Religious Leaders Make “Prayer Pilgrimage” to Capitol Hill as Government Shutdown Ends

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Religious groups were among those welcoming this week’s deal that raised the debt ceiling and ended the federal government shutdown. For weeks, a broad range of faith-based groups actively lobbied Congress to consider the toll the crisis was taking on vulnerable families and the poor. On Tuesday (October 15), religious leaders made what they called a “prayer pilgrimage” to Capitol Hill, visiting several lawmakers’ offices. They said “an extreme faction of Congress” is recklessly playing politics with the lives of countless Americans. They urged more consideration of the poor in future budget negotiations. Theirs has been a widespread effort, but not all faith groups are on board. Some religious conservatives vowed to continue their support for the Republican members of Congress who want to gut or repeal the Affordable Care Act—Obamacare.