The House Budget Committee Chairman speaks about his vision for the country's budgetary future and the current House-passed bill that seeks to lower the deficit and cut government spending.
Following his speech, Rep. Ryan took questions from Georgetown students and facilty. They asked primarily about the GOP proposed budget's approach to tax rates.
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) has come under some controversy this week after saying that his Catholic faith is represented in the bill he wrote in an appearance on the Christian Broadcasting Network. He stated that the Catholic principle of subsidiarity, or leaving decisions to the most local level available, is very similar to the Republican principle of federalism. He also said his plans would help lift poor people out of poverty, rather than making them dependent on government.
On Wednesday, a group of 90 Georgetown University faculty and administrators sent a letter to Congressman Ryan challenging his statement that the bill reflects the teachings of the Catholic Church, especially when it comes to cutting programs that benefit the poor. They emphasized that they are not protesting his speaking at the University, which is affiliated with the Catholic Church. The Congressman's office responded that they are looking forward to having an opportunity to "advance a thoughtful dialogue," according to the Huffington Post.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, in letters to Congress during debate on the budget bill, has said that "a just framework for future budgets cannot rely on disproportionate cuts in essential services to poor persons." The conference issued a statement after the Ryan budget passed the House, saying that the "budget fails to meet these moral criteria."
The Catholic Church has been widely supportive of many Republican social positions in the past, including actions earlier this year that would exempt all faith-based institutions from providing medical services, such as contraceptives, that contradict their teachings, as required under the Affordable Care Act.
Congressman Ryan will deliver his address, "America's Enduring Promise," at the Georgetown University Public Policy Institute's 2012 Whittington Lecture.
The Whittington Lecture honors the memory of Leslie Whittington, Georgetown Public Policy Institute professor and associate dean, who along with her husband and two daughters, died on September 11, 2001.