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Mulvaney Amendment Means (At Least) Five More Problems with Boehner’s Plan B

Yesterday we reported that House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) had introduced a tax bill – referred to as “Plan B” – that protects most tax cuts for the richest two percent, ends improvements in tax credits for hardworking families, and does nothing to help two million jobless workers who are about to lose federal unemployment benefits. The House is scheduled to vote on this disastrous bill tonight.

But wait, there’s more! The House is now also scheduled to vote on an amendment introduced by Rep. Mulvaney (R-SC) that would make Plan B even more dangerous for women and their families by adding harmful spending cuts to the unfair tax policies in the bill. The Mulvaney amendment is nearly identical to a bill passed by the House passed in the spring, which would avoid the automatic cuts scheduled to begin in January for the remainder of FY 2013 – but only by replacing those across-the-board cuts with deep cuts targeted to many programs that women and their families especially depend on. So here are my top five reasons why the Mulvaney amendment makes a bad bill much, much worse:

  1. It slashes funding for health care. Among other cuts that would hamper implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the amendment would reduce access to affordable coverage by discouraging the use of premium tax credits designed to help people pay for health insurance. The amendment also allows states to restrict their eligibility standards for Medicaid, which could reduce eligibility or benefits for millions – especially women, who disproportionately rely on Medicaid for health care coverage.

  2. It cuts nutrition assistance for low-income families. Cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP/food stamps) in the amendment would reduce monthly benefits almost immediately for about 44 million people and deny benefits altogether for as many as 2 million more. In addition, about 280,000 low-income children would lose access to free meals at school.

  3. It eliminates the Social Services Block Grant (SSBG). The SSBG program provides funding to help states support seniors and children, including critical funding for child care assistance, which would be terminated under the Mulvaney amendment.

  4. It restricts eligibility for the Child Tax Credit. On top of the cuts to the Child Tax Credit in Plan B, the Mulvaney amendment would make millions of low- and moderate-income immigrant working families completely ineligible for the credit, costing them about $1,800 on average.

  5. It will move our economy in the wrong direction. To address the “fiscal cliff” in a way that advances our economic recovery, Congress must reach agreement on a plan that protects vulnerable women and families, supports jobless workers and invests in job creation, and requires the wealthiest Americans and corporations to pay their fair share of taxes. Speaker Boehner’s Plan B and Rep. Mulvaney’s amendment do just the opposite: their plan slashes billions in funding for programs women and their families rely on, abandons the long-term unemployed, does nothing to promote job growth or prevent the across-the-board cuts scheduled to take effect after FY 2013, and maintains hundreds of billions of dollars in tax breaks for the richest among us while raising taxes on working families and students. These steps can only move our economy backwards.

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