Biggest Anti-Poverty Initiative Since the War on Poverty if Passed

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Senate today voted on Senator Rand Paul’s amendment, known as the Economic Freedom Zones Act of 2015 (S.790), to H.R. 2028, the Energy Policy Modernization Act. The legislation will establish free market enterprise zones and dramatically reduce taxes in order to help facilitate the creation of new jobs, entrepreneurial opportunities, enhance and renew educational opportunities and increase community involvement in bankrupt or economically distressed areas. These zones will apply to any zip code with unemployment greater than one and a half times the national average. Sen. Paul originally introduced the legislation for the 114th Congress in March 2015.

The vote, which needed 60 to pass, was 35-62.

Prior to the vote, Sen. Rand Paul delivered the following remarks on the Senate floor urging his colleagues to support the Economic Freedom Zones Act. A video and transcript of Sen. Paul’s floor speech are available below.

Additionally, top-line bullet points and background information on the Economic Freedom Zones Act can be found HERE.



Sen. Paul: Jack Kemp and others who have looked and examined the issue of poverty have often found that we haven’t done a great job alleviating poverty. We’ve tried government programs in my state. We’ve tried them in rural Appalachia for 40 years, and yet we still have persistent poverty.

Many of us believe that we would have a better chance with poverty if we would lower taxes in these areas, lessen regulation and instead of sending the money to Washington, leave it where the poverty is.

My bill alone would leave $500 million in eastern Kentucky, $200 million in Louisville. We’ve had much discussion of Flint, Michigan, and the water problem there.

My bill would leave $124 million in Flint, Michigan next week. My bill would leave over $1 billion in Detroit. If there are those in this body who can come together and say that we have a unified presence and a unified ability and desire to combat poverty, this is the bill to do it.

It’s called Economic Freedom Zones, and I hope we’ll get bipartisan support in favor of leaving money in these impoverished communities to help them get started again. Thank you.



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