Ask Congress to protect the poor from the ‘fiscal cliff’


By Tom Chapman

Tom Chapman

As negotiations in Washington continue regarding the “fiscal cliff,” I wanted to pass along two action alerts from the U.S. Con­ference of Catholic Bishops and Cath­olic Relief Services.
Please tell your senators and representative that programs serving working poor families must be protected from the “fiscal cliff.” In discussing the various proposals, programs that help families escape poverty and live in dignity should be strengthened. To find the alert, go to catholicbishops.
Current Situation and Background: Congres­sion­­al leaders and Presi­dent Barack Obama continue to discuss a budget package to avoid the “fiscal cliff” at the end of the year by replacing automatic tax increases as well as across the board spending cuts put in place last year. They are dealing with big numbers and important questions; however, the record number of people living in poverty, and the millions more looking for decent work, should receive priority consideration.
Last week, Bishop Stephen Blaire, chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, and Bishop Richard Pates, chairman of the Committee on International Justice and Peace, wrote to Congress calling for its members to avoid the “fiscal cliff” with a bipartisan and balanced agreement that raises adequate revenue and protects programs that serve families living in poverty. The letter explains our Church’s budget advocacy in light of Catholic teaching on taxation and the economy.

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