Speaker McCarthy and his Republican House majority are holding the economy hostage over their supposed debt “concerns,” but their MAGA debt default plan is loaded with harmful cuts aimed at vulnerable Americans – including our military veterans and service members.

Before House Republicans voted to pass their Default on America Act, Secretary of Veteran Affairs Denis McDonough took to the Senate to make the consequences of their cuts for veterans clear:

The numbers anticipated in the bill being debated in the House would force us to reduce by six thousand, the claims personnel in [Veterans Benefits Administration] … even in a system as big as ours, 30 million fewer outpatient visits is a meaningful diminution in access to care. It means fewer cancer screenings, it means fewer wellness visits, it means fewer mental health care treatment and substance use disorder treatment appointments.”

Secretary of Veteran Affairs, Denis McDonough

Yet, House GOP Conference Chair Elise Stefanik (R-NY), still denied what was unquestionably spelled out in her caucus’ plan – cruelly claiming that the Department of Veterans Affairs was “shamelessly lying about veterans benefits and politicizing the VA to do so.” 

Anyone taking a look at the MAGA right’s proposed cuts to Veterans’ services and other earned benefits will see that House Republicans like Stefanik are the ones shamelessly lying about their bill’s impact on veterans they were elected to serve. Among the cruelest cuts the plan proposes

  • Defunding 30 million more outpatient visits than planned.
  • Eliminating 81,000 jobs across the Veterans Health Administration. 
  • Cutting 6,000 staff members from the Veterans Benefits Administration, which would increase the disability claims backlog by an estimated 134,000 claims.
  • Rolling back $565 million for major construction projects to update aging hospitals.
  • Limiting access to telehealth by cutting funding for IT infrastructure.
  • Laying off about 500 VA National Cemetery Administration staffers.

Believe it or not, those cuts may not even be the most heartless ones the “MAGA Default Plan” makes to the services veterans rely on. As the VHA itself flagged, the plan makes massive cuts to broader programs our nation’s vets and other vulnerable Americans rely on, including SNAP benefits and housing vouchers.

Don’t let their pro-military posturing fool you — every House Republican that voted for the MAGA Default Plan voted for cutting services and programs that keep our veterans healthy, fed, and housed. 

It’s time for the MAGA majority to stop playing dangerous political games with benefits our bravest Americans earned by dedicating their lives to serving our country. If Republicans truly cared about our military members, they would responsibly pass a clean bill that allows the nation to pay its bills and give America’s veterans the care and support they earned.

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