Republicans on the House Budget Committee recently unveiled potential areas of spending the party could target as a battle over raising the nation’s debt limit heats up Capitol Hill.
The Republicans released a list of proposed items they targeted as “wasteful, inefficient and unnecessary federal spending” on Wednesday, including proposals like recapturing unspent pandemic response funds and ending so-called woke funding.
“President Biden must acknowledge the spending crisis he helped create and responsibly negotiate with House Republicans on a new budgetary framework oriented around fiscal restraint,” the lawmakers said in a statement.
One featured proposal sought to save about $65 billion by capping ObamaCare subsidies “at 400 percent of poverty and below while recovering overpayments,” while other pitches were aimed at clawing back funds for the Environmental Protection Agency in the Democrats’ Inflation Reduction Act.
Other proposals include targeting “fraud” in the child tax credit (CTC) and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) by requiring Social Security numbers for the CTC recipients and income verification for SNAP beneficiaries — an idea GOP lawmakers estimated could save “roughly $70 billion.”
The GOP lawmakers are also pushing to cut “woke-waste” — what they described as “woke policies that American taxpayers shouldn’t be footing the bill for” — that were a part of the bipartisan $1.7 trillion government funding bill passed in December.
That section specifically details $1.2 million for “LGBTQIA+ Pride Centers,” $1 million for a “space for gender-expansive people of color” and $750,000 for “Transgender and Gender nonconforming and Intersex (TGI) immigrant women in Los Angeles.” It also noticeably targets $3.6 million for a trail named after former first lady Michelle Obama in Georgia.
“Probably because it had something to do with Michelle Obama and less they just are against nature in general,” Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Mich.), a member of the House Budget Committee, told The Hill.
The release also featured other proposals that Republicans have floated in recent days, including additional work requirements for certain welfare programs like SNAP, as well as the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program.
Republicans argued the nation could “save tens of billions and spur economic growth” by bringing more Americans into the workforce. But the proposal didn’t include further details about the proposed work requirements.
The push came a day after Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) led a group of four other conservatives — Reps. Andy Biggs (Ariz.), Dan Bishop (N.C.), Lauren Boebert (Colo.) and Norman — in a letter to President Biden ahead of his State of the Union on Tuesday urging “structural reforms” for SNAP to cut spending amid debt ceiling talks.
The letter urged Biden to “enact work requirements as a feature of welfare reform,” while structural reforms to SNAP would “better position funding for people in need while incentivizing able-bodied people to return to the workforce.”
However, other Republicans are skeptical of the plans.
Sports betting has risen tenfold in three years. Addiction experts fear the next opioid crisis
Senate panel probes holiday meltdown at Southwest Airlines
In comments with The Hill on Wednesday, House Agriculture Committee Chairman Glenn Thompson (R-Pa.) called the letter an “irrelevant proposal,” while noting people have a requirement for SNAP benefits “based on financial distress.”
“God bless them, you know, one of the things that everybody suffers from here from time to time, and I get it because I’ve done it, is you don’t know what you don’t know,” he said, adding: “We already have them. They have work requirements.”
The proposals come as House Republicans have been facing pressure to present firm ideas over where the party wants to curb government spending amid a partisan, high-stakes battle over the raising the debt limit.