Last night, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) held a nationally televised town hall to defend his party’s support for President Trump and his policies.
While the crowd comprised many hard core Trump supporters, others in attendance have been watching the events of the last several years with a more open mind, including Sister Erica Jordan, who asked Speaker Ryan about his party’s lockstep opposition to programs that help Americans living in poverty. (Video below.)
Ryan smiled through Sister Erica’s questions, and gave a slick enough response, but it was not received as he hoped.
When Ryan repeated the Republican myth that programs that help the poor disincentive work, he was met with a spontaneous cascade of well deserved boos. The Republicans in attendance tried to cover the boos with forced applause but the damage was done.
Republicans continue to insist that giving people the chance to achieve in life is actually harmful despite all evidence to the contrary. The facts are that poverty is a debilitating obstacle to basic day-to-day survival, and pretending that impoverished Americans without support have any semblance of equal opportunity is delusional.
The policies of Trump and Ryan entrench America’s horrific cycle of poverty, and Sister Erica should be applauded for challenging them. Speaker Ryan, meanwhile, got exactly the response he deserves.
Sheila Norton is a writer with ten years of Capitol Hill experience. Subscribe to the OD Action email to get all the hottest news delivered right to your inbox every day at www.odaction.com