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October 27, 2015                                                                                                                                                   Contacts:


                                                                                          Chris Ford, Bread for the World, (202) 688-1077,

                                                                                     Michael Mershon, Sojourners, (202) 745-4625,

                                                                                     Sarah Kropp, National Association of Evangelicals,


                                                Christian Leaders Applaud and Urge Passage of Two-Year Budget Deal

Washington, D.C., October 27, 2015 – Circle of Protection leaders today applaud congressional leaders and the White House for reaching a two-year bipartisan budget deal that addresses automatic cuts and raises the debt ceiling. The religious leaders urge Congress to pass the bill without delay when it comes up for a vote this week.

This budget deal attempts to put the United States on a fiscally responsible path while protecting individuals who are struggling to put food on the table and provide for their families. While the Circle of Protection may not agree with every detail of the deal, it is preferable to the uncertainty of having no agreement, which would be damaging to the nation and especially to the most vulnerable among us.

The budget deal, reached late last night, provides two years of relief from much of the sequestration cuts without significantly taking funds from other programs that serve vulnerable populations. It provides $50 billion of sequester relief for fiscal year 2016 and $30 billion of sequester relief for fiscal year 2017.

The Circle of Protection has been calling on Congress to reach a budget agreement that addressed harmful sequestration cuts while also protecting funding for programs that serve people struggling with poverty in the United States and around the world.

Last month, the Circle of Protection delivered a list of five “must-do” items for Congress to accomplish before the end of 2015. Avoiding brinksmanship and passing a budget that responsibly addressed sequestration without further burdening poor and vulnerable Americans were the first two items on that list.

Today, Circle leaders urge Congress to continue to focus on the remaining three: making the expiring provisions of the earned income tax credit and child tax credit permanent, reauthorizing the child nutrition programs, and passing the Global Food Security Act.

The Circle of Protection is a coalition of many and diverse Christian leaders working together to help and provide opportunity for hungry and poor people in the U.S. and around the world.