passed legislation calling instead for massive cuts to programs that help the poor and the middle class. The military cuts that the GOP aims at stopping are among the upcoming automatic cuts following last year's deficit reduction supercommittee's inability to reach agreement. According to the Republicans, budgetary waste resides wholly in domestic programs, not in the military. They did not consider raising taxes on the wealthy or corporations:
Fully 25 percent of the cuts come from programs that benefit the poor, while cuts to President Barack Obama's health care plan also affect those with modest incomes, prevention funding, and efforts by states to set up insurance exchanges. A cut to the Social Services Block Grants, which Republicans say duplicates other programs, would hit programs like Meals on Wheels for the elderly, child care and child abuse prevention. Another provision opposed by most Democrats would deny illegal immigrants tax refunds from the $1,000-per-child tax credit -- even though most of the children in question are U.S. citizens.
"They are protecting the massive Pentagon budget with all its waste ... and finding even deeper cuts in programs that benefit the people of this country," said liberal Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass. "This bill before us would create a government where there is no conscience; where the wealthy and well-connected are protected and enriched -- and the middle class, the poor, and the vulnerable are essentially forgotten."
But Republicans noted that much of the food stamp savings came from tightening eligibility loopholes and that the savings equal just 4 percent of the program's budget. Democrats noted that the cuts would also take away free school lunches for 280,000 children.