The White House branded the House Freedom Caucus’ deficit plan as “tax breaks for the super-rich and lavish spending for special interests,” while the two sides continued to trade blows amid an escalating row over the debt ceiling.
“MAGA House Republicans propose that at least 20 [percent] general cut,” said Ben LaBolt, White House communications director, in an initial analysis of the proposal.
LaBolt pointed to several typically Republican problem areas that would be affected by such cuts, including law enforcement, border security, education and manufacturing.
“The only thing MAGA Republicans want to protect is tax cuts for the super-rich,” he added. “That means their plan, with all the sacrifices they’re asking of the American working class, will reduce the deficit by…$0.”
The Freedom Caucus on Friday unveiled its initial spending calls for a possible debt ceiling hike as the possibility of a default looms this summer. The proposal would cap discretionary spending for 10 years at fiscal 2022 levels, resulting in a $131 billion cut from current levels. Defense spending would be kept at current levels.
LaBolt claimed that the proposal would also relieve the burden on police and make the border less secure, reversing two accusations Republicans have frequently leveled at the Biden administration.
According to LaBolt’s analysis, such spending cuts would eliminate funding for 400 state, local, and tribal law enforcement officers and several thousand FBI agents and employees, and “deny the men and women of Customs and Border Protection the resources they need to enforce our… secure borders”.
He also criticized the Freedom Caucus’s calls to end President Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan and reverse unspent COVID-19 and Inflation Reduction Act funds, claiming they would increase the cost of prescription drugs, energy and jobs in the Manufacturing ship overseas.
The analysis also accused the group of hard-line Conservatives of plotting that would actually increase the federal deficit by $114 billion and “allow the rich and big corporations to continue cheating on their taxes.” Biden’s $6.8 trillion budget released Thursday included tax increases for the wealthy.
LaBolt’s 20 percent figure represents a slight adjustment to Biden’s claim Friday that the plan would require a 25 percent cut in discretionary spending across the board.
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“If they mean what they’re saying, they’re going to keep the last president’s tax cuts…no extra taxes for the rich — tax cuts, actually — and on top of that, they’re going to say we need to cut 25 percent of every program across the board,” he said Biden during his remarks on the economy. “I don’t know what there is much to negotiate about.”
House Freedom Caucus leader Scott Perry (R-Pa.) hit back at the president on Friday, accusing him of misrepresenting their proposal.
“To bring up things like firefighters, police officers and healthcare – obviously he either didn’t see the press conference, he can’t read, or someone put their hand on his back and they’re there to speak for him because those are just pathetic ones lies,” Perry told The Hill. “It’s the same old Biden administration smear and fear campaign.”
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