On March 29, 2012, the House of Representatives passed the budget proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan, a Catholic who seems to have missed the tenets of Catholic Social Teaching in his education. In the big picture, this budget would unravel the social safety net, increase military spending and provide even greater tax breaks for the wealthiest individuals and corporations in this nation. On Tuesday, April 10, in an interview for the Christian Broadcasting Network, Ryan tried to make the case that his budget is based on Catholic Social Teaching. It is laudable that the Catholic Bishops’ Conference is among those making strong statements contradicting this contention.
The next move by House leadership has begun: presenting appropriations bills and a Ways and Means Committee bill putting flesh on his budget. On Wednesday, April 18, the following actions were taken in the House:
The Ways and Means Committee on 4.18.12, marked up a bill which, if passed, would:
- permanently repeal the Social Services Block Grant (currently $1.7 billion a year).
- eliminate millions of immigrant children of workers in the United States from receiving assistance through the Child Tax Credit,
The House Agriculture Committee voted, April 18, to cut the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) by $33 billion.
We hope that Representative Ryan, will consider the impact of the proposals he is making, in light of the Gospels and of documents such as ECONOMIC JUSTICE FOR ALL: Pastoral Letter on Catholic Social Teaching and the U.S. Economy, by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, 1986. Also, attend to the letters sent to the House of Representatives this month by the Conference of Catholic Bishops, concerning this current House Budget and related actions.