Senator Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) will deliver a speech at the Capitol on Tuesday to discuss reforming federal anti-poverty programs and increasing income mobility in the United States. The speech is intended to mark the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon Johnson’s “War on Poverty.”
President Obama and congressional Democrats have made clear that they want to make income inequality a central issue heading into the 2014 midterms, but Rubio and other Republicans such as Paul Ryan aim to make sure the debate is not one-sided. Ryan, for his part, will deliver keynote remarks at next week’s Social Mobility Summit at the Brookings Institute.
Rubio has been talking about reforming government to grow the middle class and help people escape poverty for years. He touched on the theme during his State of the Union response last year, and his address at the Republican convention in 2012. Both Rubio and Ryan discussed these issues at the 2012 Jack Kemp Foundation Dinner shortly after the election.
Over the weekend, Rubio released a video previewing the themes he plans to address on Tuesday. After 50 years and more than $20 trillion spent on welfare and other government programs, he asks: “Isn’t it time to declare Big Government’s War on Poverty a failure?”