NETWORK Letter to President Biden on the Debt Ceiling
Mary J. Novak, Executive Director
May 15, 2023
The Honorable Joseph Biden
President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20500
Dear President Biden:
On behalf of NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice and our 100,000 justice seekers around the country, I write to commend you for your strong stance in budget discussions against cuts to programs that children, older Americans, veterans, and people struggling to afford their basic needs from harmful cuts. Your commitment to protecting policies that decrease poverty and sustain health care and food assistance for low-income Americans is greatly appreciated and urgently necessary.
Our shared Catholic faith calls us to put those struggling on the margins of society at the center of our concern. As you have noted throughout your Administration, for far too long, the wealthy and well-connected have used their power to benefit themselves, leaving our communities and families vulnerable. Your Administration has changed this trajectory by investing in building our communities anew and asking the wealthy to contribute their fair share to support the common good. This is Catholic social justice in word and in deed.
Nearly two decades of Republican leadership have added trillions of dollars to the national debt through the budget-busting Bush and Trump tax cuts that overwhelmingly benefited the rich and major corporations. Now, those same leaders are using that debt ceiling as an excuse to hold the nation, hostage, by threatening a catastrophic default unless your Administration agrees to cuts to health care, food assistance, resources for cracking down on wealthy tax cheats, and more.
Your Administration is fighting against those who have foisted one of the biggest lies on the American people – that as rich people get richer, we all benefit. This well-funded effort is attacking a cornerstone principle of your agenda, one that calls for robust federal investment in people and community while asking the wealthy to pay their fair share of taxes.
Your Administration’s policies have resulted in historic gains in employment for marginalized communities, investment in infrastructure, and stemmed economic collapse during the COVID pandemic. This cornerstone is what House Republican leaders reject and what this debate is really about.
We urge you to hold strong on your promise to protect programs like MEDICAID, SNAP and TANF from cuts or new time limits. Your Administration has fought too hard to create a better today for our children, our veterans, and our seniors to allow millions to go hungry, to lose healthcare, or to lose income support.
As Catholics, we believe that those who have the most must contribute to the common good. It is immoral for our national debt to be shouldered by children, veterans, seniors, and those struggling to put food on the table and a roof overhead.
Our prayer is for your continued commitment to justice.
Mary J. Novak