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Edgar expresses 'deep forebodings'
about next round of U.S. budget cuts


New York, February 3, 2006 – As if the razor-thin vote in the House to cut $39 billion in programs for the poor wasn’t bad enough, the General Secretary of the National Council of Churches USA has expressed “deep forebodings” about the next round of budget cuts.

 

President Bush is expected to release his 2007 budget on Monday, February 6, and the White House has already hinted the President will call for cuts in farm subsidies, food stamps, Medicare and Medicaid.

 

“It’s as if the President wasn’t listening to his own State of the Union Message,” said the Rev. Dr. Bob Edgar. “He acknowledged that many U.S. citizens ‘have felt excluded by the promise of our country,’ and he promised to ‘work for the day when all Americans are protected by justice, equal in hope, and rich in opportunity.’”

 

Edgar said the words “rang hollow” in light of cuts for benefits programs in the 2006 budget, and the prospect of deeper cuts in 2007.

 

“It was encouraging that more members of the House – Republicans and Democrats – voted against these cuts this week after voting for them in December,” Edgar said.  “I hope that’s an indication that an ancient message from Scripture is getting through to them: those who remove hope and opportunity from the poor are acting in opposition to God’s law.”

 

Contact NCC News, Philip E. Jenks, 212-870-2252; or Leslie Tune, 202-544-2350


 

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