House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI,1) expressed regret this week for his past comments against poor Americans, saying in a major speech Wednesday that he was wrong for calling people "makers and takers."
"There was a time that I would talk about a difference between 'makers' and 'takers' in our country, referring to people who accepted government benefits. But as I spent more time listening, really learning the root causes of poverty, I realized something. I realized that I was wrong," Ryan said during his speech about the state of American politics. "'Takers' wasn't how to refer to a single mom stuck in a poverty trap, trying to take care of her family. Most people don't want to be dependent. And to label a whole group of Americans that way was wrong. I shouldn't castigate a large group of Americans just to make a point."
In a question and answer session after his speech, delivered before a group of House interns, Ryan added, "I was callous and I oversimplified and I castigated people with a broad brush. That's wrong. And there's a lot of that happening in America today. I myself have made that mistake."
Meanwhile, no Republican Congressmen from Illinois earned a grade higher than a 'D' on the center's 2013 Poverty Scorecard, which looked at the voting record of every U.S. senator and representative on poverty-related issues during the last calendar year. The scores were tabulated based on 18 votes taken in the House and Senate on legislation covering a variety of subject areas including budget and tax, food and nutrition, health care, immigrants, cash assistance, domestic violence, education and the workforce, to name a few.
A recent report shows that women headed up 40 percent of Illinois' more than 404,100 low-income working families in 2012.
Nationwide, women were the main providers for 4.1 million low-income working families in 2012, with 163,341 of those households being in Illinois, according to the report from the Working Poor Families Project, a national initiative focused on strengthening state-level policies to help working families attain economic security.
One day after his controversial budget passed through the U.S. House, U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI,1) visited Chicago Friday raise funds for former congressman Bob Dold, the Republican candidate in Illinois' 10th congressional district race.