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Dewane: Budget 'moral document'; House bill puts poor in 'real jeopardy'


  • Rep. Diane Black, R-Tenn., announces the 2018 House budget blueprint during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington July 18. (CNS photoAaron P. Bernstein, Reuters)
  • Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Fla., speaks June 15 during the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' annual spring assembly in Indianapolis. (CNS photo/Sean Gallagher, The Criterion)

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WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The U.S. House budget resolution "will place millions of poor and vulnerable people in real jeopardy" because it reduces deficits "through cuts for human needs" and by trying to slash taxes at the same time, said the chairman of the U.S. bishops' domestic policy committee.

"A nation's budget is a moral document," said Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development. "Congress should choose a better path, one that honors those struggling in our country."

Bishop Dewane's July 20 statement was issued in response to the budget resolution that was voted out of the House Budget Committee along party lines July 19.

The nonbinding Republican measure is a 10-year budget blueprint that calls for $621.5 billion in national defense spending, provides for $511 billion in nondefense spending and ties cuts to a major overhaul of the U.S. tax code.

It makes at least $203 billion in cuts over a decade in Medicaid, food stamps, tax credits for the working poor and other programs that help low-income Americans. The bill also would change Medicare into a type of voucher program for future retirees.

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