Washington, DC – This afternoon, faith leaders, service providers, and advocates joined Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT) in holding a rally and press conference opposing the House budget plan scheduled for a vote later today. The speakers, representing more than forty groups in total, discussed the impact the House budget will have on individuals and communities across the country, pointing to how the proposal would take away nutrition assistance, health care, and housing assistance from those who need it most.
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Comments from speakers and supporting organizations are available below:
“Our country has serious needs, and we should be striving to create a society where everyone can flourish while fulfilling their potential. Yet this budget proposal would take nutrition assistance, health care, and housing assistance away from families that need it. It would divest from violence prevention programs at home and peacebuilding efforts abroad. The House budget proposal does nothing to make billionaires and wealthy corporations pay their fair share and instead piles on more tax breaks for those who don’t need them. It perpetuates the unchecked upward spiral of the pentagon budget on weapons that don’t work and the military doesn’t want. FCNL urges Congress to oppose this draconian, irresponsible budget.” – Amelia Kegan, Associate General Secretary for Policy and Advocacy, Friends Committee on National Legislation.
“A functioning democracy invests in the very programs this budget seeks to cut. The federal budget is a moral document that must prioritize care for vulnerable individuals, families, and communities. Investment in these communities creates a stronger, safer, healthier country where everyone can thrive. Whether we are Black, Brown, or white, urban or rural, everyone deserves health care, housing, and food! While thoughtful conversations about deficit reduction may be reasonable, it is immoral to take food out of the mouths of children, force families into homelessness, and arbitrarily end health care for the most vulnerable. If proponents of these cuts really cared about the deficit, they would raise taxes on the ultra-wealthy and corporations rather than hurting the workers and families.” – Mary J. Novak, NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice’s Executive Director.
“We could not agree more with House Speaker McCarthy’s recent statement that we must ‘act for future generations.’ Which is why it’s impossible to understand his pledge to protect Medicare, veterans, defense spending, Social Security and other programs by disproportionately disinvesting in our nation’s children. The House leadership’s debt limit proposal aims to fund those programs by gutting children’s health care, food aid, protection, education and general well-being. Not only is targeting children immoral, it’s a bad business decision for the country. Reams of research have shown that government investments in children actually turn a profit, one that Wall Street would be proud of. We strongly urge the House to abandon its short-sighted agenda and make those long-term investments.” – Bruce Lesley, President, First Focus Campaign for Children.
“Bread for the World believes in the dignity of work and that the surest way out of hunger and poverty is with a good job. However, adding additional work requirements to SNAP will increase hunger among the people who need it most. With food prices remaining high and pandemic relief benefits ending, food banks across the country are already at their breaking points with record numbers of families depending on them to put food on the table. Pushing a million people off SNAP will make a bad situation dire. ‘If there is among you anyone in need, a member of your community in any of your towns within the land that the Lord your God is giving you, do not be hard-hearted or tight-fisted toward your needy neighbor.’ Deuteronomy 15:7 (NRSVUE).” – Rev. Eugene Cho, President, Bread for the World.
“Across the nation, rents are exorbitant, eviction filings have increased, homelessness is on the rise, and millions of the lowest-income renters are just one financial shock away from falling behind on rent and losing their homes. Yet House Republicans propose to slash funding for programs that help households with the lowest incomes keep a roof over their heads. It is unacceptable to cut critically needed affordable housing and homelessness resources for the households who need it most. To end America’s housing and homelessness crisis, Congress must increase – not cut – federal investments in long-term solutions to the country’s housing crisis.” – Diane Yentel, President and CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition.
“Access to food shouldn’t have a time limit. Yet House Speaker Kevin McCarthy wants to expand harsh time limits for SNAP for older unemployed and underemployed people, including veterans, those reentering the workforce after incarceration, and those who are chronically unhoused. This is not only counterproductive; it is cruel. Congress needs to keep their hands off of SNAP, pass a clean debt limit raise as soon as possible, and then get to work addressing food security and equity, including by enacting H.R. 1510 to end SNAP time limits.” – Luis Guardia, President, Food Research & Action Center.
“The House bill is an affront to conscience and common sense alike. It would take food and health care from people in need and slash at investments that will rebuild and renew our economy, all the while threatening default and instant recession if their reckless demands are not met.” – Deborah Weinstein, Executive Director, Coalition on Human Needs.
“As our nation grapples with the reality of the approaching debt ceiling, leaders face an important crossroad that could change the trajectory of families’ economic stability and quality of life, today, and for generations to come. Lawmakers have a choice between passing a clean increase to the debt ceiling, as they’ve done numerous times in the past, or imposing cuts to essential programs and services that could devastate communities, industries and individuals. One thing must be made clear: taking away programs that support women, LGBTQ+ people, and families, like SNAP/nutrition assistance and Medicaid, is not an option. We urge lawmakers to consider the effects of these decisions on the millions of families who keep our economy going. They are lives to be valued, not political leverage. We at NWLC will continue to demand from our elected officials the freedom for mothers, caregivers and families to thrive and live with dignity, equality and security. To that end, we call on Congress to pass a clean debt ceiling before it’s too late.” – Fatima Goss Graves, President and CEO, National Women’s Law Center.
“At a time when senior poverty, homelessness and inequities are rising, these proposed cuts to Medicaid, SNAP, housing and other programs older adults rely on to meet their basic needs would be nothing short of devastating.” – Kevin Prindiville, Executive Director, Justice in Aging.
“Social Security embodies some of our nation’s most fundamental values, as well as universal religious values, including compassion, respect, and unity among generations. A vote for the Republican debt ceiling bill is a vote against those values. By closing field offices and increasing wait times, the bill would make it far more difficult for Americans to claim their earned Social Security benefits. In that way, the legislation is an implicit attack on the nation’s working families and their economic security.” – Nancy Altman, Social Security Works.
“As Franciscans, we strive to live in solidarity with our most vulnerable sisters and brothers as well as God’s beautiful creation. As such, we are concerned about budget proposals that will create obstacles to obtaining critically needed food and housing assistance as well as remove incentives to end dependence on fossil fuels. We humbly ask members of Congress to keep the cry of the poor and of the earth in mind as they make spending decisions.” – Franciscan Action Network.
“Speaker McCarthy and House Republicans’ legislation that makes drastic cuts to non-defense discretionary programs is yet another, and completely avoidable, crisis for our families and communities. This proposal systematically defunds programs that protect us all, especially Black, Brown and Indigenous communities of color. These cuts will kick families out of their homes, take food off tables, gut access to child care, kill good jobs, undercut supports for small businesses and so much more. By placing severe caps on funding for the next ten years, House Republicans will prevent us from investing in an economy that works for everyone. We must ensure critical funding and resources work for the families and communities that need it most.” – Alejandra Montoya-Boyer, Director of Policy, Prosperity Now.
Sponsoring organizations: American Friends Service Committee; Bread for the World; Caring Across Generations; Church World Service; Coalition on Human Needs; Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund; Ecumenical Advocacy Days; The Episcopal Church; First Focus Campaign for Children; Food Research & Action Center; Franciscan Action Network; Friends Committee on National Legislation; Health Care Voices; Interfaith Power and Light; Islamic Relief USA; Justice in Aging; MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger; National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities; National Consumer Law Center; National Council of Churches; National Council of Jewish Women; National Disability Rights Network (NDRN); National Low Income Housing Coalition; National Women’s Law Center; NETWORK Lobby; Patriotic Millionaires; Pax Christi USA; Presbyterian Church USA, Washington Office of Public Witness; Prosperity Now; Public Advocacy for Kids (PAK); Public Citizen; Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism; RESULTS; Social Security Works; Sojourners; The AIDS Institute; Unitarian Universalists for Social Justice; United Church of Christ; The United Methodist Church - General Board of Church and Society.
To learn more, please visit www.fcnl.org.