A group of Catholic Sisters drove their presidential campaign-style bus to the Wisconsin office of House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R) on Wednesday to decry proposed budget cuts they say will hurt struggling families.
The nuns are part of the National Catholic Social Justice Lobby (NETWORK), which recently came under criticism from the Catholic hierarchy for spending too much time working for social justice instead of fighting social issues like abortion.
“When we got named, there was like an explosion of support,” Simone Campbell told Al Jazeera English. “So when we had all of this opportunity, all of this exposure, all of this attention — nuns aren’t used to having a lot of attention on themselves — so, it was like, oh my gosh, we need to use this for the sake of people at the margin.”
The nuns are not the only Catholic group to have criticized Ryan’s budget. Referencing Matthew 25, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops have claimed that budget cuts in Ryan’s budget plan are “unjustified and wrong.” But Ryan has insisted that his budget plan is consistent with his Catholic faith, claiming he was trying to prevent “big government” from “crowd[ing] out civic society.”
The proposed budget is meant to prevent a 10 percent cut in defense spending and 8 percent cut in non-defense discretionary spending from taking effect. The automatic cuts were part of the debt ceiling deal signed into law last year, and will take effect in 2013 unless Congress passes a budget that provides $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction measures.
Ryan’s plan would cut programs for low- and moderate-income people while allowing defense funding to remain well above the automatic 10 percent cut, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
Watch video, courtesy of Al Jazeera English, below: