Moral Principles, National Priorities, Budget Choices: Human and Moral Dimensions of the Budget Reconciliation Debate
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 will explore 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?
- Ashley Kenneth is president and CEO of The Commonwealth Institute which advances racial and economic justice in Virginia by advocating for public policies shaped by people most impacted and credible fiscal research.
- Rev. Carlos Malavé is the former executive director of Christian Churches Together in the USA and co-chair of the Circle of Protection, a leading Christian coalition giving voice for those who are poor and vulnerable in the federal budget process.
- Mary Novak became the executive director of NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice in April 2021. She is also a lawyer and an educator who has served in several key roles at Georgetown University.
- Ramesh Ponnuru is the new editor of National Review, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a columnist for Bloomberg View, and a contributing editor for National Affairs.
- Elana Schor is the Congress editor at POLITICO and previously covered religion and politics for the Associated Press.
- John Carr, co-director of the Initiative, will moderate the dialogue.
This dialogue is co-sponsored by the McCourt School’s Center on Faith and Justice.
All who have RSVP’d will receive an email with instructions on how to join the livestream. This dialogue will also be recorded and posted on the Initiative’s website for later viewing.
This event will be live-captioned. Accommodation requests should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org by September 15. A good-faith effort will be made to fulfill requests.