In an apparent attempt at winning back the hearts of conservative voters, the Republican representatives are making cuts in their proposed budget for next year. Those cuts include cutting Obamacare and IRS tax credits for the children of illegal aliens.
The House Ways and Means Committee, chaired by Kevin Brady, and the Energy and Commerce subcommittee, chaired by Fred Upton, have recommended changing the policy on $1,000 per child tax credits by requiring the person filing the return enter a social security number instead of a Taxpayer ID number as is the current policy, according to an AP report by Andrew Taylor. This change would stop illegal aliens from being able to claim tax credits for their children. It is estimated this would save $20 billion over the next twenty years.
The committees also recommended cuts to a “prevention fund” that was established under Obamacare in the Affordable Care Act. They also proposed providing the government a method to reclaim subsidies for Obamacare from people whose income unexpected rose during the year.
Fights in the House over other cuts in the budget are placing Republican lawmakers in the position of possibly not passing a budget for the first time since they took over leadership of the House in 2011. This is something Speaker Paul Ryan is not happy about. A law passed years back that would cut the paychecks of representatives if they failed to pass a budget has lapsed. Ryan things it should be restored, Taylor reported.
“When I grew up in Wisconsin, if you had a job and you did the work, then you got paid. If you didn’t do the work you didn’t get paid. It’s that simple,” Ryan said at the time. “All we’re saying is: ‘Congress, follow the law. Do your work. Budget.’ ”
One of the big obstacles to budget passage is in an effort to cut $44 billion by placing restrictions on medical malpractice awards. This proposal is in the House Judiciary Committee where Houston Ted Poe opposes the measure because he believes it violates states’ rights.
“What this legislation does is goes and tells 15 states that since you do not have a limit on punitive damages, we are going to impose a limit on punitive damages in your state whether you like it or not,” Poe said to the AP reporter.
Proponents of the restrictions claim the change would save money in Medicare because doctors would perform fewer “defensive medicine” procedures.
Other obstacles to the budget appear to be in the Agriculture Committee chaired by Texan Mike Conaway. The chairman told the AP he is waiting on food stamp cuts until a larger budgetary agreement is made. He told the AP there is no reason to “create a furor and have an argument with a bunch of folks” if the issue isn’t going anywhere.
Another Texan, Jeb Hensarling, chairs the Financial Services Committee. He has been silent on his committee’s plans to make cuts in the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial system overhaul, the AP reported.
Taylor claimed, in his AP article, that Republican lawmakers have never actually sought to implement controversial cuts they have been proposing. One of those cuts he discussed is a proposal to transform Medicare into a voucher-like program for new retirees at some point in the future.
However, the cuts that have already been proposed are targeting $140 billion in cuts over the next ten years.