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POLICY INSIGHT
BEYOND THE NUMBERS

Budget Bill Would Break Deal, Cut Programs for Vulnerable Americans

| By CBPP
The House is scheduled to vote today on legislation that would alter the bipartisan deal between President Obama and congressional leaders that was reflected in last summer’s Budget Control Act (BCA) by eliminating the “sequestration” (automatic cuts) in discretionary programs scheduled for 2013, and replacing it with a package that is strikingly unbalanced in how it affects different parts of the budget and, in particular, programs for low- and moderate-income people. Last week, the Center issued an overview of the proposal, and we took a closer look at the effects of canceling the sequestration for 2013. We’ve also recently issued reports examining the cuts the bill would make to critical domestic programs:
  • SNAP. The proposed cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly known as food stamps) would reduce or eliminate benefits for all SNAP households, including the poorest.
  • Social services. The bill would terminate the Social Services Block Grant, a uniquely flexible funding source that helps states meet the specialized needs of their most vulnerable populations, primarily low- and moderate-income children and people who are elderly or disabled.
  • Health insurance. The legislation includes a change in the Affordable Care Act’s subsidies that would cause 350,000 people to forgo coverage and make it more difficult for the health reform law’s insurance exchanges to function effectively.