For Immediate Release
February 15, 2011 Contact: Roger Conner(703) 236-6218(301) 252-7912
Catholic Charities USA President Rev. Larry Snyder Statement on PresidentObama and U.S. Congress Budget Proposals
A call for greater efficiency in human service programs and a mandate to rememberthe people most in need
Catholic Charities USA President Rev. Larry Snyder made the following statementregarding President Obama's FY 2012 budget and current budget proposals being discussed within theUnited States Congress."Catholic Charities USA and our local agencies recognize that President Obama and the members of theUnited States Congress are finally facing many of the same tough decisions our volunteers and thefamilies who we serve through our hundreds of local programs around the country have been strugglingwith at home during these difficult economic times."We agree with the continued priority President Obama has placed on investing in innovative, effectiveand efficient programs that address many of our country's greatest community challenges but weacknowledge that tough choices will be made as part of the ongoing budget discussions. Every one of these tough choices will be met with anger, frustration and disappointment from certain segments of the population. Catholic Charities USA recognizes that social service initiatives will not be immune tothose difficult decisions."However, as the President and members of Congress alike look for savings within the budget, we rejectthe notion that those most vulnerable among us should feel the greatest impact of future reductions.Data has shown that as much as forty cents of every dollar allocated to existing federal initiatives thatprovide greatly needed assistance to Americans who continue to struggle through this economicrecovery are lost in the bureaucratic red tape associated with those programs. If we truly want toreform government in a manner that wisely invests in efficiency and efficacy, we urge our nation'spolicymakers to look for ways to achieve recommended cuts by creating and maximizing bureaucraticefficiency first, rather than by simply sacrificing vital services on the ground, resulting in a further strainon families who are already barely getting by."Rather than simply embracing quick answers to the immediate need to shave dollars off the federalbudget by impairing local organizations' ability to deliver critical services to those in need, now is thetime to work together to create a new national approach to service delivery models that is marketdriven, results oriented and locally controlled, enabling the country to permanently make a difference inthe lives of those living in poverty that have for years been trapped in the same safety net that wasoriginally intended to save them. We can no longer continue to push the same challenges we have beenneglecting to address for years onto the next generation of Americans. To that extent, today we askPresident Obama and the members of Congress to join us in a critical conversation to identify long termsolutions to the entrenched problems facing our country and its many local communities. But until thatconversation takes place, and government takes the steps necessary to reform its service deliverysystems, we will continue to fight to ensure that those in need are not affected disproportionately bycuts to critical services.