Faith Leaders and Lawmaker Criticize House GOP Budget on Press Call
Half-in-Ten, Sojourners, and Faith in Public Life hosted a telephone press briefing this morning with faith leaders and Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY) to highlight the faith community’s opposition to Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) immoral, irresponsible “Path to Prosperity” budget plan that prioritizes tax cuts for the wealthy over the basic human needs of the hungry and most vulnerable Americans.
Fr. Thomas Kelly, a retired Catholic Priest and constituent of Rep. Paul Ryan who spoke out against last year’s draconian budget proposal, said “…the GOP budget violates our fundamental religious violates that teaches to care for one another and decimates safety-net programs like foods stamps and unemployment insurance, and those are critical investments that keep millions out of poverty every year.”
Rep. Lowey added that the proposed budget “…preserves unnecessary tax breaks for millionaires, billionaires and large corporations at the expense of domestic investments and help for vulnerable individuals.” She strongly encouraged GOP leaders to start over “Republican leadership to go back to the drawing board” and devise a more just budget that serves the needs of all people, not just the wealthiest Americans.
Half-in-Ten Director Melissa Boteach also highlighted the Ryan budget’s fiscal inadequacy, saying it produces a “deficit at the end of ten years, because rather than a deficit reduction plan, this is a budget that has low- and middle-income families financing enormous tax giveaways to the wealthiest Americans through cuts to healthcare, nutrition assistance, and investments to create jobs and grow the middle-class.”
Lisa Sharon Harper, Director of Mobilizing for Sojourners, said Rep. Paul Ryan “Has a religion problem, and it’s a big one. The Christian tradition and most other religious traditions for that matter call for people of faith to stand up and defend the poor and vulnerable…Congressman Ryan’s budget is the opposite. It slashes effective programs for low-income people and increases their tax burden at the same time it cuts taxes further for the wealthy and increases military spending without justification. “ As Harper unapologetically stated, the Ryan plan is not an act of bravery (as some on the right have claimed) but merely an act of “moral cowardice”.
A full recording of this morning’s call is available here.