Paul Ryan tries to ease tensions with black lawmakers on poverty

WASHINGTON, (Reuters) – Republican Representative Paul Ryan, who angered black lawmakers in March with his comments about the causes of inner-city poverty, met with the Congressional Black Caucus on Wednesday and pledged to study its proposal to help the poor.

“We didn’t get a whole lot accomplished, but we do agree on a number of things,” said Representative Marcia Fudge, an Ohio Democrat who chairs the caucus. “One is that we are both concerned about the poverty in this country. We just disagree on how we address the problem.”

Ryan, the influential House of Representatives Budget Committee chairman, said the meeting improved the “tone” of the poverty debate, if not the best way to tackle it.

“What is good out of this is we need to talk about better ideas on getting at the root cause of poverty, to try and break the cycle of poverty,” said the Wisconsin Republican and 2012 Republican vice presidential nominee. “The status quo doesn’t work. We can do better.”

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