Biden's budget calls for new taxes on wealthy, deficit cuts. Here's what the GOP is proposing
WASHINGTON – House Republicans have spent the week blasting President Joe Biden's budget as a Shakespearean tragedy, claiming "what's past is prologue" and that the top Democrat is once again crafting a bloated plan that will ultimately raise taxes and debt.
But soon Republicans may find themselves "in a pickle" – another phrase from Shakespeare's "The Tempest" – when they have to unveil what's in their own budget.
Biden will release his budget Thursday afternoon, and Democrats have been asking Republicans, "What's your plan?"
It's a question members of the House majority haven't been quick to answer in Capitol hallways, press conferences and interviews, but some of their public statements in the last two months offer a roadmap.
What budgets cuts do House Republicans want?
The week after House Speaker Kevin McCarthy met Biden at the White House early last month to begin debt ceiling negotiations, Republicans started to reveal the budget cuts they're planning.
House Budget Committee Chairman Jodey Arrington, R-Texas, said in a press release Feb. 8 that "we must reverse the curse" of "uncontrolled federal spending." To do that, the Republican majority on the committee is proposing a number of cuts, including:
Pulling back nearly $100 billion in uncommitted COVID money
Reinstating work requirements for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Preogram (SNAP)
Reducing fraud in the Child Tax Credit (CTC) and SNAP (food stamp) Program
Capping Obamacare subsidies at 400 percent of the poverty level and recovering overpayments
Cutting nearly $90 billion in funding for the Environmental Protection Agency included in the Inflation Reduction Act
Ending Biden's student debt cancellation
Cutting $13 billion in green spending for electric vehicles for the U.S. Postal Service and buses with low emissions
Eliminating $1.2 million for LGBTQIA+ Pride Centers, $3.6 million for a Michelle Obama Trail in Georgia, $750,000 for transgender care in Los Angeles and more
Additionally, some conservative think tanks in Washington, D.C., influencing government spending, such as the Heritage Foundation and the Center for Renewing America, have proposed billions worth of cuts each to Defense, Housing and Urban Development, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Health and Human Services.
What are Republicans saying about spending?
"Everyone knows Biden's out-of-control spending is what's causing the inflation that's driving up the prices on almost everything," House Majority Leader Steve Scalise said last week. "You deserve to know what he's costing you."
And McCarthy told reporters Wednesday, "We can no longer ignore the major problem that we have — the size of our debt."
"We have a choice," he said. "Either we can have reckless spending or we can have responsibility. But we can't have both."
Since taking office, McCarthy has called the national debt "one of the greatest threats to America."
What are Democrats saying about the GOP budget?
Democrats say even with billions in cuts to those programs, to get to FY2022 budget levels as Republicans intend seems nearly impossible without touching Social Security and Medicare. But both parties have said those programs are off the table.
"Republicans have created an impossible situation for themselves: their math doesn’t add up, the speaker made conflicting promises he knows he can’t keep, and they know the American people won't accept their devastating cuts," Rep. Brendan Boyle, a Pennsylvania Democrat and ranking member of the House Budget committee, said in a statement to USA TODAY.
House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries in a tweet this week called out the GOP for not releasing a budget yet: "President Biden will release his budget this week. Why are MAGA Republicans hiding their extreme plans from the American people."
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer was more succinct in a tweet Wednesday.
"Speaker McCarthy: It's March 8th, where is your plan?"
When will Republicans release their budget?
The House budget is due April 15, and both Arrington and Scalise have said their caucus is working to meet that deadline.
More: Biden's about to unveil his budget proposal. His endgame: Forcing Republicans' hand
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More: Biden budget proposal would increase Medicare tax for Americans earning more than $400K
Candy Woodall is a Congress reporter for USA TODAY. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @candynotcandace.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Biden budget plan to be unveiled; this is how the GOP plans to cut