US bishops oppose budget cuts to poverty assistance
Washington D.C., Apr 20, 2012 / 02:04 am (CNA).- The U.S. bishops voiced concerns that proposed budget cuts for the 2013 fiscal year could adversely impact the most vulnerable members of society.
In an April 16 letter, Bishop Stephen E. Blaire of Stockton, who chairs the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, urged leaders of the House Agriculture Committee to resist “unacceptable cuts to hunger and nutrition programs.”
He said that reductions to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, the modern federal food stamp program, “are unjustified and wrong.”
The bishop argued that the program “helps feed millions of households,” most of which include a child, senior or disabled individual.
In a time of “economic turmoil and growing poverty,” Congress should not cut an “effective and efficient anti-hunger program that helps people live in dignity,” he said.
“If savings need to be achieved, cuts to agricultural subsidies and direct payments should be considered before cutting anti-hunger programs that help feed poor and vulnerable people.”
The letter was sent several weeks after the U.S. House of Representatives passed a $3.5 trillion budget resolution crafted by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.).
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