Members of Congress join fast protesting proposed budget cuts
April 7th, 2011
10:50 AM ET
4 years ago

Members of Congress join fast protesting proposed budget cuts

Washington (CNN) – In the final hours of budget negotiations, a growing list of Congressional members are joining former Rep. Tony Hall and over 36,000 participants in a hunger fast to protest what they say are proposed budget cuts that would affect those living in poverty in the U.S. and abroad.

Members of Congress joining the fast include Democratic Connecticut Rep. Rosa DeLauro, California Rep. Mike Honda, Ohio Rep. Marcy Kaptur, Illinois Rep. Jan Schakowsky, Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison, California Reps. Sam Farr and Barbara Lee, Massachusetts Rep. Jim McGovern, and Missouri Rep. Emanuel Cleaver.

The participating representatives will partake in a "relay fast," each one abstaining from eating for a day before passing over to another representative.

The fast was first announced last month by Ambassador Hall, Jim Wallis, president and CEO of Sojourners, Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World and Ritu Sharma, president of Women Thrive Worldwide- who asked others to join them in putting pressure on Congress to protect vulnerable programs assisting the poor and hungry.

"While I agree that we need to address the deficit, but we should not be starting with these reckless cuts to education, Medicare benefits, and health care for millions of Americans-and a staggering 26 percent cut in poverty focused foreign aid. I believe that we should start with eliminating ineffective programs, cutting billions of dollars in oil subsidies, and ending tax breaks for American companies that ship our jobs overseas. These critical funds enable millions around the world to have access to food and clean water, the very basics needed for human survival," Rep. DeLauro told CNN. "I am proud to join my colleague, friends, and over 30,000 Americans in this fast to call attention to the drastic cuts being proposed by House Republicans to critical programs and services."

The group said in a statement that budget cuts proposed by House Republicans also include $7.6 billion in cuts to domestic programs for low-income women, infants, and children.

"We hope to remind people that there are some very significant cuts being contemplated in this budget proposal that are targeting vulnerable people," Hall told CNN, adding that two-thirds of the proposed cuts come from programs benefitting the poor. "Deficit reduction should not hurt poor people," Hall said.


Filed under: Budget • Congress • Government Shutdown
soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. Four and The Door

    Oh the drama.

    April 7, 2011 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  2. the real ib

    Big deal; one day without eating while the middle class and seniors will be deciding whether to pay energy bills or put food on the table not to mention trying to pay the high taxes that are headed our way due to this out of controll spending that the democrats just won't stop. Hey demo's the country is broke; the cookie jar is empty. It's time you get it through your empty heads; out of controll spending has got to stop and stop now or we won't have a country to worry about.

    April 7, 2011 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  3. Jeff from Va

    We are only cutting out 26% in foreign aid, that figure needs to be higher, maybe 50 -75%, we are having trouble paying our bills but have not problem helping everyone else. '" CUT UP THE CREDIT CARD", STOP SPENDING MORE THAT WE ARE TAKING IN, and no don't raise my taxes to give money to people who don't pay taxes at all. Cut out 'EARNED INCOME CREDITS", why should someone get more tax refund than they paid in.

    April 7, 2011 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  4. Tom

    There are obvious things to cut, as even listed there. Unfortunately, the poor, with little money for lobby groups, are going to be screwed. If only the poor of America could get a lobby group – perhaps we could keep more jobs from being shipped over seas and not see their basic help programs from failing.

    April 7, 2011 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  5. Bruce

    If they're fat I say do it! LOL typical grandstanding by the lefties.

    April 7, 2011 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  6. betterdays

    Marcy Kaptur is the rep from my district, and if her fast fails to adequately publicize this cause, I think she should try an interpretive dance. I'd love to see that.

    April 7, 2011 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  7. Rudy NYC

    I understand that the message is conveyed by a metaphor. It is a noble message. Is this the most effective use of your time? On that note, I think your actions are less than the best that you could do. I expect the best out of my Congress. A crisis such as this one is supposed to bring out the best in people. When is your cream going to rise to the top?

    April 7, 2011 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  8. terry,va

    They need to give their food to someone that can use it. They can give their air ti someone else including squirrels as they are to stupid to have air.

    April 7, 2011 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  9. Sylvia Saint

    Graham Rudman was a law that automatically called for spending cuts when the United States was not going to have a balanced budget. The largely conservative Supreme Court, built by Ronald Reagan, ruled that law was unconstitutional.

    Tax rates are lower than they were when Reagan was in office. The only way to PAY OFF THE NATIONAL DEBT is to restore tax rates for those making more than $250,000 per year to the levels under Reagan and to ELIMINATE tax loopholes / deductions which allow the wealthier to avoid paying taxes.

    The taxes on my 2nd or 3rd MILLION $ in income should be higher than the taxes on your 1st $80,0000 but it shouldn't be so high as to discourage me from trying to earn it. If I only get to keep 55% of my 3rd Million$, I'm still going to buy a Baume & Mercier with it.

    April 7, 2011 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  10. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Republicans would have voted NO, as usual, if the Democrat Congress had put forth a budget when they held office. They voted NO to everything and now they want to blame President Obama and Pelosi for their failures.

    April 7, 2011 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  11. rusty155

    I think you for what you are doing but you People don't need to get sick because of this. Most American People know the Republican only care about the Rich and Big Business, Not the American People. the TEA PARTY even worth they only care about the KOCH'S BROTHER and a few other Billionaire. I hope the American People come around and vote In 2012 and get the as must Republican we can out of the House and Senate. America got to wake up be for we don't have any right at all and we will be like a 3rd world Country.

    April 7, 2011 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  12. Proud member of "Global Zero"

    I will admit I signed up for the full five days but could not follow all the way through. Day 1, I had no repercussions from this action. Day 2, I developed nausea. Day 3, I had a headache. Half way through day 4 I got dizzy and had to eat. I cannot tell you how much these cuts will hurt the American public that are already struggling. I know as a parent, if I could not feed my children, I would have death of spirit. What happened to the America I grew up in? Where we take care of our neighbors, our communities and care for one another. I miss that America.

    April 7, 2011 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  13. Linda

    Good, maybe they will starve to death. If we would cut out the overspending on things tlike turtles crossign the road and bridges to nowhere, and nix the fraud in procurement by the Government agencies that perpetuate this nonsense, WE WOULD NOT HAVE TO CUT THESE PROGRAMS. I am however against ENABLEMENT- THIS MIGHT MAKE SOME OF THSOE PEOPLE THAT LIVE OFF THE WELFARE PROGRAMS, TO QUIT HAVING CHILDREN OUT OF WEDLOCK AND GET OFF THEIR TOKUSES AND GET TO WORK.

    April 7, 2011 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  14. Zeno

    Just a gimmick. Besides most of them can afford pushing themselves from the dinner table for a week

    April 7, 2011 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  15. Anonymous

    These are hard times for the country and many are suffering. Everybody has debts they can’t pay, just like the country itself. Sooner or later the bills will get paid as we recover from the greatest financial melt down in history. It has been painful for most, but what we will remember most are the politicians who tried to buy their out on the backs of the old, the poor, the young and the helpless. Years from now these voters will still remember you and your tea party and these hard times with a bitterness they will take to the ballot box. You will reap what you have sown.

    April 7, 2011 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  16. wadlington

    These are hard times for the country and many are suffering. Everybody has debts they can’t pay, just like the country itself. Sooner or later the bills will get paid as we recover from the greatest financial melt down in history. It has been painful for most, but what we will remember most are the politicians who tried to buy their out on the backs of the old, the poor, the young and the helpless. Years from now these voters will still remember you and your tea party and these hard times with a bitterness they will take to the ballot box. You will reap what you have sown.

    April 7, 2011 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  17. Pete

    Rosa DeLauro isn't from Ohio, she's from Connecticut.

    April 7, 2011 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  18. Anonymous

    I am a Democrat. I do not want to see the massive cuts. But grow up. You are members of Congress. A hnger strike is childish

    April 7, 2011 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  19. LA, LA, LA

    Yeah, go ahead and fast, maybe you'll see god.

    April 7, 2011 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  20. gt

    of course...its not there money... its hard not to spend stop spending other peoples money ... there going thru with drawls....

    April 7, 2011 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  21. KAZPORT

    Now that is mature.. Really????

    April 7, 2011 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |