Republicans Suggest Cuts to Social Security and Medicare in House Majority

House Republicans, who have a new majority in the 118th Congress, have made it clear they intend to seek cuts to entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare.

Their plan to target health care programs follows demands from a group of conservatives who helped elect House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R, California) over the weekend. These far-right lawmakers have called for sweeping spending cuts to tackle the mounting national debt.

But the narrow House Republican majority — McCarthy can afford to lose just four votes on any bill — is far more divided on cutting defense spending than on qualification programs.

“I’m in favor of a balanced budget, but I’m not going to do it with our military and military backing,” said former Army Green Beret Rep. Michael Waltz (R-Florida). ) teeth, Said During an interview with Fox Business on Monday. “If you really want to talk about debt and spending, it’s a qualification program.”

as part of him list of concessions To conservatives, McCarthy has reportedly agreed to limit next year’s spending to fiscal 2022 levels. Over $130 billion in savings From last month’s $1.7 trillion government funding bill.

Republicans have no plans to change benefits for current Social Security and Medicare beneficiaries, according to Rep. Chip Roy (Republican of Texas).

Roy said in CNN’s State of the Union address on Sunday, “I’ve made it clear that I’m not talking about the benefits that come to people who depend on Social Security and Medicare benefits.” “But we’re all sitting at the table and being honest about how we make them work, how we handle defense spending, how we handle non-defense discretionary spending. I have to think.”

The Republican Study Board will gradually raise the Social Security and Medicare eligibility ages and change the Social Security benefit formula for people under the age of 54, while leaving it unchanged for those close to it in fiscal 2023. proposed a budget.

Democrats will likely oppose these changes, and will likely oppose cuts to Social Security and Medicare, and any ensuing confrontation could lead to further government shutdowns. The lapse in funds lasted 35 days after a row over former President Donald Trump’s border policies and immigration.

Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Connecticut), the Democratic head of the House Appropriations Committee, said last week that Republicans are “almost guaranteeing a shutdown” by demanding spending caps at fiscal 2022 levels. warned.

“These kinds of cuts would harm communities and families across the country who are already struggling with inflation and rising costs of living,” De Lauro said in a statement. “They are jeopardizing support for veterans, law enforcement, small businesses and military families.”

Arthur Delaney contributed to the report.