(Christian Churches Together is one of the organizations/communions participating in the Circle of Protection.)
The appeal says in part:
We urge members of Congress to join us in maintaining a “circle of protection” around programs of assistance to people in poverty. We are bold enough to imagine news stories about Members of Congress from both parties joining together to support the urgent needs of low- income Americans and life-saving assistance to hungry and poor people around the world— because of the religious faith of those political leaders.
This fall, Congress is making decisions that have far reaching consequences for people living in poverty and working families struggling to make ends meet. We call on Congress to:
1. Protect funding for anti-poverty programs in appropriations and budget resolutions.
- Provide emergency assistance for those affected by natural disasters, giving priority to the needs of the low-income and vulnerable populations. Aid should not be funded by cutting ongoing programs that help low-income Americans around the country. We are especially concerned by the severity of the devastation in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
- Approve a bipartisan appropriations agreement that ends or eases sequester spending caps. Military spending should not be increased at the expense of programs that serve people struggling with poverty, those who ought to be given priority in budget choices.
- Maintain assistance to low-income people at or above current levels in spending bills.
- Help to maintain the growing economy and job market by avoiding brinksmanship in approving appropriations and increasing the debt ceiling.
- Protect the health and well-being of millions of our fellow Americans—especially the weakest, the oldest, and children most at risk by not making deep cuts and harmful structural changes in Medicaid. We value decision-making that is close to the people, but we believe that turning Medicaid into a block grant or imposing per capita caps would reduce assistance to needy people over time. We ask our
leaders to consider options that do not require our poorest neighbors to bear most of the weight of budget and health care cuts.
f. Continue investing in life-saving international assistance to the world’s poorest people, both as an expression of our national values and in recognition of how this contributes to a more peaceful, prosperous, and secure world.
2. Protect and support low-income families in any tax legislation.
- We oppose cutting low-income programs to pay for tax cuts that disproportionately benefit the wealthy.
- Tax reform must be undertaken in such a way as to strengthen and empower low- and moderate-income families and small businesses.
Read the full statement: Here