The artwork on this note card was created by 5768 WRJ Art Calendar artist Césan d’Ornellas Levine.
For Immediate Release
May 23, 2017
Contact: Max Rosenblum 202.387.2800
WASHINGTON – In response to the Fiscal Year 2018 budget proposed by President Trump, Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement on behalf of the Union for Reform Judaism, Central Conference of American Rabbis and wider Reform Movement:
The budget proposal released by the Trump administration seeks irresponsible and dangerous program cuts that if fulfilled would hurt millions of Americans. Drastic reductions in spending on health care, food assistance, education, affordable housing, and family planning would do profound harm to the most vulnerable members of our society and abdicate the government's responsibility to those most in need of support.
Egregiously, the proposal includes over $800 billion in cuts to Medicaid over the next decade, and $72 billion in cuts to disability benefits. Medicaid helps 77 million Americans access the healthcare that they need. It further attacks health care by eliminating funding for vital reproductive health care, including Planned Parenthood. The budget also proposes cutting funding for the Environmental Protection Agency by more than 30 percent, threatening the health of our planet. It guts the budget for the State Department and diplomatic programs by nearly a third, placing America’s international leadership at risk. It includes a similarly draconian cut to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which 44 million Americans relied on in 2016 to fight hunger. The budget also includes $1.6 billion for an ill-advised wall on our southern border and more funding for detention and deportation – an inhumane and enforcement-focused approach to immigration that will force people further into the shadows and tear communities apart.
Jewish tradition teaches us to ‘Speak up, judge righteously, and champion the poor and needy’ (Proverbs 31:9). As Congress addresses the budget, these words will be our clarion call, reminding us of our centuries-old commitment to helping all people live with wholeness, justice, and compassion. We urge Congress to reject the President's budget template and vigorously defend programs that support the lives of the most vulnerable and extend opportunity to all Americans.
The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism is the Washington office of the Union for Reform Judaism, whose nearly 900 congregations across North America encompass 1.5 million Reform Jews, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, whose membership includes more than 2,000 Reform rabbis. Visit www.rac.org for more.