Republicans are ramping up their push to reduce the deficit on the backs of the poor. The Republican Study Committee, the House GOP's conservative caucus, is lobbying party leaders to include big cuts to food stamps, Medicaid, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, and other welfare programs for the poor. The proposal could "save as much as $1.4 trillion over a decade," the Hill reports:
The RSC bill would set back overall welfare spending for most poverty programs to 2007 levels, plus inflation. The proposal includes food stamps, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Medicaid, but does not include unemployment insurance or Social Security disability payments.
The proposal also includes welfare reform that would make food stamps contingent on even tougher work requirements:
Currently, adults without dependents working less than 80 hours per month are limited to three months of food stamps in any three-year period. The bill would require heads of families to work 120 hours per month to receive benefits, among other changes.
Never mind that the country remains stuck in a recession and that finding work is still a struggle for millions of Americans, despite a superficial decline in the unemployment rate. Having vowed against any tax increases, Republicans must look elsewhere for money if they want to fulfill their promise to reduce the deficit. How about reducing corporate welfare by lowering subsidies for agribusiness? Nah. It's easier to go after poor constituents who don't fund your campaigns and aren't likely to vote for you anyway.