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Reform Jewish Leader Criticizes New Congressional 2006 Budget Resolution
In response to last night’s passage of the FY 2006 budget resolution by the Senate and the House of Representatives, Mark J. Pelavin, Associate Director the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement noting, "This budget passed by Congress fails to reflect our fundamental values of compassion and justice and fails those Americans who most rely on the compassion and wisdom of those whom they elected."

Pelavin: This budget passed by Congress fails to reflect our fundamental values of compassion and justice and fails those Americans who most rely on the compassion and wisdom of those whom they elected.

Contact: Alexis Rice or Dena Wigder 202.387.2800

WASHINGTON, April 29, 2005 – In response to last night’s passage of the FY 2006 budget resolution by the Senate and the House of Representatives, Mark J. Pelavin, Associate Director the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:

    The Fiscal Year 2006 budget resolution which the House and Senate passed last night takes aim squarely at our already thinning social safety net.  It calls for up to $10 billion in cuts to Medicaid and other vital social service programs, such as Supplemental Security Income and the Earned Income Tax Credit, while at the same time expediting $70 billion in tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.  How can we continue erode our social safety net, while providing tax cuts to those at the top of the income scale? To do so flies in the face of 2,000 years of religious teachings.  Medicaid provides health care for the poorest of children and families, the elderly, and those with disabilities and chronic illnesses, yet this budget puts the health of the poorest Americans at risk while favoring those who have high quality, comprehensive health insurance.  At the same time, the budget cuts billions in funding for education, environmental protection, housing – all of which threaten our quality of life and that of our children, and our children’s children.
     
    Jewish tradition mandates that we “speak out for those who cannot speak, champion the cause of the needy” (Proverbs 31: 8-9).  The Federal Budget is, at its core, a moral document, an indicator of our priorities and our values.  However, this budget passed by Congress fails to reflect our fundamental values of compassion and justice and fails those Americans who most rely on the compassion and wisdom of those whom they elected.  We call on the President to reject this budget and instead support measures that reflect the true needs of the American people.

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The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism is the Washington office of the Union for Reform Judaism, whose more than 900 congregations across North America encompass 1.5 million Reform Jews, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, whose membership includes more than 1800 Reform rabbis. 


 



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