A group from the House Speaker John Boehner’s home state of Ohio sent him a letter today, as the debt crisis continued.
As one of the most powerful Catholics in Congress, you are now faced with a monumental choice. You can heed the consistent moral calls from Catholic leaders who have urged lawmakers to decrease our debt fairly and protect the most vulnerable, or you can yield to growing political pressure from Tea Party Republicans willing to accept catastrophic default for the first time in our nation’s history.
This is a stark choice between responsible leadership that serves the common good and narrow ideology that makes tax cuts for the wealthy our most sacred national priority. As Ohio Catholics, we urge you to reject the reckless path urged by many Tea Party leaders in Congress. Now is the time to seek a compromise that reflects the Catholic values of solidarity with the most vulnerable and prudential judgment.
Default would have unacceptable consequences. Independent experts have warned that our nation’s credit rating will be downgraded. Social Security benefits, active-duty military pay, and Medicare and Medicaid payments would be jeopardized. Nutrition assistance for low-income and pregnant women is also at risk. We must do everything possible to avoid these profound moral and political failures.We stand with our Catholic bishops, Christian clergy and other religious leaders who have endorsed the Circle of Protection – a pledge to defend the most vulnerable as our elected leaders make fiscal choices that will impact millions of families. Speaker Boehner, we urge you to honor the values of the Catholic Church you love and show the courage to do what is right as you face extraordinary political pressure. We pray for you and all Members of Congress at this time of national uncertainty.
Check the link to see who signed it.
Meantime, elsewhere on Capitol Hill, several religious leaders were arrested today in a budget protest. Read more.