Catholic Charities USA President Rev. Larry Snyder Made the Following Statement Today Regarding the Deal Reached to Raise the Nation's Debt Ceiling

Aug 04, 2011, 12:29 ET from Catholic Charities USA

ALEXANDRIA, Va., Aug. 4, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- "Catholic Charities USA is pleased that our nation's policymakers have averted the likely economic disaster that would have resulted from default, however, it is clear that the deal they have reached to raise the nation's debt ceiling puts tremendous pressure on critical domestic discretionary spending.  While a national economic crisis has been avoided, the mandated cuts to domestic programs have the potential to cause an even greater economic crisis for the nation's most vulnerable citizens.

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"We remain deeply concerned that with an approach that focuses solely on cutting spending, efforts to balance the nation's budget will continue to result in dramatic negative impact on the nearly 48 million Americans living in poverty, neglecting the moral imperative to adequately address the needs of those most vulnerable among us.

"In the short term effort to achieve the cuts agreed to in the debt ceiling debate, we urgently call for our nation's policymakers to achieve these cuts by creating and maximizing bureaucratic efficiency, rather than by simply sacrificing vital services on the ground, the impact of which would be even greater strain on families who are already struggling in the nascent economic recovery.

"However, we cannot continue to look for short term solutions to long term challenges.  To efficiently, effectively and sustainably meet the needs of the tens of millions of Americans living in need, our nation's policymakers must join us in an effort to identify 21st century solutions to 21st century poverty.  Until that conversation takes place, and government takes the steps necessary to reform its service delivery systems, we will continue to stand firmly against any initiative that threatens the wellbeing of the 47.8 million Americans who are struggling in poverty, and the 14.1 million who are unemployed."

Catholic Charities USA's members provide help and create hope for more than 9 million people a year regardless of religious, social, or economic backgrounds. For almost 300 years, Catholic Charities agencies have worked to reduce poverty by providing a myriad of vital services in their communities, ranging from health care and job training to food and housing. In 2010, Catholic Charities USA celebrated its centennial anniversary.

SOURCE Catholic Charities USA