News & Media

For immediate release: May 23, 2017
Contact: Margot Friedman at or 202-332-5550

Abroad, President Trump Meets with the Pope; At Home, He Assaults American Families with an Immoral Budget

(Washington, D.C.) Bishop Dwayne Royster, Political Director, PICO National Network, made the following statement about President Trump’s 2018 budget:

“In the Gospel of Luke 12:48b we find these words, ‘From everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required; and from the one to whom much has been entrusted, even more will be demanded.’

“Today, President Trump released an immoral budget that seeks to radically restructure the economy to favor the wealthy and large corporations and strip the middle-class and working families of what they need to survive. It is the height of hypocrisy for the President to meet with the Pope while releasing a soulless budget that offends everything the Pope stands for – love, caring, and mercy.

“We call on the House and Senate to put families first and reject the President’s cruel proposal. This budget puts families dead last, including the families who supported Mr. Trump as a candidate. The $1.7 trillion in cuts will hit the most vulnerable — children — the hardest. It kicks kids off their health insurance, takes food off their plates, and drags their parents away through ramped up deportations and a return to mass incarceration.

“Most alarming, the Trump budget guts Medicaid even more than the AHCA health care repeal bill in the House by cutting an additional $610 billion from the program over 10 years, leaving about 10 million more people without health insurance. President Trump’s budget also seeks an additional $2.6 billion for increased militarization on the border, increased deportation agents, and increased removal of undocumented people, including the mothers and fathers of American citizens. At the same time, President Trump’s tax reform proposals would give over $5 trillion in tax breaks for the rich and corporations.

“The Pope, the model of grace, promised to ‘listen’ to President Trump. Here in the states, we’ve already heard enough. We pray that our leaders in the House and Senate will reject President Trump’s deadly proposal and pass a budget that cuts funding for militarization, mass incarceration and deportations and increases funding for programs that allow all of God’s children to thrive. Our elected leaders who refuse to stand with families will face the moral and political consequences of their actions.”


PICO National Network is the largest grassroots, faith-based organizing network in the United States. PICO works with 1,000 religious congregations in more than 200 cities and towns through its 45 local and state federations. PICO and its federations are non-partisan and do not endorse or support candidates for office. PICO urges people of faith to consult their faith traditions for guidance on specific policies and legislation. Learn more at