Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi

Pelosi Remarks on Child Tax Credit at Call to Renewal Prayer Gathering

June 10, 2003


Washington, D.C. -- House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi spoke this afternoon at the Call to Renewal prayer gathering on expanding the child tax credit. Call to Renewal is a non-partisan group of leaders of churches and faith-based organizations committed to building a movement to overcome poverty by expanding economic opportunity and securing economic justice for low-income families. The following are her remarks:

"Thank you all for inviting me to be here today, especially Rev. Jim Wallis for convening this gathering of those devoted to our nation’s greatest treasure -- our children.

"The Bible tells us that to minister to the needs of God's creation, and that certainly includes our children, is an act of worship. To ignore those needs is to dishonor the God who made them.

"It is hard to tell where an act of worship ends in the Congress because we all think we are here to do the Lord's work.

"But we must ask ourselves, is it an act of worship to deprive children of working families in our country of the basic necessities in order to give a tax cut of nearly $100,000 to families making over $1 million per year?

"Is it an act of worship to deprive a child tax credit to 250,000 children of active-duty military families, just as many of these families are enduring tremendous hardships and separation in the war on terrorism?

"Is it an act of worship for us to say to those families and to those children: 'Though your parents work and they may just make the minimum wage even if they both work, that you are not worthy of a tax cut that will provide food, clothing, and necessities?'

"As we hearken to what the Gospel of Matthew says about ministering to the needs of the least of our brethren, know that it is an act of worship to minister to those needs.

"And so here we are gathered today to pray that the right decision will be made by those who have the power to make a difference. We hope that they will see the difference between honoring the God who made us and dishonoring Him by ignoring the needs of his creation.

"The Gospel of John says: 'Dear children, let us love not in word or speech, but in deed and in truth.'

"The time for words and speeches is over. It is time to love our children in deed and in truth.

"Congress must act, and it must act now. We must continue our prayers relentlessly until it extends the child tax credit and fulfills the solemn commitment we have as a nation that truly values our children, whom President Kennedy called 'the world’s greatest resource and our best hope for the future.'

"So let us pray for wisdom. Let us pray for the children."


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