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Secretary expresses dismay
Washington, December 19, 2005 – The general secretary of the National Council of Churches USA has expressed disappointment and dismay about the passage in the U.S. House of Representatives of the 2006 federal budget.
The Rev. Dr. Bob Edgar said the budget “is immoral and hurts those who it should be helping.”
The House version of the budget cuts almost $40 billion over five years in legislation described by church leaders and other persons of faith as victimizing medical and education programs for the poor.
“Rather than being fiscally responsible, members of the House have been morally reprehensible by cutting programs that help those most in need while giving tax cuts to the wealthiest among us,” Edgar said.
Edgar’s full statement follows:
We are disappointed and dismayed that the House of Representatives voted to pass the 2006 fiscal year budget—a budget that is immoral and hurts those who it should be helping. As members of the House of Representatives go home to celebrate the holidays with their families, they do so having done a great disservice to the millions of families they are supposed to serve. Rather than being fiscally responsible, members of the House have been morally reprehensible by cutting programs that help those most in need while giving tax cuts to the wealthiest among us. Having been born into poverty, I can only imagine that Jesus would be horrified by this budget.
The story of Jesus’ birth recounts the treasured gifts that the wise men brought to Mary and Joseph—gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Today, by passing this abysmal budget, the House has delivered hunger, hardship and suffering to millions of American families. The Book of James addresses this issue of favoring the rich over the poor: “But you have dishonored the poor…You do well if you really fulfill the royal law according to the scripture, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ But if you show partiality (to the rich), you commit sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors.” (James 2:6a; 8-9)
We will continue to pray that the Senate will respond differently—that they will have the courage to make a difference in the lives of children, the elderly, veterans, and low-income families by voting against this budget that will undoubtedly have a devastating impact on their lives.
Rev. Dr. Bob Edgar
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