I am writing in regard to the hearing that will be held on July 31 in Washington D.C. This hearing will take place as a way to assess anti-poverty programs and the progress of the War on Poverty.

Government programs are essential in helping those who are trying to escape poverty. I am worried that these hearings will threaten programs such as SNAP, Head Start, Medicaid, and many more that are designed to help those experiencing poverty.

Studies show that government programs have successfully decreased poverty in the U.S. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program provided vital nutrients to families and lifted 4.7 million Americans out of poverty in 2011. The Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit kept 9.4 million from falling into poverty, including 4.9 million children. Investments in early childhood have been proven to increase financial stability and reduce need for government assistance in adulthood. 

As a RESULTS volunteer, I have witnessed the necessity of government programs in keeping people out of poverty. Unfortunately, I fear that these programs are at risk as policymakers in Washington propose cuts to these services. I urge Congress to protect programs that help struggling Americans get back on their feet.

Michael Rigby
Baltimore, Md.