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USCCB, CRS welcome defeat of Paul foreign-aid amendment

December 31, 2012

The Department of Justice, Peace, and Human Development of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and Catholic Relief Services (CRS) have welcomed the defeat of legislation offered by Sen. Rand Paul that would have cut federal international assistance by $9 billion in order to help pay for Hurricane Sandy relief.

“I personally think we should not be sending billions of dollars to dictators in other countries who are burning our flags,” Sen. Paul said on the floor of the Senate on December 28. “People around here say, ‘well we’ve never offset emergency spending.’ Well, maybe that’s why we have a $16 trillion deficit … I say we take that $9 billion out of the foreign aid fund.”

The previous day, the USCCB and CRS had issued an “urgent action alert” warning that

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) is likely to offer an amendment to a bill that provides emergency assistance to communities affected by Hurricane Sandy. The Paul amendment would cut overall international assistance by $9 billion. This would effectively cut by one-third critical education, water, health and food assistance programs to the poorest people in the poorest countries on earth. Not only would such a cut be disproportionate, but it would fund Hurricane Sandy relief on the backs of poor and vulnerable people. USCCB and CRS support relief to victims of Hurricane Sandy, but not the proposed cuts to lifesaving poverty-focused international assistance.

Please dial 1-702-577-2339 for talking points and to be connected to your Senators' offices. Or, e-mail your Senators’ offices today urging them to oppose the Paul amendment that would cut U.S. poverty-focused international assistance.

Sen. Paul’s amendment was defeated in a 91-3 vote. On December 30, the USCCB and CRS issued the following update:

Thanks to you, the middle of this Christmas season brings forth a victory for “kindness and truth, justice and peace.”

In a strong, bi-partisan showing of support for preserving poverty-focused international assistance, the Senate resoundingly rejected the amendment proposed by Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) that would have cut the overall international affairs account by up to one third. The vote that took place on December 28 resulted in an overwhelming 91 Senators voting against the Paul amendment and only two Senators, Heller (R-NV) and Lee (R-UT), voting with Paul in support of his amendment. Six Senators did not vote.


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Show 4 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: tjbenjamin - Dec. 31, 2012 7:18 PM ET USA

    Slowly perhaps but surely, our Catholic Church must disentangle herself from government money, with all of its unpleasant, even immoral, strings. Charity must be private, or it isn't really charity. The only money governments have has been taken from people by force of law. As we are finding out, governments' goals are not the Church's goals. Politicians are interested in power and control, not love and service. Hasn't government money been a corrupting, compromising influence on the Church?

  • Posted by: joancollins507161 - Dec. 31, 2012 5:31 PM ET USA

    The United States is $16,000,000,000,000 in debt. It's too bad that our working people can't support the whole world, but unfortunately we can't, at least not forever. Who is going to help us when we eventually collapse financially? We can't keep on printing money and borrowing money without consequences, no matter how worthy the cause. Let's face reality, at least a little bit.

  • Posted by: Minnesota Mary - Dec. 31, 2012 4:17 PM ET USA

    And over the fiscal cliff we go! With our shepherds leading us. Fa-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la!

  • Posted by: TheJournalist64 - Dec. 31, 2012 4:16 PM ET USA

    Joe Sobran, late of this planet, said that the criterion for spending federal money is very simple: a legitimate expense is one which someone should have to go to jail if he refuses to pay for it. Are these such expenses?