Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson Releases Statement after Voting No on Republican Balanced Budget Amendment
New Report Shows GOP Amendment Would Force Dire Cuts to Pillars of Seniors’ Retirement Security
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson released the following statement after voting no on a Republican Balanced Budget constitutional amendment designed to force deep cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security:
“The GOP tax scam mortgaged the future of our seniors and our families in order to give even more money to Wall Street, Pharmaceutical companies, big corporations and the wealthiest 1 percent,” said Congresswoman Johnson. “Now after adding trillions in higher deficits, Republicans want to amend our Constitution to force America’s seniors to give up the pillars of their retirement security to pay for the GOP’s giveaways to the wealthiest. I’m not going along with this sham so Republicans can destroy Medicare and Social Security.”
Earlier this week, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office found that the giveaways of the GOP tax scam, overwhelmingly going to big corporations and the wealthiest 1 percent, are exploding the deficit by even more than originally projected; now by nearly $2 trillion in higher deficits.
Now, a new report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities finds that, if revenues are not raised to help reach balance, the GOP Balanced Budget Amendment would require deep cuts in key programs, such as Medicare, Social Security, and Medicaid. The report finds that, if the cuts mandated by this flawed GOP BBA are spread proportionately, tens of millions of seniors, children, working families, and veterans would be impacted:
- Social Security would be cut by $325 billion in 2025 alone, and by a total of $2.6 trillion through 2028;
- Medicare would be cut by $200 billion in 2025 alone, and by a total of $1.7 trillion through 2028;
- Medicaid, CHIP, and ACA subsidies would be cut by $150 billion in 2025 alone, and by a total of $1.2 trillion through 2028; and
- Veterans' disability compensation and other benefits would be cut by $30 billion in 2025 alone, and by a total of $250 billion through 2028.
In preparing this report, the CBPP assumes that the balanced budget requirement would go into effect in 2025. It also assumes that, in order to hit the balanced budget target in 2025, Congress would start cutting programs in 2020.
As AARP wrote in urging Members of Congress to oppose the amendment, “A balanced budget amendment would likely harm Social Security and Medicare, subjecting both programs to potentially deep cuts without regard to the impact on the health and financial security of individuals… Individuals who have contributed their entire working lives to earn a predictable benefit during their retirement would find that their retirement income and health care out of pocket costs would vary significantly year-to-year, making planning difficult and peace of mind impossible… AARP opposes the adoption of a balanced budget amendment that puts Social Security and Medicare at risk.”
“I’m a strong believer in real fiscal responsibility, not this cynical gimmick that is a pretext for GOP cuts to Medicare, Social Security, and Medicaid,” Congresswoman Johnson continued. “We need to keep the promises we made to our seniors and our veterans, create more good-paying jobs, and reduce deficits in a responsible and sustainable manner.”
The amendment failed to reach the two-thirds majority threshold required to advance an Amendment to the Constitution.