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May 02, 2014 AT 10:47 AM
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. Ryan, the influential House of Representatives Budget Committee chairman, said the meeting improved the "tone" of the poverty debate. Ryan said "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. The status quo doesn't work. We can do better." Ryan and caucus members said after the meeting they intended to continue their dialogue on the subject.