As lawmakers try to find a last-minute deal to avert the “fiscal cliff,” the chamber’s chaplain, the Rev. Barry C. Black, pleaded with God on Sunday to help Congress “save us from self-inflicted wounds.”
“As we gather this weekend with so much work left undone, guide our lawmakers with your wisdom,” the chaplain prayed in opening the Senate session in the early afternoon.
His words echoed those of President Obama, who three times in recent weeks has urged Congress to avoid a “self-inflicted” wound by letting all tax rates rise.
Mr. Black and his counterpart in the House, the Rev. Patrick J. Conroy, have used their opening prayers in recent days to highlight the divides that have riven Congress over the past two years and that are intensifying as the end-of-year deadlines for tax increases and spending cuts loom.
Last week, Father Conroy prayed for God’s assistance “as many Americans experience anxiety about their future,” and the week before he noted the “many pressures” they were facing.