House Budget ranking member Chris Van Hollen released a report this week skewering Republicans over their plans to replace mandatory spending cuts with reductions to entitlements, health care and other Democratic priorities.
The Maryland Democrat’s report comes ahead of the Budget Committee’s Monday markup of reconciliation instructions and previews Democrats’ line of attack against the Republican proposals to roll back defense and other discretionary spending cuts that were triggered when last year’s super committee failed to produce a $1.2 trillion deficit reduction plan. The cuts are set to take effect in January 2013.
“Reconciliation instructions reflect [the] Republican goal of slashing vital services,” Van Hollen’s report states. “Now House Republicans are using the fast-track procedures provided under budget reconciliation to hasten passage of some of their budget resolution’s priorities.”
Six committees have come up with $261 billion of alternative targeted cuts to replace the some of the sequester’s across-the-board cuts. But Van Hollen said the cuts disproportionately affect low-income people.
In particular, Van Hollen objected to cuts to food stamps, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, President Barack Obama’s 2010 heath care law and social services block grants, which help states fund programs for low-income people.
“This unbalanced approach to deficit reduction — focused only on cutting investments rather than also closing tax loopholes — is the wrong choice for America,” the report states.
Leaders from military and veterans service organizations joined Sens. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., Kelly Ayotte , R-N.H., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., at a press conference to urge the Senate to replace a provision in the budget proposal that cuts retirement benefits for veterans. Wicker, Ayotee, and Graham earlier called for a bipartisan solution to replace the $6.3 billion in cuts to military retiree benefits.
Each year since 1990, CQ Roll Call has reviewed the financial disclosures of all 541 senators, representatives and delegates to determine the 50 richest members of Congress. This year's report, derived from forms covering the calendar year 2012, shows it took a net worth of $6.67 million to crack the exclusive club.