Cost Of MAGA Default: House Bill Cuts Veterans’ Affairs by 22%, Jeopardizing Vets’ Care
Washington, DC — The extreme MAGA House Majority is threatening to manufacture a catastrophic default crisis and economic collapse. To hold the economy hostage, the House passed a long list of hugely unpopular and extreme ransom demands that promise pain for millions of average Americans including veterans, seniors, students, children, workers, and the food insecure. They voted to ship 100,000 high paying manufacturing jobs overseas while going out of their way to protect wealthy tax cheats. The MAGA Majority’s proposed cuts are untenable, unworkable, and unserious, especially as they leave in place costly tax breaks for billionaires and big corporations. With the nation now projected to run out of money as early as June 1st, Accountable.US’ Cost Of MAGA Default’ project continues to underscore the catastrophic consequences of a MAGA default that grows closer by the day.
The MAGA House Majority passed a shameful default bill loaded with extreme cuts that disproportionately harm Americans’ veterans, and now they’re shamelessly trying to convince veterans not to believe their own eyes. MAGA Republicans like Majority Leader Scalise and Rep. Stefanik would rather insult the intelligence of veterans than be honest about the clearly harmful cuts they fully endorsed."
Liz Zelnick, spokesperson for Accountable.US.
Today In Focus: MAGA Majority’s Default Bill Returning Discretionary Spending to FY 2022 Levels Means a Staggering and Unavoidable 22 Percent Cut to the Dept. of Veterans’ Affairs – Undermining Veterans’ Health Care
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA)’s MAGA default plan slashes $4.5 trillion in discretionary spending to match FY 2022 levels, a move that has been criticized as hurting veterans by defunding telehealth programs.
- MAGA House Majority’s Default Bill Would Require 22 Percent Cut to Veterans’ Affairs Department: “Since House Republicans made it clear early on that they wanted to keep military spending on its present growth path, the White House produced an estimate of how much the GOP would have to cut from all other agencies, including the Department of Veterans Affairs, to still achieve its spending reduction goals. That’s where the 22% cut comes from. According to the White House, if the 2024 overall pool of discretionary spending was limited to 2022’s level and the defense spending was held at this year’s level, everything else would have to be cut by 22% to stay below the cap. [Huffington Post, 05/02/2023]
- The Republican House Majority Leader Lied On National Television About The Unavoidable Cuts Against Veterans Under The MAGA Default Bill: “I will not bring a bill that cuts our veterans,” House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.) said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.”
- April 2023: The Department Of Veteran Affairs Released A Statement Saying A 22% Reduction In Spending Would “Threaten Critical Services For Veterans—Both At VA And Across The Federal Government.” “While the President’s Budget details a plan to honor our country’s sacred obligation to care for America’s Veterans, their families, caregivers, and survivors, the proposal to cut a broad range of critical programs by 22% would threaten critical services for Veterans – both at VA and across the federal government.” [Department of Veteran Affairs, 04/21/23]
- Proposed Cuts Would “Worsen Wait Times For Benefits,” And Would Eliminate Over 6,000 Staff “Increasing The Disability Claims Backlog By An Estimated 134,000 Claims.” “Worsen Wait Times for Benefits. Under the proposal, the Veterans Benefits Administration would eliminate more than 6,000 staff, increasing the disability claims backlog by an estimated 134,000 claims and forcing Veterans and their surviving loved ones to wait longer for the benefits they have earned, including pensions, life insurance, GI Bill educational supports, and employment services.” [Department of Veteran Affairs, 04/21/23]
- The Reduced Funding Would Also “Prevent Construction On The Health Care Facilities That Veterans Need,” Reducing Funding For Major Construction Projects By Up To $565 Million. “Prevent Construction on the Health Care Facilities that Veterans need. Veterans deserve to receive care in state-of-the-art facilities, but the median VA hospital was built nearly 60 years ago – compared to just 13 years ago in the private sector. This proposal would cut up to $565 million for major construction projects, including critical clinical upgrades to hospitals and clinics. These cuts would negatively impact Veteran health care across America.” [Department of Veteran Affairs, 04/21/23]
BACKGROUND: Accountable.US’ ‘Cost of MAGA Default’ project puts a daily spotlight on specific harms the MAGA Majority’s default plan and brinkmanship will bring for Main Street and Wall Street alike – from tanking markets, frozen credit, lost jobs, disruptions to critical benefits like Social Security, and soaring interest rates on everything from car loans to mortgages. While the MAGA Majority claims they are holding the economy hostage over supposed debt ‘concerns,’ they insist on harmful cuts – crafted by the far-right House Freedom Caucus – aimed at average Americans while protecting and even expanding debt ballooning tax breaks for billionaires and big corporations that profiteer and ship U.S. jobs overseas. The clock is ticking. The MAGA majority should stop playing dangerous political games with American lives and the economy and responsibly pass a clean bill that allows the nation to pay its bills. The sooner they do, the less damage will be inflicted on Americans of all walks of life.