WASHINGTON (AP) -- Christian, Muslim and Jewish religious leaders have urged President Bush to remember the poor as he develops his economic stimulus plan.
The religious leaders asked Bush to increase funding for food stamps, increase the federal minimum wage by $1.50 and take other steps to help low-income people. The federal minimum wage is now $5.15 an hour.
The interfaith group expressed special concern for the thousands of workers in the hotel, restaurant and airline industries, laid off after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, along with retail and factory workers who live ''paycheck to paycheck.
''With our economy sputtering, and layoffs mounting by the tens of thousands, the first to feel the effects are those at the bottom of the economic ladder,'' the leaders wrote in the Oct. 18 letter to Bush, sent by the Christian anti-hunger organization Bread for the World.
Among those who signed the letter were representatives of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, the Islamic Society of North America, the National Congress of Black Churches, the Unitarian Universalist Association, and the United Methodist Church, Bush's own denomination.
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