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Letter to President George W. Bush from Religious Leaders
Urging Passage of the Child Tax Credit Benefits Legislation

June 19, 2003

President George W. Bush
The White House
Washington, D.C. 20050

Dear Mr. President:

You have said, "…there's nothing more powerful than an individual that says to a child in need, somebody cares for you; somebody loves you." In fact, this is what our faith teaches us. Mr. President, today we need your help to say this to our children.

The National Council of Churches urges you to call on the House leadership to restore the child tax credit benefits that were dropped from the final tax bill. You have called faith-based groups "soldiers in the armies of compassion." As faith leaders we implore you to lead us in the fight for the children of low-income families by interceding on their behalf. Without your personal intervention, this bill will surely die in Congress.

Unfortunately, the tax bill you signed into law last month excluded a provision to provide much-needed tax relief to the working families of almost 12 million children. As a result, the families of one out of every six children under the age of 17-including more than one million children of military personnel-will not receive the tax relief they need this summer.

The faith community was encouraged by the Senate’s quick response to pass bipartisan legislation, by a 94 to 2 margin, to restore the child tax credit benefits that were dropped from the final tax bill; however, we have grave concerns now. We pray that you will demonstrate America’s concern for every child by urging the House to accept the Senate version of the bill without further delay.

Your leadership is crucial at such a time as this. Without it millions of low-income families will be denied the relief they need. Please insist that Congress act now!


Rev. Bob Edgar, General Secretary
National Council of Churches

Ms. Elenie K. Huszagh, Esq., President
National Council of Churches

The Rev. Dr. Clifton Kirkpatrick, Stated Clerk
Presbyterian Church (USA)

Thomas Jeavons, General Secretary
Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends

The Rev. A. Roy Medley, General Secretary
American Baptist Churches in the USA

The Rev. Ronald Brugler, President
The Swedenborgian Church

The Rt. Rev. C. Christopher Epting, Deputy for Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations
The Episcopal Church

The Rev. Mark S. Hanson, Presiding Bishop
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Bishop Melvin G. Talbert, Ecumenical Officer
Council of Bishops, The United Methodist Church

The Rev. Dr. Stan Hastey, Executive Director
Alliance of Baptists

The Rev. David L. Wickmann, President
The Moravian Church, Northern Province

Dr. Audrey A. Miller
United Church of Christ

The Rev. Michael E. Livingston, Executive Director
International Council of Community Churches


See also: Christian Leaders Continue to Pressure President to Intervene on Child Tax Credit Benefit

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