The New York Times offers more details on the bill, aimed at preventing automatic-cuts to the Pentagon, advanced by House Republicans yesterday which, among other things, would impose a massive cut to Meals on Wheels.
The Congressional Budget Office estimated that the bill would push 1.8 million people off food stamps and could cost 280,000 children their school lunch subsidies and 300,000 children their health insurance coverage through the federal and state Children’s Health Insurance Program. Elimination of the social services block grant to state and local governments would hit child abuse prevention programs, Meals on Wheels and child care.
A quarter of the cuts in the bill would come from programs for the poor. Cuts to Medicaid, food stamps and subsidized insurance premiums under the health care law make up more than a third of the package’s savings, or $108 billion over 10 years.
The Joint Chiefs and Staff already agreed to and submitted a budget that reflects the upcoming cuts, which Paul Ryan accused them of lying about when they said it was an acceptable budget, and now the Republicans are trying to force the Pentagon back to previous spending levels by cutting food for your grandmother and poor children instead.
Fortunately the Democrats in the senate are standing their ground, and the only way the Republicans will be able to force the issue is to threaten a government shutdown at the end of fiscal 2012. And I don’t believe they’ll be willing to do that so close to the election. A temporary extension of current spending levels until after the election, or possibly even beyond the new year, seems far more likely.