Rep. Mike Johnson (R-La.), has been scrutinized for his past budget proposals to slash trillions of dollars from vital social safety net programs, including Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.
These proposals, previously put forward during his tenure as chair of the Republican Study Committee (RSC) between 2019 and 2021, have raised concerns among advocates for social safety nets and progressive organizations.
Under Johnson’s leadership, the RSC drafted budget resolutions that called for approximately. There are proposed cuts of $2 trillion in Medicare, $3 trillion in Medicaid and Affordable Care Act, and $750 billion in Social Security as Bobby Kogan of the Center for American Progress highlighted.
According to Alex Lawson, the executive director of Social Security Works, Johnson’s budget proposals also included measures to raise the Social Security retirement age, reduce annual cost-of-living benefit increases, and advance privatization efforts.
Johnson’s assertion that “forced births are necessary to fund Social Security” was of particular concern, a controversial statement that sought to link reproductive rights to the program’s funding.
Johnson has been revealed to have voted in favor of a commission that aims to reduce Social Security and Medicare funding through secretive proceedings, raising apprehension about these essential programs’ future.
Advocates like Lawson have expressed their concerns about Johnson’s speakership, fearing that he will continue to pursue cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.
They believe such measures would put seniors and people with disabilities at risk.
Speaker Johnson’s Impact on Vulnerable Americans
They are urging the Biden administration and Congressional Democrats to stand united in protecting these earned benefits and reject any commission proposals that might jeopardize the well-being of these vulnerable populations.
It is essential to note that Johnson’s positions on these social safety nets are consistent with the broader House Republican caucus’s stance.
The RSC, now chaired by Rep. Kevin Hern (R-Okla.), has issued budget proposals advocating the gradual increase of the Social Security retirement age to 69, a change that would have widespread repercussions on benefits.
The RSC’s recommendations include transforming Medicare into a voucher program and making substantial cuts to Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and Affordable Care Act subsidies.
As the newly elected Speaker, Johnson’s influence on the Republican agenda and policy direction may have significant implications for the future of these crucial social safety net programs, raising concerns among advocates and organizations dedicated to protecting the well-being of vulnerable Americans.
Source: Salon via Newsbreak