While the United States is focused on the COVID-19 pandemic and Afghanistan, Congress is debating and deciding on national priorities and investments that will affect every American family and community. This fall, both the House and Senate are considering a $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package that would make unprecedented investments in families with children, the environment, education, health care, and housing, as well as create new policies on taxes, immigration, abortion funding, and other issues.
Too often this debate is seen in purely political and partisan terms, focusing on whether Congress will pass the president’s program; whether the GOP can block President Biden’s agenda; and how this might affect the 2022 and 2024 elections. In this dialogue, the new director of NETWORK, the new editor of a major conservative magazine, the co-chair of a Christian voice for the poor, a state policy and justice advocate, and a journalist covering Congress and the faith community explored different questions:
- What are the human and moral dimensions of these decisions?
- How will these debates affect the “least of these,” especially poor children and their families? Immigrants and Dreamers?
- Will it abandon the prohibition on federal funding of abortion?
- How will it be funded? Who pays?
- How should Catholic social thought themes of human life and dignity, family and care for creation, solidarity and subsidiarity, option for the poor and vulnerable, and pursuit of the common good guide our nation’s choices?
John Carr, co-director of the Initiative, moderated the dialogue.
View a list of articles and other resources for this dialogue.
This dialogue was co-sponsored by the McCourt School's Center on Faith and Justice.