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Critics Say GOP’s Budget Blueprint Is a Thinly Veiled Ploy to Slash Key Programs

“A vote for the GOP budget is a vote to cut Social Security and Medicare,” Social Security Works said.

U.S. Rep. Jodey Arrington speaks at a press conference on border security at the U.S. Capitol on February 14, 2024, in Washington, D.C.

House Republicans on Wednesday unveiled a budget blueprint for next fiscal year that, while light on specifics, expresses the party’s support for Medicaid work requirements and a fiscal commission for Social Security and Medicare — which critics say is a thinly veiled ploy to slash the key programs.

Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-Pa.), the top Democrat on the House Budget Committee, said in a statement that “if you’ve been waiting for a plan to sell out American families to line the pockets of the ultra-rich, then look no further.”

“With trillions of dollars in devastating cuts that will force families to spend more on everything from groceries to healthcare, this budget is the last thing Americans need,” said Boyle. “House Republicans have no shortage of unfinished work they should be focused on right now — but they’ve once again made it clear that their top priority is finding new ways to attack working- and middle-class families.”

Republicans released their Fiscal Year 2025 budget resolution ahead of a House Budget Committee mark-up hearing set for Thursday. Bloomberg noted that it is “unusual” for lawmakers to begin crafting a budget framework before the White House outlines its budget proposal for the coming fiscal year, which President Joe Biden is set to do next week.

Congressional appropriators are still working on government funding bills for the current fiscal year that have been delayed for months due to Republicans’ push for aggressive cuts.

The GOP’s Fiscal Year 2025 plan does not yet include specific funding levels, but it makes a number of policy statements indicating that the party intends to pursue steep spending reductions and other longstanding priorities.

For example, the resolution calls on Congress to enact legislation “implementing work requirements into the Medicaid program,” despite research and state-level experiments showing that work mandates do virtually nothing to boost employment while depriving many people of health coverage.

Vox’s Dylan Scott noted last year that “Medicaid work requirements are really just spending cuts in disguise.”

“The Congressional Budget Office had previously estimated requiring nondisabled, non-elderly childless adults to work in order to receive Medicaid benefits would slash the program’s spending by $135 billion over 10 years — largely because more than 2 million people would lose coverage annually for failing to meet the work requirement.”

Republican-led states are expected to ramp up their push for Medicaid work requirements if former President Donald Trump wins a second term in November.

The GOP’s budget resolution also backs calls for a “fiscal commission,” endorsing legislation passed by the House Budget Committee in January.

“This resolution includes a commission designed to slash Social Security and Medicare behind closed doors,” Social Security Works said Wednesday in response to the proposal. “A vote for the GOP budget is a vote to cut Social Security and Medicare.”

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