U.S. Rep. Harold "Hal" Rogers (R-KY) joined forces earlier this year with his colleague across the aisle, Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-SC) to introduce the Targeting Resources to Communities in Need Act (H.R. 6531) in an effort to increase the share of federal investments to impoverished communities. Congressman Rogers recently gave the following remarks on the House Floor in support of the legislation, which consequently passed the House on Wednesday.
"Good afternoon, Madam Speaker. I rise today in strong support of H.R. 6531, the Targeting Resources to Communities in Need Act.
"The impetus for this legislation was the understanding that in certain parts of our country, there are pockets of systemic poverty, caused by a variety of factors, that can be very difficult to boost economically.
"Ranging from rural towns to populated urban areas, these areas of persistent poverty deserve a keen eye from our federal government and a plan to help them reinvigorate.
"I have been proud to work with the Majority Whip Jim Clyburn on legislative efforts to alleviate persistent poverty and set up these communities for economic success and self-sufficiency.
"This bill directs the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), in consultation with the federal agencies, to develop and implement guidance and measures to increase the share of federal investments targeted to areas of persistent poverty.
"The bill will require the OMB Director to submit to Congress each fiscal year a report including the list of programs, by agency, under which the amount of federal funds targeted to persistent poverty areas were increased in the previous fiscal year.
"By targeting federal resources to these communities, we will spur economic development in the areas of country that need it most and strengthen the American economy as a whole.
"The bill further requires the U.S Government Accountability Office to report on the effectiveness of the measures implemented, which will responsibly ensure that this legislation is making a meaningful impact.
"We have made great strides to lift up impoverished areas, like Kentucky's Appalachian region, but we have more work to do in my district and in similar parts of the country that need our attention. This targeted bill will help communities breakthrough the cycle of poverty and provide resources necessary to thrive.
"I thank Whip Clyburn for his partnership and commitment, and I urge support for the bill."
The bill now moves on to the U.S. Senate for consideration.
For more information about Congressman Rogers' work in Washington and in Kentucky, visit halrogers.house.gov and follow him on social media.
Watch Congressman Rogers' full Floor speech on C-SPAN.org.