US church leaders express ‘deep moral concerns’ on Budget cuts

By agency reporter
June 21, 2017

Christian leaders today (21 June 2017) expressed opposition to federal budget cuts that would harm people living in hunger and poverty. Their statement represents the first broad-based, ecumenical response to the ongoing budget debates since the inauguration of President Donald J. Trump.

The Christian leaders belong to the Circle of Protection, a broad coalition of leaders from all the families of US Christianity, who have come together around the biblical mandate to protect poor and vulnerable people. They are calling on “political leaders in the House and the Senate to express their faith convictions in their votes.”

The Christian leaders flew in to Washington DC from across the country, and will personally meet with members of Congress to deliver the statement. “We organised the Circle of Protection to look at budget and policy choices from the bottom-up and outside-in. The US Catholic Bishops have said the poor and vulnerable have the greatest needs, but the least power. Our faith and America’s values call us to put the poor first. The human consequences of misplaced priorities threaten the lives and dignity of the vulnerable among us and the moral consequences challenge the consciences of all of us.”

The statement reads in part, “The Trump Administration’s budget proposal has now been presented to Congress. We believe budgets are moral documents; they reveal our values and show our priorities, whether for families, churches, organisations, or governments. Budgets show who and what we view as important, and, likewise, who and what are not. We have deep moral concerns about the way this budget would impact those we are called to protect…”

The church leaders also reiterated their commitment to working with all members of Congress to build a budget that defends those who need protecting. They urged Congress to improve the US. healthcare system in ways that guard the health of people who are most at risk.

“As Congress considers budget and appropriation bills and potential health care legislation, we urge our leaders to approve bills that do not put the lives of the most vulnerable in danger…”

The Trump administration has proposed significant budget cuts to programs for people who are poor, hungry, weak, sick, and vulnerable. This includes cuts to programmes such as SNAP (formerly food stamps), Medicaid, and foreign assistance.

Read the full statement here

*Circle of Protection


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