House Republicans Prepare to Slash Spending in Budget Showdown

“We’re in a total strategic cul-de-sac on the right, and our fiscal warriors and strategists have totally failed in the sense that, point to any cuts we’ve had success-wise since 1997,” Mr. Vought said in an interview. “I actually think that that’s the worst part of the federal spending, because it’s the bureaucracy.

“I’m not saying you can balance on discretionary alone,” he said, referring to the part of the federal budget controlled by Congress. “But a work requirement food stamp program is a lot easier to sell than premium support,” he added, referring to a plan to make Medicare beneficiaries shoulder more of their costs.

The strategy suggested by Mr. Vought, who has become something of an intellectual and tactical guru to many of the hard-liners in the House Republican Conference, would enact deep spending cuts to what he called the “woke and weaponized government.”

The outline includes a 45 percent cut to foreign aid; adding work requirements for food stamp and Medicaid beneficiaries; a 43 percent cut to housing programs, including phasing out the Section 8 program that pays a portion of monthly rent costs for low-income people; cutting the F.B.I.’s counterintelligence budget by nearly half; and eliminating Obamacare expansions to Medicaid to save tens of billions of dollars.

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Nearly 40 states have accepted federal funding for expansion under the Affordable Care Act, providing health care coverage for an estimated 12 million individuals living near or below the poverty line.

The proposal would also eliminate the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at the Pentagon, cut $3.4 billion in State Department migration and refugee assistance, and make Pell grants available only to students whose families cannot contribute any money toward a college education.

Adding work requirements to programs like food stamps is “a given,” according to Mr. Norman.

“We’re $32 trillion in debt,” said Representative Chip Roy, Republican of Texas. “We’ve got to get people back to work, get the economy going.”


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