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Tony Hall Challenges Ryan Budget; On Day 19 Without Food - PRESS RELEASE

APRIL 15, 2011

Contact: Chris LaTondresse, (202) 368-0139,

Tony Hall Challenges Ryan Budget; On Day 19 Without Food

Invoking President Lincoln’s 1863 national fasting proclamation former Congressman Tony Hall calls America’s treatment of vulnerable people “our national humiliation”.

Washington, D.C. — As the U.S. House of Representatives prepares to vote on Congressman Paul Ryan’s budget proposal, Ambassador Tony Hall enters his nineteenth day of fasting in response to budget cuts that would hurt vulnerable people.

“America faces tough choices about the long term fiscal health of our nation, but we shouldn’t balance the budget on the backs of poor and hungry people,” said Ambassador Hall in a statement, “I respect Paul Ryan for putting serious deficit reduction back on the public agenda, but his proposal goes too far in slashing funding for vital programs that ensure millions of Americans don’t go hungry and that save lives around the world.”

Hall believes America’s treatment of poor and hungry people is a form of “national humiliation”, invoking President Abraham Lincoln’s Proclamation calling America to a day of fasting during the height of the Civil War in 1863.

“Like President Lincoln before, I believe that America now faces a monumental crisis of conscience. The proposed cuts undermine America’s values and—for those of us who aspire to follow the life and teachings of Jesus Christ—should offend our sense of what it means to be a Christian, especially if we believe God will judge nations based on how they treat the poor,” continued Hall, challenging his fellow evangelicals.

Last week 28 Members of Congress joined the movement, along with over 36,000 Americans, committing to fast for at least one day between now and Easter Sunday, the largest public fast in recent U.S. history.

The fast was first announced on Monday, March 28th by Ambassador Hall and three other leaders—Jim Wallis, president and CEO of Sojourners, Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World and Ritu Sharma, president of Women Thrive Worldwide—where they challenged people of faith and conscience to join them, pledging to put pressure on Congress to form a “circle of protection” around programs benefitting poor and hungry people.  Visit for more information.