U.S. Sen Cory Booker introduces legislation to fight national poverty

U.S. Sen. Cory Booker recently introduced a new bicameral bill that will expand the 10-20-30 anti-poverty formula to a significantly larger group of federal accounts to ensure more funds are targeted to persistent poverty communities without raising taxes or adding to the deficit.

The bill, co-introduced by U.S. House Assistant Democratic Leader James E. Clyburn and titled An Act Targeting Resources into Communities in Need, also ensures federal investment in all high-need communities by targeting funding into high-poverty census tracts.

An Act Targeting Resources into Communities in Need expands the 10-20-30 formula, which requires a minimum of 10 percent of federal funds of a particular federal spending account go to communities in which the poverty level has been 20 percent or higher over the past 30 years.

“While genius is spread equally across the country, opportunity is not,” Booker said. “By more strategically targeting limited federal resources to the places that need them the most, we can bring investment to communities that for too long have been left behind.”

To ensure federal investment reaches all high-need communities, including smaller pockets of deep poverty and those communities experiencing more recent economic downturns, the bill would also require certain federal agencies to target resources to census tracts (a geographic designation significantly smaller than counties) with poverty rates currently exceeding 20 percent.