Rep. Ilhan Omar

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) departs a House Budget Committee markup meeting on September 20, 2023 in Washington, D.C.

(Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Omar Condemns Millionaire Republicans for Pushing Huge Cuts to Medicaid and Food Benefits

The Minnesota Democrat slammed the GOP for pursuing massive safety net cuts "while doing nothing to rein in our nearly trillion-dollar Pentagon budget or the trillions they've handed out to millionaires and billionaires."

Rep. Ilhan Omar on Wednesday condemned her Republican colleagues for proposing a budget resolution that includes massive cuts to key aid programs while backing an extension of giveaways for the wealthy and large corporations.

"We are in the midst of a shutdown crisis because Republicans can't even organize their own caucus to pass funding levels that were already agreed to," Omar (D-Minn.) said during the House Budget Committee's markup of the new resolution. "And now they launch some of the most radical cuts to healthcare, to housing assistance, to food assistance, to the postal office, and nearly every program under the sun—all while doing nothing to rein in our nearly trillion-dollar Pentagon budget or the trillions they've handed out to millionaires and billionaires through the Trump tax cuts."

"There's a lot of awful stuff in this budget," Omar continued, pointing to the proposal's $1.9 trillion in Medicaid cuts over the next decade as well as the hundreds of millions of dollars in cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), "literally starving families who are already struggling with rising food prices."

Omar also slammed the resolution's call for a bipartisan commission to examine Social Security, Medicare, and other trust fund programs—a proposal that advocates warn is a ploy to fast-track benefit cuts.

"But what is the most sickening is that they entirely leave in place the Trump and Bush tax cuts to benefit them and their friends—which have cost over $10 trillion and are responsible for almost all of the increasing debt ratio," said the Minnesota Democrat. "Oh, and on top of that, they defund enforcement of high-earning tax cheats."

Omar went on to single out by name ultra-wealthy members of the House Budget Committee who would benefit from an extension of Trump-era tax provisions and any further weakening of the Internal Revenue Service.

"That includes Buddy Carter, who has vocally pushed to slash Medicaid and take away healthcare from his own constituents and is worth $33 million," said Omar. "And it includes Ralph Norman, one of the most extreme advocates of taking away food assistance from working people, who is worth a whopping $43 million."

The House Budget Committee advanced the GOP resolution in a party-line vote on Wednesday, with all of the panel's Democrats voting no.

Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-Pa.), the top Democrat on the committee, said in response to the vote that "just 10 days away from another Republican government shutdown, Budget Committee Republicans have revealed just how extreme their budget plan really is."

"This budget resolution is a dark vision for America," said Boyle, "one that favors the wealthy and well-connected over working families, one that makes massive cuts to the critical programs Americans rely on, and one that doubles down on the extreme demands that are driving our nation towards a shutdown."

On Wednesday, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) reportedly briefed his caucus on a "new plan" to keep the government open beyond September 30, a proposal that includes even steeper spending cuts than what the White House and GOP agreed to as part of their debt ceiling deal earlier this year.

Boyle said Wednesday that Democrats will remain opposed to the GOP's push for extreme cuts.

"While Republicans may not care about the costs of a government shutdown or the devastating impact of these cuts, Democrats do," said Boyle. "We will continue fighting to make sure this nightmarish vision never becomes reality, and we will continue fighting to invest in the American people so that we can lower the cost of living and grow the middle class. Instead of wasting more time on this far-right agenda, House Republicans need to do their job, honor the bipartisan budget agreement, and keep our government open."

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