National Catholic Reporter

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Paul Ryan

Catholic advocates push Congress for a budget that protects poor people

Catholic advocates are pressing Congress to make the needs of poor and vulnerable people a priority as legislators hammer out a federal spending plan for 2016.

The advocates told Catholic News Service they want to prevent trillions of dollars in social services spending from disappearing over the next decade as Congress seeks to balance the federal budget and reduce the nation's growing debt.

Their actions unfolded in recent weeks as they learned of Republican plans to remake the way social services such as Medicaid and food stamps are funded.

Food stamps feeds one in five US children

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Food stamps feed one in five children in the United States, and the Republicans, led by Catholic Republican Congressman and former vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan, his former presidential running mate, Mitt Romney, and Catholic Republican House Speaker John Boehner want to decimate the food stamps program with immoral and inhumane budget cuts. Time will tell if Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, Rick Santorum and Marco Rubio support such hard-hearted class warfare policies. 

Time.com reports:

Despite year-end budget deal, future spending trends less certain

The $1.1 trillion federal spending bill approved by Congress avoided a repeat of last year's government shutdown and largely kept in place social services spending, especially programs benefiting low-income families.

Beyond the current fiscal year that ends Sept. 30, the future is less certain, however, as Republican victories in the November elections gave the party control of both chambers on Capitol Hill. With the new leaders come new plans on limiting federal spending and reducing the country's $17.6-trillion debt.

Why private donations can't completely finance America's poor

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Charles Kenny at Businessweek has written an important essay that debunks Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan's and his fellow Republicans' notion that private charity, especially churches, need to bear the brunt of financing the care of the poor. Like Ryan's budget, the math doesn't add up. Private charity cannot supplant federal and state programs that create the safety net for the poor. It's that simple.

Paul Ryan's recent discovery of poverty has eyes rolling

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House Republican Congressman Paul Ryan, a Catholic, has recently discovered poverty and has vowed to do something about it. He reintroduced a couple of modest ideas that might help the poor. Some progressive Catholics did their best to applaud Ryan's nascent initiatives. Others just rolled our eyes at the hollowness and political expediency of Ryan's actions.

Is an Obama legacy possible?

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The final two-plus years of the Obama presidency look to be a torturous obstacle course with little or nothing to be accomplished and repeated attempts to roll back those legislative pieces that are already in place. The 2014 election appears bleak for Democrats, who may even lose control of the Senate. The resulting Congress is almost certain to be even more recalcitrant in working with President Barack Obama than the current one.

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In This Issue

August 28-September 10, 2015

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