as well as a growth industry in the dfw market.
6:34 am
>> in terms of pathway out of poverty, a college education is an important component if not the best way to achieve that pathway? >> education, yes, always important. >> ok. do you think a $260 billion cut in higher education funding is a responsible way to address poverty in america? >> what i'm concerned about is the result that happens with those dollars. so what i want to make sure happens is any money we're investing in college, pell grants, anything like that, that it's having a large return. that's what we have invested in case management with low-income individuals to ensure graduation. if spending money and completion doesn't happen, it doesn't help to get them to self-sufficiency and out of poverty. >> thank you. mr. kildee. >> thank you very much. i just want to follow up a bit on mr. jeffries. let me make a couple comments.
6:35 am
one of the things to keep in mind while in theory the notion that many of the federal programs -- at least as i understand, some of the theories presented by folks on the other side and some of the testimony here that some of the federal programs may in fact have the effect of propagating or somehow supporting what's been referred to as a culture of poverty, it does cause me to sort of question what is -- this is where i follow on mr. jeffries' comment -- what is it -- what are the factors that cause folks in chronic poverty or generational poverty to feel as if they are beaten down in? and the sense i get from the people i talk to, it is manifested in the belief that there is no hope, that there is no way out, that there isn't a path forward for them.
6:36 am
i think we have to acknowledge that there are places in this country -- in fact, i represent a couple of communities where this condition is present. there are places in this country where for many of the folks in poverty, virtually everything they see around them reinforces their lack of hope. i represent two communities, flint and saginaw, that have experienced incredible job loss, high rates of poverty, concentration of poverty, abandonment. in some of these urban communities with half of the population having left in the last few decades, not only is there a lack of work with unemployment rates in the 30% and 40% level, but there is a deterioration of the landscape. there's empty houses, empty buildings. the notion that those individuals would feel beaten down and sense a lack of hope is
6:37 am
one that's clearly understandable, right? so the question is in part, it's an interesting question as to whether or not there is a culture that surrounds folks within -- within generational chronic poverty, but the challenge before us is -- so what do we do about that? i fully understand and embrace the notion that support of case management, which the way i view it is to help those individuals in poverty navigate a system of support and opportunity, ladders of opportunity that could create a pathway for those folks, are comprised of a couple of things. it seems to focus on both. -- it seems to me that we need to focus on both. one is the method, how the engagement occurs. whether it's through active case management or whatever. but also it really does also come down to resources to a certain extent.
6:38 am
so i'm curious with -- ms. reynolds, perhaps you could comment on this because i think you made reference to it. the difficulty that individuals, particularly in chronic or generational poverty have in achieving educational outcomes. i think you mentioned something like 20% of those in poverty that choose to enroll in higher education are successful which means the vast majority are not. i'm curious as to whether or not you think the simple act of decreasing pell grants, for example, would increase the success rate for people in poverty? do you think that will have a positive effect on those seeking higher education? >> i think we need to measure the success of pell grants in terms of those who complete their education. i think that's most critical. and what we have seen is
6:39 am
actually from a community college standpoint the national average hovers around 10% who actually start complete. many of which are on pell grants. oftentimes the reasons students dropped out, the students we have worked with and understand is because of very simple things. childcare issues, transportation, complicated things like a health care crisis going on. or even something like getting a bad grade and not understanding how to cope with that. that's what i believe that although it can cost a little bit more money, bringing case management along with this education is starting to prove up to actually work. then in the future you can reduce some of these other benefits because you're actually moving people out. >> i guess with the few seconds i have remaining, the point i would make is that in active case management, one is not just managing the individual because you don't manage the individual. you help them manage themselves. >> thank you. the time of the gentleman has expired. mr. huffman. >> mr. chair, i would yield my
6:40 am
time to my colleague, barbara lee. >> let me thank the gentleman for yielding his time. i really appreciate that, mr. huffman. i want to ask first, ms. tiller, to respond once again in your testimony you mentioned the importance of attaching ex-offenders to work as it relates to reducing recidivism. mr. chairman, i want to mention this to the panel. in the welfare reform bill, both democrats and republicans -- this was a bipartisan fiasco, if you ask me -- >> you're talking about the 1996 bill? >> yeah. president clinton signed it into law. there is a lifetime ban for snap s.n.a.p. benefits of those convicted of a felony drug offense. not homicide. not armed robbery. felony drug offense. lifetime ban on s.n.a.p. and public assistance. primarily african-american and latino men. let me ask you, ms. tiller. what if this ban were -- i've had legislation for years trying
6:41 am
to lift this. fortunately states can opt out and my state just opted out this year. what would the work that you do with formerly incarcerated individuals, if that ban were lifted, as it relates to federal drug offenses, felony drug offenses, how would their transition into the work world be -- would it be easier, would it be harder would it help reduce recidivism, would it stay the same? being able to apply for public assistance and food stamps until they get a job, what would that do to that population? then me let me ask ms. reynolds one more thing with regard to the federal grants and safety net. with your clients and with catholic charities, what would happen to your clients if in fact there's a 30% reduction in the safety net while you're trying to help people through the case management process become self-sufficient, get a good job, live the american dream, what would happen? ok. thank you very much. thank you, again, mr. huffman.
6:42 am
>> well, thank you for your question. while i'm not familiar with -- in its entirety, you know, we can't deny the individual to it. i could only hope if it were lifted throughout the nation that it would ease the transition for an ex-offender into employment. we do not want people to recidivate because they need to feed their family. what we focus on -- and i do a lot of pro bono work with a lot of ex-offenders in washington, d.c. bring them into my office and listening to them and creating resumes and skill profiles and introducing them to employers where potentially this may never affect them. something i have heard repeatedly is reference to building relationships. i do that with every participant that comes in, but equally as important, with the community because without those employer partners, without the community-based organization, without the government, without having those strong relationships and those strong ties regardless of any legislation we might not be as
6:43 am
successful. >> regarding safety net services and clients, as a fellow social worker myself, i do want to say we both i think would agree that a strength-based approach to pulling a client out of poverty is really what our profession is all about. regarding safety net services and cuts, i'm not really here to talk about this current budget. what i believe is that if we -- >> i understand you're not here to talk about this current budget. >> in general. >> 30% reduction -- >> of course. my perspective is what we need to do is we need to case manage clients to get them out and set our definition out of poverty differently. i think over time you'll be able to cut public benefits because of savings you'll receive. >> all i'm asking, if you cut, say, s.n.a.p. benefits by 40%, does that make your job easier ? or if we cut medicaid or if we cut section 8 or if we cut those services, the safety net that,
6:44 am
for instance, ms. gaines-turner talked about, until they can find a good-paying job, what does that do to the clients that catholic charities service? >> right. i do think we need to have a safety net throughout our country. >> ok. let me ask you one more question about the safety net. >> yes, ma'am. >> in terms of the safety net, the clients you see -- >> yes. >> again, i know catholic charities very well. are they clients who want to stay on government -- the government safety net through their lives, are they looking for a job, do they want to live the american dream? what's their life like? is their life like -- >> that's a great question. some are and some are not. some of them don't understand what living the american dream ever would look like because they have never seen that in practice. so for us, yes, some of the families that come through our door who are on public benefits
6:45 am
see it as that temporary bridge gapping, get you out of poverty thing. but unfortunately a lot of the folks we see have been on public benefits programs, some of them that you can be for life. and saw mom and grandmother and others on benefits as well. >> to eye. thank you. yes. ms. lujan grisham. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i'm probably going to repeat some of the stuff that's been discussed already this morning. i want to follow-up on my colleague, ms. lee. in case managing and doing any kind of social support, it only has impacts if you have something to case manage to do. the big issue we have and discharge planning is there is no place to discharge anybody to. you don't have any of those social supports, whether they're government focused and paid for or they're familial. they don't exist. if we talk about the safety net, i don't know if people understand what that means anymore. and most case management folks
6:46 am
and most social workers are very effective at the thing you do for that particular client. maybe it is food support. maybe it's housing. maybe it's access to specialty medical care. maybe it's transportation. and when you have to be broad about all those things and because they differ from state to state, it is a very challenging circumstance for the person that's doing that case management. in fact, i don't think it's very effective because it's not very integrated. because you have to work with public and private sector benefits and supports getting them to work together, even having their rule work very well together. incredibly challenging. i want to hit something, ms. reynolds, that you just said. there are generations of poverty and it becomes very difficult to change that dynamic. we case manage or we engage in a social service environment usually when there's a crisis.
6:47 am
and not before and we don't stay. once the crisis and the crisis could be, we can't do transportation, we can't do health care, but we can do housing. we finally get you housing and we walk away and we come back if there is an i shall -- and we come back if there is an issue, if there is an arrest. we walk away, come back, walk away. we wonder why it's expensive and difficult. i want to highlight 90% of all the entitlement benefit spending goes to the elderly, the disabled, and working households. less than 10% of federal spending on any of these programs goes to individuals who could in fact work. and yet we focus on that 9% and debate back and forth how are we going to do it wlrks we should -- how we're going to do it, whether we should do it at all. there is a population that needs generations of support and what it means to be a working household and be lifted out of -- out of poverty. and so really i'm hoping you might with whatever time i have left -- i'm going to go to ms. gaines-turner.
6:48 am
i think drawing on the experience of folks who are working and who understand these difficult decisions between supporting a sick child and paying utility bills and the notion that i think given it's 9% that too many of policymakers, not just here in congress, but policymakers in general i think assume that once you are working, your financial issues and issues with poverty disappear, that that's not an accurate statement. >> thank you so much for your comment. yes, that's definitely not an accurate statement. just because you have a job and you have two people in your household like me that are working, that doesn't mean that everything is solved. that doesn't mean that you don't still need assistance. whether it be food stamps, medical, section 8 housing, which we live in, section 8
6:49 am
housing, which in philadelphia i was on the waiting list for 10 years. and being homeless twice with my son who is now 10 and my twins. you know, there are so many different things to go along with hunger and poverty. you know, you can't just pinpoint one thing and say, well, this isn't working so this isn't going to work. that's not true. once you start working and once you get your foot in the door and once you continue to work, there's something else that comes up. as you said, generations and generations and generations, it seems like if you're constantly, as you always said, beat down and pushed to the back of the line and told you're not worth, there is no hope, you know, i wonder how many people who actually walk through your doors and say, you know what, i'm going to go in and apply for a job and i'm going to look and then be told you don't qualify or they get sent out to the job itself and they can't compete because they don't have any work history.
6:50 am
so they are sometimes not given the opportunity to ever get their foot out the door. >> or they get their foot in the -- not the right door. >> exactly. but they get to the threshold and they're knocked back down. i think that's an important point. >> and -- four seconds left. what i heard and i got some nods, mr. chairman, with your patience, is that the safety net, the way in which we describe that may not really accurately reflect what is needed to support families and poverty to get out of poverty and feel like they are getting what they need to actually live and have the american dream. >> thank you. ladies, i want to thank you very much for sharing your mornings with us. this is very helpful, very informative, and i think the members got a lot out of it, so i appreciate you taking the time with us today and sharing your stories and experiences. this hearing's adjourned. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014] [captioning performed by national captioning institute]
6:51 am
>> 40 years ago, the watergate scandal led to the only resignation of an american president. throughout this month in early august, american history tv revisits 1974 and the final weeks of the nixon administration. this weekend, here the supreme court oral argument, united nexen, at the watergate special prosecutor contests the privilege over his oval office recordings. be rightesident may
6:52 am
in how he reads the constitution, but he could also be wrong. and if he is wrong, who is there to tell him so? , then thes no one president of course is free to his course of a roni us interpretations. becomes of our constitutional form of government? at 8:00 eastern on american history tv on c-span3. wife the house is debating the 12 annual appropriations bill for fiscal year 2015. the $34 billion energy and water .pending bill what does this bill cover? >> it covers the energy
6:53 am
department. it also covers the army corps of engineers projects, major dams as well as port dredging, those kinds of things. it covers some smaller agencies with the regulatory commission and such. >> $34 billion, how different is that from what the white house requested? slightly under, within a couple million dollars under. >> the white house just shortly while ago before we talked issued a veto threat against the bill. you're writing about that. the house energy and water bill faces veto threat. what if the white house primarily concerned about? >> two different aspects. the first is as they have done in the past, the house cut provisions for energy efficiency and on noble energy by about 5%, research,spending for some people would be surprised we are still doing research and fossil, but there is about a 5%
6:54 am
research to further hydro fracking, those kinds of things. that is one of the main objections of the white house. the second is these provisions, which would affect the way that our relations with russia, because of issues going on in the ukraine, the house attempted to block all aid to russia. some of that has to do with nonproliferation's, so the white house objected to that idea, to the tune you the nonproliferations efforts. there is also a policy writer block changes to by the epa and army corps over the waters of the united states ruled, which has to do with jurisdiction a falls under the epa in army corps. >> on the russia issue, the house appropriations that hopkins have tweeted congressman mike simpson hr 49 23 addresses concerns about russia's activity
6:55 am
about violating new money for nonproliferation in russia. on another issue, what is the permission we will hear you about that will allow firea rms to be carried by the army corps of engineers? >> that is at the committee and that isow that, something that has been debated in the past. the argument being that there is already hunting that is allowed, so that is something that we may see again here at this level. >> a couple of concerns here on the clean water act stories, epa , farmers raising legitimate concerns of a water role in a tweet from the appropriations committee this time from the democrat side saying also oppose for mountaintop mining, jurisdiction of the clean water act, what with the 2015 spending bill on energy and water say about the clean water act? >> there are two different writers there, one of which has
6:56 am
come before, which is the definition of soil material as it relates to mountaintop mining, and a second set was related to an attempt this spring, epa and army corps of engineers issued an intention that they are going to redefine what are navigable waters under the clean water act. opponents are saying this is going to cause broad overreach that all the sudden epa is going to be regulating the ditch and .ome farmers fields a proponent, democrats as will the administration say this is necessary to help clarify some ambiguities that exist under previous regulations that got thrown out from the core. >> how many amendments will be debated, and what one or two should we look for? >> right now there are 10 or 15 amendments. it is an open will. at some point they're going to limit the debate.
6:57 am
there are some key amendments, some of which will try to undo elements, as we discussed that the administration opposes. there are several by representative bill cassidy, who is in a tight race against mary landrieu in the senate for her senate seat. he is trying to get everything he can to benefit louisiana. he also has an interesting memo that would bar energy department consideration of the greenhouse gas emissions as they consider liquefied natural gas, export permits, and also there is an amendment to move $59 from the nuclear submarine nuclear reactor research, which is considered to be possibly underfunded. there are concerns that were just raise yesterday that nuclear research for submarines
6:58 am
is critically underfunded. >> randy leonard on a debate for water and energy spending, follow his report at thank you for joining us. >> thank you very much. >> today, a hearing on mental health care for veterans suffering from conditions including post paramedics rest disorder and dramatic rain injury. he house veterans affairs committee hearing begins at 9:15 a.m. eastern on c-span3. today, the senate appropriations committee holds a hearing on president obama's request for emergency funds to deal with the flood of my grandchildren at the u.s. border. you can see the hearing live starting at 2:30 p.m. eastern on c-span3. c-span,p live today on "washington journal" is next.
6:59 am
at 10:00 a.m. eastern, the house returns for a general speeches, and at noon eastern, more work on the energy and water spending bill. >> for over 35 years, c-span brings public affairs events from washington directly to you, putting you in the room at congressional hearings, white house events, briefings and conferences and offering complete gavel-to-gavel coverage of the u.s. house all as a public service of private industry. we are c-span -- created by the cable tv industry 35 years ago and brought to you as a public service by your local cable or satellite provider. watch us in hd, like us on facebook, and follow us on twitter.
7:00 am
. >> house of representatives is in at 10 this morning and is set is to continue work on several measures including a $34 billion energy water spending bill and $21 billion financial services spending bill. the senate also reconvenes at 10 a.m. today with nomination votes later this afternoon including one on shawn donovan to be the next director of the white house office of management and budget. on today's washington journal we'll discuss president obama's appearances yesterday in colorado and texas and we'll begin with a point that the president made during his


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on