Paul Ryan might be gone from the national stage for now, but the controversy over the “Ryan Plan” budget remains front and center as Congress returns to work today.
On the one hand, the media is heavily playing up the present narrative of the country teetering at the edge of a “fiscal cliff” as negotiations over a budget deal before the end of the year begin. That deal is needed to head off severe and automatic cuts required by the Budget Control Act of 2011, scheduled to go into effect if Congress can’t work out a compromise.
As the Colorado Springs Independent reports, Sister Simone Campbell’s Nuns on the Bus are preaching a very different “what would Jesus do” message:
The executive director of Network, a 40-year-old progressive organization of nuns, is featured this month in Rolling Stone’s story “The Sisters Crusade,” a piece that opens with her struggle to sit down with former vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan to talk about the national budget…
No matter that President Obama has won a second term – “we have a bit more work to do,” she said to a group of about 75 people. “The election is over, and we might all think, ‘Oh praise God we don’t have to watch those ads anymore.’ But the fact is, our work has just begun. Because tomorrow Congress reconvenes, God help us.”
Their Faithful Budget, a “social justice rebuttal” to the GOP Ryan budget, lays out a plan that focuses on “reasonable revenues for responsible programs.” You might recall the Nuns on the Bus tour over the summer and fall, which was disparaged by Republicans at the time as politically “divisive.” That’s a harder charge to make stick after the election, isn’t it?
On Monday the sisters toured both ends of our state’s political spectrum, making stops in Colorado Springs and Boulder. This morning, they’re speaking with press outside Senator Michael Bennet’s Denver office, 1127 Sherman St., at 9:30AM.
Fifty local nuns and other faith leaders at each site will join nationally recognized Sister Simone Campbell in standing up for federally funded services such as nutrition assistance, early childhood education and job training that provide pathways out of poverty for millions of families.
Faith leaders have joined together to create an alternative “Faithful Budget,” promoting comprehensive, compassionate and affordable budget principles to help lift the burden on the poor, rather than increasing it. They will urge Senator Michael Bennet and the rest of Colorado’s congressional delegation to consider this as they return to Washington.