The House Republicans’ new poverty plan is silent on the discrepancy between its call to fight poverty and the House GOP’s own budget priorities. Those budget priorities, however, are unmistakable – they would cut programs for low- and modest-income people dramatically. The potential for massive cuts in key safety net programs only grows when you also consider the huge tax cuts that presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump has proposed.
Under the budget that House Budget Committee Republicans adopted in March, which Speaker Paul Ryan endorsed and is trying to bring to the House floor, 62 percent of its $6 trillion in budget cuts over ten years — or $3.7 trillion in cuts — would come from programs for people with low or modest incomes, even though these programs constitute only about a quarter of federal program spending.
By the tenth year (2026), the budget would cut these programs by 42 percent overall. Tens of millions of people would lose health coverage and millions would lose basic food or other support. The number of people that the safety net lifts above the poverty line would almost certainly diminish markedly.
Clearly, House GOP leaders’ stated interest in helping the poor contrasts sharply with their own budget.