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The 2023 Republican House Agenda: Cutting Medicare, Social Security, and Medicaid

By January 11, 2023No Comments

For months Republicans have openly stated their goal for their House majority – cutting Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid. GOP lawmakers are committed to ripping away basic benefits seniors have worked their whole lives to earn. Republicans in the MAGA-controlled House have promised to repeal the Affordable Care Act and increase prescription drug and health insurance costs. Once again, we see how a Republican majority means playing politics with people’s lives in order to support tax breaks for the wealthy and other special interests. 

JANUARY 2023: Rep. Michael Waltz: “If We Really Want To Talk About The Debt And Spending, It’s The Entitlements Program.” Michael Waltz: ‘We can work on reprioritizing defense spending, but that’s really nibbling around the margins. If we really want to talk about the debt and spending, it’s the entitlements program that’s 70 percent of our entire budget. That $1.7 trillion, and defense within that, is only 30 percent. So if we want to talk about big reforms, I look forward to hearing that from those folks who are pushing toward a balanced budget.’” [“Varney & Co,” Fox Business, 1/9/23

JANUARY 2023: Rep. Chip Roy Said Cuts For Future Beneficiaries Of Medicare And Social Security Were Possible. “‘What we have been very clear about is, we’re not going to touch the benefits that are going to people relying on the benefits under Social Security and Medicare,’ Roy said Sunday on CNN’s ‘State of the Union.’ ‘But we all have to be honest about sitting at the table and figuring out how we’re going to make those work, how we’re going to deal with defense spending and how we’re going to deal with nondefense discretionary spending.’” [HuffPost, 1/9/23

JANUARY 2023: Rep. Ralph Norman: “You Can’t Have A Balanced Budget Unless You Start Cutting.” “‘Everything will be looked at… You can’t have a balanced budget unless you start cutting,’ Norman said. ‘The dollars that go to defense — we’ve got to look at every dollar there as well as every other agency.’” [Jewish Insider, 1/9/23

JANUARY 2023: Majority Whip Tom Emmer: “It’s The Domestic Spending That We’re Going To Go After.” Tom Emmer: Republicans will not impact defense spending aside from efficiencies and waste. It’s the domestic spending that we’re going to go after.” [“Fox and Friends,” Fox News, 1/9/23

JANUARY 2023: House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan: “Everything Has To Be On The Table.” Jim Jordan: We’ve got a $32 trillion debt. Everything has to be on the table. We’re on pace to spend $500, $600 billion in debt payments in just to do interest payments servicing that debt. Everything has to be on the table.” [“Fox News Sunday,” Fox, 1/8/23

NOVEMBER 2022: House GOP Health Care Task Force Member Rep. Bruce Westerman: Medicare Should Be Made “Sustainable Over Time.” “‘If we’re going raise the debt ceiling, we can’t just raise it without focusing on some way to address the debt and the deficit,’ Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.), a member of the House GOP’s health care task force, told Axios, adding Medicare should be made ‘sustainable over time.’” [Axios, 11/3/22

NOVEMBER 2022: House Ways And Means Chairman Jason Smith: “We’re Going To Have A Lot Of Hearings On” Medicare Cuts. “‘We’re going to have a lot of hearings on this,’ Rep. Jason Smith (R-Mo.), the current top Republican on the Budget Committee who wants to move up to chairman of Ways and Means, told Axios. ‘I’m not going to get into the inner details.’” [Axios, 11/3/22

NOVEMBER 2022: Rep. Buddy Carter: “Everything Is On The Table.” “‘Everything is on the table, we haven’t really nailed down any specific policies one way or the other,’ Rep. Buddy Carter (R-Ga.), who is running to chair the House Budget panel. ‘I think it could be wrapped up with that [debt ceiling talks], that’s shaping up to be pretty dynamic.’” [Axios, 11/3/22

NOVEMBER 2022: The Influential Republican Study Committee Released A Budget Privatizing Medicare And Raising The Eligibility Age. “The proposed budget of the Republican Study Committee, an influential group of House Republicans, includes proposals like raising the Medicare eligibility age to 67 to align with Social Security, and converting Medicare to a ‘premium support’ system where seniors received a subsidy they could use on private plans competing against traditional Medicare.” [Axios, 11/3/22

NOVEMBER 2022: Speaker Of The House Kevin McCarthy Said Medicare And Social Security Cuts Could Be Part Of Debt Limit Negotiations.  “Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, who is in line to be House speaker if his party wins control, told Punchbowl News last month he would not ‘predetermine’ whether Social Security and Medicare cuts would be part of debt-limit negotiations. Those comments suggested that, unlike in past negotiations, Republicans could demand future cuts to the programs in order to raise America’s borrowing limit and avoid a default on government debt. Mr. McCarthy later told CNBC that he had not brought up the programs and was committed to ‘strengthening’ them, though he did not provide details.” [New York Times, 11/2/22

OCTOBER 2022: Rep. Lloyd Smucker Supported Reducing Medicare Benefits For Some Americans. “Reducing benefits for wealthier Americans could also cut costs, Smucker said. ‘We should ensure that we keep the promises that were made to the people who really need it, the people who are relying on it,’ Smucker said. ‘So some sort of means-testing potentially would help to ensure that we can do that.’” [Bloomberg, 10/11/22

OCTOBER 2022: House Majority Leader Steve Scalise Claimed Republicans Only Proposed “Strengthening And Shoring Up Medicare And Social Security.” “Representative Steve Scalise, the number two House Republican, defended his party’s approach to Medicare and Social Security, which has become a campaign issue ahead of US midterm elections in November.  It’s a mis-characterization to say the GOP plans to ‘cut’ the programs, Scalise said on ‘Fox News Sunday.’ ‘That is not something we have proposed,’ he said. ‘We have proposed strengthening and shoring up Medicare and Social Security.’” [Bloomberg, 10/11/22

OCTOBER 2022: House Budget Committee Chairman Jodey Arrington Called For “Eligibility Reforms” For Social Security And Medicare. “A bipartisan negotiation on Social Security and Medicare would likely start with Democrats pushing for more revenue, while ‘Republicans have a list of eligibility reforms, and we don’t like the tax increases,’ Arrington said. He said an increase in the eligibility age for both programs would be a commonsense change.” [Bloomberg, 10/11/22]

OCTOBER 2022: Rep. Buddy Carter: “Our Main Focus Has Got To Be On Nondiscretionary – It’s Got To Be On Entitlements.” “Social Security and Medicare need to be addressed in the near future, some of the lawmakers said. ‘Our main focus has got to be on nondiscretionary — it’s got to be on entitlements,’ Carter said.” [Bloomberg, 10/11/22