If Congress does not agree on a debt reduction proposal, spending cuts will be triggered which could threaten the lives of low-income people, says Catholics Confront Global Poverty, an initiative of Catholic Relief Services and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), which sent letters to House and Senate members February 22 urging them to avoid cuts to poverty-focused international humanitarian and development assistance, and to protect that funding in the next two fiscal years. Catholic News Agency writes:
Washington D.C., Feb 21, 2013 / 05:13 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- If members of Congress do not come to an agreement on a debt reduction proposal, the resulting spending cuts may threaten the lives of those in poverty, cautioned Catholic Relief Services.
Members of Catholics Confront Global Poverty, an initiative of Catholic Relief Services, agreed with conclusions by several U.S. bishops that while “Congress has a responsibility to reduce federal deficits and improve our fiscal health,” it should “do so in ways that give moral priority to programs that help people living in poverty, both at home and abroad.”
The organization warned that there is an “urgent need to protect human life and dignity around the world” that current economic proposals neglect.
Both CRS and USCCB are also part of a larger campaign called “A Circle of Protection,” which brings together many Christian voices from around the country asking our nation’s leaders to protect funding for programs that help reduce hunger and poverty, both in the U.S. and overseas. “A Circle of Protection” sent letters to the president and Congress on February 25. The New York Times reports:
Leaders from some of the nation’s largest and most influential Christian congregations are urging President Obama and members of Congress to end their fiscal brinkmanship and find a way to agree on new revenue and spending cuts that will reduce the deficit while protecting the poorest Americans.
In a public letter, to be released on Monday just days before severe budget cuts are scheduled to go into effect, the groups urge that the fiscal debate be framed in terms of “moral choices.” The letter blames both parties for slowing the country’s economic recovery and risking the possibility that more people will slide into poverty.
“Moving from one crisis to another has slowed economic recovery and has kept Congress from finding a sound, moral path to fiscal sustainability,” the letter says. “Other important issues go unaddressed, all the while increasing cynicism about our political process.”
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