Group to protest Ryan over shutdown

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Frank Schultz
Saturday, October 12, 2013

JANESVILLE—A faith-based group plans to deliver a petition with more than 30,000 signatures to the Janesville office of Rep. Paul Ryan on Tuesday.

The petition calls for an end to the federal government shutdown, even as leaders of both parties are meeting in efforts to resolve their impasse.

The delivery is set for 10:30 a.m. Tuesday at Ryan's office at 20 S. Main Street.

Participating will be “local people of faith,” including the Rev. Steve Umhoefer of St. Mary's Parish in Janesville, according to a news release.

“The petition signers are members of Faithful America, a fast-growing online community dedicated to reclaiming Christianity from the religious right and putting faith into action for social justice,” the news release states.

The group “rebukes irresponsible elected officials like Rep. Ryan for pursuing an extreme ideological agenda at the expense of the working poor and vulnerable families by shutting down the federal government.”

Among the petition signers are more than 150 Catholic, evangelical and mainline Protestant leaders, the news release states. Some of the petition signers are Ryan's constituents, said spokesman Michael McGovern, in an email.

Ryan, R-1st District, last week suggested a deal that some observers credit with allowing the House leadership to regain control of the process from the tea party-influenced legislators.

Some Republicans still insist on defunding or delaying the Affordable Care Act, often referred to as Obamacare, before they will budge.

Ryan's plan focused on debt and entitlement programs but did not specifically name the health-care law, to the dismay of some conservatives.

Faithful America rejects Ryan's proposal and supports a “clean continuing resolution,” which would end the shutdown without concessions, McGovern said.

Faithful America plans similar actions at House Republicans' offices around the country, McGovern said. And, it plans a march with religious leaders and furloughed government workers who will pray at House GOP offices in Washington, D.C., including Ryan's, on Tuesday.

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