Five Catholic prelates were among 106 faith leaders who shared their support for US spending on international humanitarian aid in a letter to congressional leaders.
Dated 16th March, the letter cited the importance of maintaining support for the humanitarian and development programs through the Department of State ‘that enable countless people to pull themselves out of poverty and live life with dignity’.
The letter was sent hours after the White House released a simplified version of its fiscal year 2018 budget that proposed deep cuts in federal spending on discretionary programs in the departments of State, Health and Human Services, and Housing and Urban Development as well as in the Environmental Protection Agency.
Called the ‘skinny budget’, the president’s proposal includes a $54 billion (approx. £43.7 billion) increase in discretionary spending for the military with corresponding cuts in discretionary spending on nonmilitary programs.
The budget proposes a 28 per cent cut in the programs addressed in the religious leaders’ letter.
Smaller increases were included for homeland security – particularly $2.6 billion (approx. £2.1 billion) for building the border wall between the US and Mexico and implementing border security technology – and $1.4 billion (approx. £1.1 billion) for school choice alternatives.
Picture: President Donald Trump is applauded by Vice President Mike Pence and US House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., while delivering his first address to a joint session of Congress in Washington on 28th February. (CNS photo/Jim Lo Scalzo pool via Reuters).