Beto O`Rourke on Welfare & Poverty

Democratic candidate for President; Texas Senator nominee


Pushed "El Paso renaissance": Walmart replaces poor housing

In 2005, O'Rourke won his race for city council, advocating for tax abatements to spur development. Overnight, O'Rourke became the bright, optimistic new face of the El Paso renaissance, and he supported a real-estate-redevelopment plan, envisioning a gentrified downtown that could attract more people like Beto O'Rourke. The development plans were met with passionate opposition because the developer, [who was Beto's father-in-law], wanted to use eminent domain to clear out an impoverished barrio and build a Walmart or a Target.

O'Rourke, fluent in Spanish like his father, went door-to-door trying to convince residents the city would build affordable housing elsewhere.

Opponents pointed out that his father-in-law stood to profit from the plans. The city opened an ethics investigation, and though O'Rourke was cleared of wrongdoing, he recused himself in the public debate and from voting on it. In the end, the plans collapsed because the economy cratered in 2008 and capital dried up.

Source: Joe Hagan in Vanity Fair on 2020 Democratic primary , Mar 13, 2019

Voted NO on maintaining work requirement for welfare recipients.

Congressional Summary:

Proponent's Argument for voting Yes:

Opponent's Argument for voting No: