The Washington Post took the Biden White House to task for falsely claiming the Limit, Save, Grow Act passed by the House GOP last week would cut veterans’ benefits.
The bill suspends the nation’s debt ceiling through March 2024 or until the debt increases by $1.5 trillion, whichever comes first, in exchange for setting fiscal year 2024 discretionary federal spending at FY 2022 levels.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said on Tuesday, “Their bill would cut 81,000 jobs from the VA, reducing outpatient visits by 30 million, and increase the disability claims backlog by an estimated 134,000.”
“Their bill would cut 81,000 jobs from the VA reducing outpatient visits by 30 million and increasing the disability claims backlog by an estimated 134,000.” – @PressSec
McCarthy must stop threatening cuts to programs that our veterans rely on. pic.twitter.com/Hfo110GBfZ
— Ted Corcoran (RedTRaccoon) (@RedTRaccoon) May 3, 2023
Post fact checker Glenn Kessler pointed out the Limit, Save, Grow Act makes no such specific cuts. It simply states that the discretionary spending level for FY 2024 would be $1.47 trillion rather than the $1.65 trillion enacted for FY 2023.
The Biden administration then made the assumption that Republicans would cut funding across all federal agencies equally — exempting military spending — which would require about a 22 percent reduction.
Based on this assumption, the Veterans Administration issued a news release on April 21 warning a cut at that level would mean, “30 million fewer Veteran outpatient visits, and 81,000 jobs lost across the Veterans Health Administration.”
Kessler noted Republicans have already stated that VA spending would be exempted.
“The White House acts as if the numbers it conjured up are real, when in fact veterans’ benefits are unlikely to be cut, especially at such magnitudes,” he wrote.
Nonetheless, President Joe Biden kept up the attack tweeting Thursday, “217 House Republicans voted to undermine veterans’ health care. That’s an insult to all the men and women who fought to protect our freedom.”
House Republicans responded, “This is a LIE. It has been debunked. House Republicans have made clear we WILL NOT cut veteran’ benefits. It is time for @JoeBiden and extreme Democrats to stop with the lies and get serious about addressing our nation’s debt crisis.”
This is a LIE.
It has been debunked.
House Republicans have made clear we WILL NOT cut veteran’ benefits.
— House Republicans (@HouseGOP) May 4, 2023
Biden has not been willing to meet with GOP lawmakers to negotiate a debt ceiling increase, despite the Treasury Department warning the federal government may not have the money it needs to pay its bills as soon as June 1, Reuters reported.
Biden wants a “clean” debt ceiling increase with no conditions.
The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget laid out some of the other major provisions of the Limit, Save, and Grow Act.
They include returning discretionary spending to the FY 2022 level for FY 2024 and then growing the budget at 1 percent annually for a decade.
The legislation would also repeal certain green energy spending, impose stricter work requirements for those receiving Medicaid and food stamps, pull back unused pandemic-appropriated funds, and prevent Biden from canceling student debt or expanding those eligible to repay less of their student loans.
The Committee for a Responsible Federal Government calculates the Republican plan overall would save $4.8 trillion over the next decade.