'Nuns on the Bus' Tour Visits West County Candidates About Fair Budget

The group stopped by the West County offices of Ann Wagner and Todd Akin Thursday to "advocate for a fair budget" and speak out against Paul Ryan's proposed budget.


The bus tour is being conducted by NETWORK, a national catholic social justice lobby that, according to its website, focuses on addressing social service needs our world faces today.

According to the Southeast Missourian, the "Nuns on the Bus" is part of a tour lanched by Missouri nuns to highlight how federal budget cuts harm struggling families.

Thursday's stops at U.S. Congressional Candidate Ann Wagner and U.S. Senate Candidate Rep. Todd Akin's offices are part of a Missouri bus trip by the Catholic sisters highlighting the work the sisters do to meet the needs of people at the economic margins. It was also to reveal how federal budget cuts proposed by vice-presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan and passed by the House of Representatives will hurt struggling families in these states, the Missourian stated.

During the tour, the nuns are reportedly meeting with "congressional offices to advocate for a fair budget."

Aaron Willard, spokesperson for Ann Wagner's office tells Patch he met with the "Nuns on the Bus" tour made a stop at Wagner's Winchester office Thursday morning.

"They had concerns about Paul Ryan's budget and they didn't like the budget passed by the U.S. House," Willard tells Patch. "A lot of it though was great concerns about health care in general. "

Willard said specifically, the group doesn't want lawmakers making funding cuts to social services programs such as medicaid and medicare.

"We had a very good meeting and they made a strong case for the need to help those less fortunate. Congressman Akin agrees with the moral imperative of helping those less in less fortunate circumstances. Of course Congressman Akin does not always agree with how to prioritize such outreach and the level of Federal involvement there should be in such programs. Congressman Akin also believes one of the best ways to help is to grow jobs.," Steve Taylor, spokesperson for Rep. Akin stated to Patch in an email.

Taylor said be believed three people in the group of approximately 15 people were actually nuns. Willard said he noted only one sister, but that several people were from the second congressional district.

"Of the group they had, there was actually one one person that was identified as a nun," Willard tells Patch. "I think every everybody else, the group that they primarily identified was 'Alliance of Retired Americans.'"

In addition to lawmakers and candidates for the upcoming November election, the sisters are visiting Catholic-sponsored social service agencies that serve people who they believe will be further harmed by proposed budget cuts, according to the Missourian.

The tour, called "Nuns on the Bus: Nuns Drive for Faith, Family and Fairness," began in Kansas City on September 4 and is making stops in West St. Louis County, Liberty, Harrisonville, Springfield, Cape Girardeau and Hannibal where the trip will end on September 7.


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