Does Anyone Speak for the Poor in Congress?


Manage episode 222692351 series 1740975
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The rich have more tools to influence politics and policy than the rest of Americans, but what about the poorest citizens? In an age of increasing economic inequality, who, if anyone, represents their views and their interests in Congress? Kris Miler finds that Members of Congress in high poverty districts are not the champions of the poor. Instead, Democratic women and minorities from urban districts tend to introduce bills about poverty but have trouble getting them passed, leaving the poor without effective representation even in times of rising poverty. Christopher Ellis finds that Members of Congress are usually more responsive to the opinions of the rich than the poor in their districts, but moderates and Democrats in competitive districts with unions do represent the opinions of the poor. Low-income constituents are only sometimes visible and have a hard time holding their representatives accountable.

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