Budget a Moral Bust?

House Republicans passed a 2013 budget reconciliation package on May 10 that included cuts in social services despite an appeal on May 8 from the U.S. bishops. In a letter to Congress, Bishop Stephen E. Blaire of Stockton, Calif., right, chair of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, wrote that “deficit reduction and fiscal responsibility efforts must protect and not undermine the needs of poor and vulnerable people.” He said the proposed cuts “fail this basic moral test.” Bishop Blaire singled out an “unfair” proposal to change the Child Tax Credit to exclude children of immigrant families, “the large majority of whom are American citizens”; cuts to the nutrition assistance, which would affect all poor families and be “a direct threat to their human dignity”; and the cutting of the Social Services Block Grant, “an important source of funding for programs throughout the country” that serve “the homeless, the elderly, people with disabilities, children living in poverty and abuse victims.”

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