“Shame on House Republicans for passing a draconian debt ceiling bill that would slash federal spending on behalf of seniors and other vulnerable members of society. The passage of Speaker McCarthy’s so-named “Limit, Save, Grow Act” does not reflect the will of the American people; it reflects the demands of the hard-right MAGA wing of the House GOP caucus who insisted on this hardline position in exchange for making Kevin McCarthy speaker.
The advancement of this irresponsible bill brings the nation one step closer to the brink of default because of Republicans’ refusal to do their job and raise the debt ceiling, as Congress did three times during the Trump administration (and nearly 80 times in all). A default would not only cause severe economic hardships for all Americans; it could disrupt payments of Social Security and Medicare benefits which over 65 million people rely on every day for baseline financial and health security.
The House GOP bill would freeze federal spending at FY 2022 levels (a $4.5 trillion cut), resulting in a 23% reduction in spending for all federal programs if defense and veterans’ programs are exempted. That would be a huge hit for the Social Security Administration (SSA), which already is chronically underfunded. A cut of that size would exacerbate glaring customer service problems at the SSA. Social Security claimants have suffered through interminable wait times on the agency’s 800 phone number, field office closures, and long delays obtaining Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) hearings. Thousands of SSDI claimants have died waiting for adjudication of their cases. These problems will only get worse if SSA’s operating budget is cut by 23%.
In addition to the impact on SSA operations, cutting domestic discretionary funding would slash a wide variety of crucial seniors’ programs under the Older Americans Act. These include nutrition programs such as Meals-on-Wheels, the Medicare State Health Insurance Program (SHIP), caregiver support services, and housing for the elderly, among others.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has declared the House GOP bill ‘dead on arrival’ in the Senate. We urge the Senate to act as a firewall and not cave to House Republicans holding the U.S. economy hostage to achieve their miserly agenda. We stand with President Biden who refuses to negotiate on the debt ceiling and insists on a clean bill. Seniors and other vulnerable Americans are counting on the White House and Congress to protect them from a mean-spirited MAGA agenda.” – Max Richtman, President and CEO, National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare
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