President Obama will deliver a speech Tuesday to propose a new plan for increasing upward mobility in the United States.
An incredibly divided Congress has managed to agree on one thing — something needs to be done to spur upward mobility.
What they haven’t agreed upon, however, is just how to go about doing that.
During a speech scheduled for 9 p.m. EST on Tuesday, President Obama will pitch his ideas, which largely focus on giving aid to Americans who have been unemployed for a long time and increasing minimum wage.
The president will also discuss the need for expanding early-childhood education during the speech.
Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the fourth-ranking Republican in the House of Representatives, will deliver a response to the president’s proposal afterward.
It is believed that Rodgers will make a case for pushing for a deregulated market, or free-market economy.
A free market would essentially limit the government’s ability to regulate the market through setting prices or creating limitations on who is allowed to enter what market.
Opponents of the free market theory believe it will actually create larger monopolies and tougher barriers to entry for smaller businesses.
Sen. Marco Rubio and Paul Ryan, the House Budget Committee Chairman, have also proposed their own theories on how to spur upward mobility.
The two potential 2016 Republican presidential candidates suggested giving the states more authority over benefit programs for low-income Americans rather than placing the responsibility on the federal government.
Ryan has also proposed that the federal government would give one, single benefit to low-income families.
While neither side has managed to reach a compromise, the need for a plan of action is dire.
According to the Census Bureau, poverty rates among American Indians, African-Americans and Hispanics are still relatively high.
More than 43 million Americans were reportedly living in poverty from 2007 to 2011 with 26 percent of them being Black, 27 percent being American Indians and 23 percent being Hispanics.
Whites and Asians made up less than 12 percent of the poor population.
While the recession hit more than four years ago, the effects of the economic downward spiral is still impacting families today.
“During the recession, we saw a number of families who had been doing well pushed back below the poverty level,” said Joe Weeden, director of Defeat Poverty DC.
Despite some of the wealthiest neighborhoods in the nation being in Washington D.C., the District has shockingly high poverty rates for African-Americans.
Roughly 26 percent of Blacks in the District fall below the poverty line and 38 of the majority Black residents in Ward 8 are also under the poverty line.
Weeden also said that while the District is seeing some rebound, it certainly isn’t enough to get excited about.
The Census report revealed that only six states had less than 20 percent of their Black population living in poverty.