The chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development commends Congressman Paul Ryan and Senator Patty Murray for embracing civil dialogue and setting aside partisanship in crafting a modest replacement to sequestration. The House of Representatives recently approved the measure, and the Senate is expected to take up the measure next week.
“Millions of working families across the country and around the world struggle to survive and achieve stability. While this agreement is an important first step to accomplishing that, more needs to be done,” said Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami. “Congress and the Administration still face serious and consequential decisions regarding appropriations for fiscal year 2014.”
“I continue to urge wise bipartisan leadership in targeting this limited sequestration relief by drawing a circle of protection around programs that protect poor and vulnerable people at home and abroad, advance the common good, and promote human life and dignity. Targeted properly, this funding can also provide some certainty to charitable and social service organizations planning their budgets, and hopefully create more jobs with decent wages.”
The bishops have also called on Congress to pass a negotiated Farm Bill package that would, combined with a budget agreement, allow Congress to address issues such as comprehensive immigration reform, poverty and the lack of decent work.
Archbishop Wenski added, “The recent welcome decline in unemployment levels hides the reality that millions of long-term unemployed workers continue to suffer from an economy that does not produce enough decent work. For most of these families, jobless benefits are the only source of support. I am disappointed that vital unemployment support for this population was not extended, and I hope Congress will do the just and decent thing by protecting these jobless workers as they search for new work.”