From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Bishops' delegation advocates in capital for poor children

From NewsDesk <NewsDesk@UMCOM.ORG>
Date Thu, 13 Jun 2002 14:25:28 -0500

June 13, 2002      News media contact: Joretta Purdue7(202)
546-87227Washington     10-71BP{255}

NOTE: Photographs are available with this report. 

WASHINGTON (UMNS) - Twelve United Methodist bishops spent June 12 urging the
Bush administration and U.S. senators to pass legislation making children a
national priority.

The delegation, authorized at the spring meeting of the Council of Bishops,
met with Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) a United Methodist; Tim
Goeglin, a special assistant to President Bush; and several senators or
their aides to push funding and justice issues related to children. 

Before those conversations, Marion Wright Edelman, founder of the Children's
Defense Fund, reminded the bishops that, because of funding issues, only one
of seven children eligible for federally subsidized child care receives it.
She also noted that the president favors freezing the next five years of
federal funding for child care at its present level.

The Children's Defense Fund estimates that such a freeze would mean that
115,000 fewer children would be served because of inflation, according to
staff member Mary Bourdette.

"It is morally wrong and economically irresponsible for the Bush
administration and some in Congress to say we cannot afford to provide more
children a Head Start this year or a single new dime for child care for
children in working families over the next five years, while lavishing
billions in new tax cuts for millionaires and multimillionaires," Edelman

Enriching millionaires and billionaires by tax cuts puts them ahead of the
basic needs of children, she said. "Let's just freeze it now," she said of
the various tax cuts being phased in over much of the decade. Ordinary
citizens already have received all the tax cut benefits they will get, she
stressed. "Let's just treat them (the rich) like the rest of us."

Those who participated were Bishops Ann Sherer, Missouri Area; Joe Sprague,
Chicago Area; Susan Morrison, Albany (N.Y.) Area; Felton Edwin May,
Washington Area; Bruce Ough, Ohio West Area; Joe Pennel Jr., Richmond (Va.)
Area; Bill Hutchinson, Louisiana Area; Neil L. Irons, Harrisburg (Pa.) Area;
and retired Bishops Jesse DeWitt, Melvin Talbert, Joseph Yeakel and Donald
Ott, who heads the Council of Bishops' Initiative on Children and Poverty.
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United Methodist News Service
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