Economic stimulus must help vulnerable families, the poor

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Poor families and vulnerable workers should be central priorities in any economic recovery legislation Congress adopts, said the U.S. bishops.
“Low-income families and individuals are experiencing the greatest hardship and have the least capacity to cope in this time of economic crisis,” Bishop William F. Murphy of Rockville Centre, N.Y., said in a Jan. 28 letter to the House and Senate. This segment of the population also is more likely to quickly “use these new resources” provided in any stimulus package “to purchase the essentials of life and to help move our economy forward,” he said.
Bishop Murphy wrote the letter on behalf of the bishops as chairman of their Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development. A copy of it was released by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Office of Media Relations.
“Economic policies that assist and protect ‘the least among us’ are the right thing to do morally. I believe they are also very effective economically,” he said. “We urge Congress to act quickly and wisely with a constant attention to addressing the human impact and moral dimensions of this recession,” he said. The House Jan. 28 approved an $819 billion economic recovery package with a 244-188 vote. The Senate was scheduled to begin debate on its version Feb. 2. Its bill provides similar spending outlays.

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