Written by Connie Larkman
Aimed at increasing awareness in opposition to a budget proposal they see as harmful to low-income families, a group of Catholic nuns ended a nine-state bus tour Monday with a rally and prayer service on Capitol Hill.
The United Church of Christ's Sandy Sorenson, director of the Justice and Witness Ministries Washington, D.C. office, was in the welcome party which met the Nuns on the Bus at their final stop.
The nuns said on their website that the legislation, proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) would "kick [eight] million people off food stamps and 30 million off health care" and further tax 18 million low-income families.
Sorenson said a "growing climate of fear, mistrust and partisan division is eroding our nation's sense of the common good, and we are seeing that reflected in the current debate about the federal budget."
"If Congress does not act before the end of the year, across-the-board budget cuts will devastate the social safety net programs that are helping families to keep their heads above water in these difficult economic times," Sorenson said in a statement. "The Roman Catholic sisters who were part of the Nuns on a Bus tour helped to remind us of the very real human cost of those budget cuts. They are more than statistics. They are real people with real stories."
The two-week tour started June 17 in Des Moines, Iowa, and passed through Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia before arriving at the nation's Capital on Monday.
The nuns said the budget proposal would increase taxes on lower-income families while reducing taxes for high-income families and corporations.
See Congressional messages to the nuns.