In 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson launched the War on Poverty, and as part of that effort, passed the Civil Rights act to protect Americans from discrimination and racism, ensure opportunity, and provide a path forward for our country. It's time to reaffirm those values and ensure that we create a country worthy of President Johnson's legacy as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act.
Those values are what launched the Food Stamp Act, Job Corps, and Head Start, programs that lift people out of poverty and provide opportunity for vulnerable Americans. We have seen these programs, and others like them, succeed, yet, they are under harsh attack.
Just today, the House passed the Ryan Budget, which flies in the face of those values and is a direct mockery of the Johnson legacy. The Ryan budget is a dangerous path that would gut the social safety net, kick children off of Head Start, and slash $137 billion from SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, our nation's first line of defense against hunger. Not only does the Ryan Budget fail to make investments in our nation's economy, it protects loopholes for Big Oil, prioritizes millionaires and billionaires, and pushes families closer to the edge.
Our economy is recovering from the greatest recession since the Great Depression, but our national gains haven't reached everyone equally. There are pieces of the country that have been left behind, and we must ensure that they have a bridge over troubled waters.
This week, I stood in support of the Democratic Alternative Budget, which would make smart investments in job creation, education, and job training. Among many issues, we must address extending unemployment insurance, raise the minimum wage, enact criminal justice reform, and secure voting rights for communities of color, so that we can truly find solutions to these critical issues and create an opportunity that works for all.