Letters: Congress, take action on budget

A message to this so-called congressional leadership in Washington, D.C.: you have had since January to effectively formulate a budget to fund the federal government for this fiscal year.

But what have you done during this time frame? Nothing but waste valuable time with your petty Russia-gate games, delaying important Cabinet confirmations and taking three needless breaks during this legislative session, capped-off with the latest sojourn that began April 10.

To you smug, prima donna Capitol Hill drama kings and queens, get with it. Eschew a needless government shutdown by legislating the funds necessary based upon the president’s spending framework for these Cabinet-level departments and federal agencies. Quit squirreling around, finalize a budget and get the job done now!

Terre Haute, Ind.


Hyde restrictions affect poor most

From Jon O’Brien President, Catholics for Choice

Steph Herold is absolutely right in her April 17 piece, “Yes, taxpayer dollars should fund abortions.” While many Americans are understandably seized with protecting federal funding for contraception and other essential healthcare, we should not lose sight of the fact that federal restrictions on abortion funding are simply unjust. The Hyde Amendment does nothing but punish poor women, robbing them of their ability to make reproductive choices according to their conscience.

As Catholics, we believe in treating individuals with respect and dignity. Our social justice tradition compels us to show empathy toward the least among us. Hyde restrictions unfairly target the poorest women who rely on federally funded healthcare. As a result, one in four women enrolled in Medicaid who wants to terminate a pregnancy cannot obtain an abortion. And a woman denied abortion care is three times more likely to slip into poverty than a woman who is able to get an abortion.

That is why a majority of Catholic voters believe that insurance should cover abortions when a woman decides it is appropriate, given the very hard choices she may be facing in her life. It is critical that lawmakers understand that public funding for abortion is something that Catholics support.

We should have an honest conversation about how Hyde hurts poor women — it is unjust, and the majority of Catholics do not support this policy.

Washington, D.C.


Dems must face reasons for losses

From Paul Bloustein

The Democratic Party is wounded and full of self-doubt, all at the small hands of a Big Apple vulgarian. Oh, the shame! So it is no surprise that rumbles of discontent should roil member ranks (“Ellison: Obama deserves blame for Democratic losses,” April 20).

I like masochism as much as the next political independent, for watching those who elevated the politics of personal identity, political correctness and class warfare to exalted status turn on their own is, well, not to sugarcoat it, an unalloyed delight. While bastinado might be a punishment too far, I do have cudgels and whips ready to lend and await acknowledgment of abject failure accompanied by the admission that tarring all opposition to Democratic brilliance as the result of this ism or that phobia may be wrongheaded.

President Obama, whose personal popularity was not transferable and who presided in eight years over a historic loss of Democratic congressional seats, state legislative seats and governorships, has already absolved himself of any responsibility for the decimation of his party. Will the rest of the leadership other than Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) be more objective?

Cincinnati, Ohio