Black Caucus Member Appeals to Shared Faith with Ryan to Dispute Budget

After House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) sat down with the Congressional Black Caucus for a closed-door meeting today, Rep. Wm. Lacy Clay (D-Mo.) appealed to their common faith in an effort to get Ryan to view poverty in his home state.

Ryan met with the CBC to discuss race and poverty after comments he made about inner-city poverty last month and whether men in the areas were willing to work.

Clay said he told Ryan that a visit to St. Louis would show him the "devastating" effects that his Path to Prosperity budget plan would have on the city's working class.

“Although we are of different parties, we share the same faith tradition, and hopefully, the core human values that our mother church considers to be universal matters of social and economic justice for all people," Clay wrote in a letter that he delivered to Ryan. "Today, with an open heart, I extend a personal invitation to you, as a fellow Catholic, to come to St. Louis to experience first-hand, the devastating impact that the proposed House FY15 Republican budget would have on thousands of hard-working citizens whom I am honored to represent."

Clay added that "a budget is a blueprint of our values…a moral roadmap of what really matters to real people."

"I am sorry to report that in the State of Missouri, the proposed Republican FY15 budget would deprive over 13,000 low-income students of Pell Grants; leave over 3,000 at-risk children with no access to Head Start; allow over 1700 abused women to lose the protection of the STOP Violence Against Women Program; and would force almost 90,000 seniors to pay more for their medications by enlarging the Medicare Part D drug donut hole," the congressman continued.

"Your budget would also slash federal support for cherished Catholic nonprofit institutions like the renowned St. Patrick Center which has transformed the lives of thousands of homeless citizens from dependency to independence and dignity," Clay said. "I appeal to you as a fellow brother in faith to join me in earnest dialogue regarding our nation’s budget priorities.”