Policy

Ryan Talks Poverty at CPAC

Ryan spoke at CPAC Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

FORT WASHINGTON, Md -- Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., received a warm welcome as he spoke about his push to combat poverty in front of hundreds of conservatives Thursday afternoon.  

"We care about restoring the American idea, and that is the condition of your birth does not determine the outcome of your life,” Ryan said at annual the Conservative Political Action Conference at the National Harbor in Maryland.  

The last time a sitting speaker of the House addressed CPAC was in 2012, when John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, spoke at the conference. Three years later, Boehner resigned amid pressure from conservatives. Ryan, who is reining in House conservatives on the budget process , was not only cheered at CPAC, but had the audience leaping up and snapping pictures of him as he walked onto the stage.  

Ryan spoke with Carrie Sheffield of the news and culture website "Bold," for roughly 15 minutes about his party's effort to fight poverty. He stressed the need for less regulation, a stronger role for civil society, as opposed to government, and lowering tax rates.  

"We're trapping people in poverty by paying people not to work,” Ryan said.  

Ryan has long said poverty is a top issue for him, and he has traveled the country visiting struggling communities. He listed by name some of the people in the promo video that played before he spoke, and they included Jubal Garcia, who runs "Outcry in the Barrio," a religious organization in Texas that aids recovering addicts.

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