.- The President of the US Bishops Conference, Bishop William S. Skylstad called on the House to reject the recently proposed budget reconciliation bill, saying it fails to “meet the needs of the most vulnerable among us.”
“We urge you to reject the conference agreement and work for policies that put poor children and families first,” Bishop Skylstad said.
“I wrote to you expressing serious concerns about provisions in the budget reconciliation bill. The proposed changes in Medicaid, child support enforcement funding, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), and agriculture conservation programs, in particular, could have a negative impact upon the most vulnerable in our nation,” wrote Bishop Skylstad.
"Our Bishops’ Conference is deeply disappointed that the final budget reconciliation conference agreement coming once again before the House of Representatives includes provisions in these areas which we believe could prove harmful to many low-income children, families, elderly and people with disabilities who are least able to provide for themselves. Because of these concerns, we ask you to oppose the budget reconciliation conference agreement."
Though Bishop Skylstad recognized the bill also includes positive elements, such as additional funding for victims of Hurricane Katrina and a program to promote marriage and healthy families. He believes that, overall, the impact of this bill will be to fail to meet the needs of the most vulnerable among us.
"An essential priority of government is to provide for the general welfare of its people, especially “the least among us.”, he concluded.