Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), co-chair of the Congressional Out of Poverty Caucus, on Thursday called for Congress to declare a "war on poverty."


"It is beyond shameful that over 45 million Americans, including over 16 million children, are living in poverty in the wealthiest nation in the world," she said on the House floor.

Figures released by the U.S. Census Bureau on Wednesday showed that 46.2 million people, roughly one in six Americans, were living in poverty. The data also showed that income for middle-class families had declined, while the top 10 percent of households saw their incomes rise.

“Now is not the time to turn our backs on struggling families just to preserve or even expand tax giveaways to millionaires and billionaires," Lee added. "We must come together to wage a war on poverty and end the war on the poor, which have already been devastated by multiple rounds of budget cuts that are hurting families across this country."

Watch video, uploaded to YouTube by Congresswoman Lee, below: