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Rep. Paul Ryan dismisses Catholic bishops criticism of budget plan

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House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) on Thursday dismissed criticism from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), falsely claiming the group did not represent all Catholic bishops.

Referencing Matthew 25, the USCCB called on Congress to put the poor first in budget priorities and rethink cuts to programs that benefited the least among us.

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“These are not all the Catholic bishops, and we just respectfully disagree,” he said on Fox News after being questioned about the bishops criticism of his budget plan.

The USCCB later responded to Ryan’s comment, informing The Hill that they represented “all of the U.S. bishops on key issues at the national level.”

Ryan has said that his Catholic faith helped shape his budget plan. But Catholics have questioned his admiration for the libertarian novelist Ayn Rand, who advocated the “virtue of selfishness” and called Christianity the “the best kindergarten of communism possible.”

Ryan’s House-approved budget for 2013-2022 would cut the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which provides food stamps, by $133.5 billion over the next decade. Approximately 2 million individuals would be cut off from the program entirely, according to the Center of Budget and Policy Priorities. Another 44 million would see their benefits cut.

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In a letter to House Committee on Agriculture members, Bishop Stephen Blaire, Chairman of the USCCB Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, described the proposed cuts to the program as “unjustified and wrong.”

“If savings need to be achieved, cuts to agricultural subsidies and direct payments should be considered before cutting anti-hunger programs that help feed poor and vulnerable people,” he continued. “Given current high commodity prices and federal budget constraints, subsidies and direct payments can be reduced and targeted to small and moderate-sized farms.”

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), who is also Catholic, has dismissed the bishops’ criticism as well.

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While Republicans sided with the USCCB during the debate over contraceptive mandates for health insurers, they have ignored the bishops call to repeal Alabama’s harsh Republican-backed immigration law.

“If enforced, Alabama’s anti-immigration law will make it a crime to follow God’s command to be Good Samaritans,” the bishops said in a lawsuit. “[T]he anti-immigration law runs counter to the Christian spirit of compassion. The law is unconstitutional and a direct affront to the recognized and accepted word of God.”

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… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Here’s why Jeffrey Epstein surrounded himself with scientists

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The list of confidants and friends who were fêted by the late financier and alleged sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein included a number of prominent scientists. Among the eye-popping names that appeared on the list: the late cosmologist Stephen Hawking, Nobel-winning physicist Murray Gell-Mann, evolutionary biologist Stephen Jay Gould, physicist Frank Wilczek, neurologist Oliver Sacks, and geneticist George M. Church.

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Trump just humiliated his own son with an absurd tweet about Greenland

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President Donald Trump confirmed multiple reports this weekend when he said that he does, indeed, hope to buy Greenland and make it part of the United States.

Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen has said that the country, which is part of the Kingdom of Denmark, is “not for sale”: “Greenland belongs to Greenland.” Which should be the end of the story. Unfortunately, it’s not.

On Monday, Trump sent the following tweet, apparently trying to quell suspicions that the president just regards Greenland as another place to expand his business empire:

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Trump’s resolve on background checks ‘substantially softened’ after call from NRA’s Wayne LaPierre: NYT

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President Donald Trump has reversed his promises to fight for gun control, The New York Times reported Monday.

"Days after a pair of deadly mass shootings in Texas and Ohio, President Trump said he was prepared to endorse what he described as 'very meaningful background checks' that would be possible because of his 'greater influence now over the Senate and over the House,'" the newspaper reported.

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