The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is criticizing the House Republican budget for cutting various assistance programs for the poor, The Hill reported today. A letter to the House Agriculture Committee blasts the budget for cutting funding for food stamps and other programs that “serve poor and vulnerable people.” “Cuts to nutrition programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) will hurt hungry children, poor families, vulnerable seniors and workers who cannot find employment,” the letter said. “These cuts are unjustified and wrong.” House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI), who is Catholic, used the Church’s teaching to justify his budget last week despite the fact that it seems to ignore much of that teaching.
Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), who is also Catholic, responded to the Bishops at a news conference today, the Huffington Post reports. “I want them to take a bigger look,” Boehner said. “And the bigger look is, if we don’t make decisions, these programs won’t exist, and then they’ll really have something to worry about. … What’s more of a concern to me is the fact that if we don’t begin to make some decisions about getting our fiscal house in order, there won’t be a safety net.”