Interfaith Leaders Respond to Hearing on Child Poverty in House Government Oversight Committee

Ness Perry
February 4, 2020

Tomorrow, Sr. Simone Campbell, SSS will speak before the House Committee on Oversight and Reform alongside Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Mr. Indi Dutta Gupta, and Ms. Amy Jo Hutchinson. The hearing, titled, “A Threat to America’s Children? The Trump Administration’s Proposed Changes to the Poverty Line Calculation” will be address the effects of policies that hurt children in our nation. Watch the livestream of the hearing February 5, 2020 at 10:00 AM Eastern here.

Interfaith leaders gave a response to the proposed changes that widely impact children living in poverty:

“Pope Francis said that the measure of society can be found in the way it treats those most in need. Children living in poverty are the most vulnerable and the least equipped to advocate for their own well being. The OMB’s proposal to change the poverty measure ignores the needs of these children, especially in rural communities. Chained-CPI will undercount poverty, remove life-saving benefits, and take food off the tables of our neighbors. This is not the faithful way forward.”
Sr. Simone Campbell, SSS, Executive Director, NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice

“The regulatory changes proposed by the administration imperil the already frayed safety net for children living in poverty.  In the spirit of St. Francis, we call on the House of Representatives to intervene on behalf of this vulnerable population, America’s impoverished children.”
Stephen Schneck, Executive Director, Franciscan Action Network

“Quakers strive to practice equity and justice, and we support policies that promote these values. These proposed rules and regulatory changes do neither; rather, they undermine fundamental values and expose millions of children across the country to unnecessary hardship. These rules would eliminate access to free school lunches, expose young children to toxic chemicals, and perpetuate the cycle of poverty in these vulnerable lives. Instituting harmful regulations like these highlights this Administration’s failure to help those who need assistance the most – low-income families and children. The federal government has a moral obligation to help those who are in need. We stand firmly opposed to government actions that lack compassion and common sense. We support oversight efforts that will hold the Administration accountable for its actions that threaten the health and well-being of children across the country.”
Diane Randall, Executive Director, Friends Committee on National Legislation

“This Administration continues to deny the very real needs of low-income children and families who struggle with hunger. As a Jewish organization, grounding our work in Jewish values and ideals is not a mere slogan; it is the vital prism through which we understand what it means to be a nation that looks after its most vulnerable, particularly its children. We applaud Chairwoman Maloney and the House Oversight Committee for holding these hearings, which underscore the callous and cruel scheming by the Trump Administration to weaken vital safety net programs, including making it more difficult for nearly one million children to access food at school. As a nation, we are better than this. It is our responsibility to ensure that we protect and support our children so that they can grow and thrive.”
Abby J. Leibman, President & CEO, MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger

“We are called by our faith to care for the vulnerable and challenged by our national values to promote the welfare of our children. Catholic sisters have been serving the children of this country for almost 300 years. We know from our own experience that if communities are to thrive, all children and families in those communities must have access to the care and services they need and to which they are entitled.

We find this administration’s continued attempts to dismantle programs that support children and families deeply troubling.  We thank the House Government Oversight Committee for examining the systematic manner in which various agencies of the executive branch have sought to use their rule making authority to weaken programs and dismantle regulations designed to safeguard this country’s most precious resource, our children.”
Ann Scholz, SSND, Associate Director for Social Mission, Leadership Conference of Women Religious

Caring for the most vulnerable – especially the millions of children suffering from poverty and hunger every day in the United States – should be a priority for all of us, including our government. But rather than strengthening the programs that help our most vulnerable children, the current administration is threatening their health and well-being through budget cuts and damaging regulatory changes. For children to thrive, they need adequate housing, nutritious meals, and safe drinking water. We applaud the House Oversight Committee for prioritizing the needs of our children and holding the administration accountable.”
Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner, Director, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism

To read more about the harmful effects of the Trump administration’s proposal to redefine the poverty line, visit our blog, “Trump Administration Seeks to Re-Define the Poverty Line.”