Economy

VIDEO: Catholic Nuns Finish Bus Tour By Blasting ‘Immoral’ House GOP Budget At D.C. Rally

Sr. Diane Donoghue speaks at the Nuns on the Bus rally in Washington DC today

The Catholic nuns who began the “Nuns on the Bus” tour across the United States to protest cuts contained in the House Republican budget ended that tour today, blasting the GOP budget as “immoral” across from the U.S. Capitol. With more than a hundred supporters waiting outside the United Methodist center near the Capitol, the nuns criticized Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), the author of the budget, for using Catholic social teaching to justify its cuts.

“Faced with long-term debt problems, they say we must immediately slash protections for the poor, even as they fight tooth and nail for trillions of dollars in tax cuts for the wealthy and explode the debt at the same time,” Sister Simone Campbell said. “And then they line the pockets of the wealthiest one percent in our nation. This is wrong. And they’re doing it under the guise of fiscal austerity.”

“I’m not going to stand here and say the Ryan budget is moral. It’s immoral!” Sister Diane Donoghue added. “That’s all there is to it. And we stand with our bishops when we say that. It is immoral.” Watch it:

The nuns visited 10 Congressional offices, including Ryan’s, in nine different states during the bus tour. At each stop, they said they heard stories from vulnerable people whose lives would change for the worse if the GOP budget became law.

The nuns received widespread support; 75 members of Congress recently thanked them for embarking on the tour. As ThinkProgress has noted, the Republican budget finds 62 percent of its spending cuts from programs that benefit the poor and would kick millions of Americans off of food stamps and other programs.

“The Ryan budget would slash food stamps, it would slash Medicaid, it would slash a lot of domestic programs that benefit low-income people, affordable housing programs that [the Dept. of Housing and Urban Development] does,” Sister Richelle Friedman said. “So this is just really critical.”

Though Ryan attempted to justify the budget with Catholic social teaching, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops circulated letters urging members of Congress to vote against it, calling its cuts to safety net programs “unjustified and wrong.” Other religious leaders also condemned it.

Steven Perlberg contributed to this report.