On behalf of the AFL-CIO, I am writing to urge you to vote against the “Limit, Save, Grow Act of 2023” (H.R. 2811).
The Republican plan would freeze funding at FY 2022 levels and cap future increases for the next decade to 1% a year as a condition of raising the debt limit. The legislation would cut discretionary funding by a total of $144 billion from FY 2023 enacted levels, and reduce overall spending by $3 trillion over the next decade. Vital programs that millions of Americans depend on could be cut by as much as 22%. Moreover, experts warn that the McCarthy plan would lead to slower economic growth and fewer jobs.
This reckless legislation would have devastating real-life effects on working families, students, veterans, the elderly and the disadvantaged. The cuts would mean the end of Medicaid coverage for as many as 10 million low-income Americans; countless children, families and veterans would lose food assistance. The plan would reverse targeted debt relief for 40 million student borrowers and decrease aid to all 6.6 million Pell recipients. It also would eliminate more than 200,000 Head Start slots for children.
By clawing back unused COVID-19 relief funds, the McCarthy plan would slash funding for veterans’ medical care, vaccines, personal protective equipment and public transit agencies. It also could jeopardize the unspent funds in the multiemployer pension rescue plan—the “Butch Lewis Act”—that was included in the American Rescue Plan Act. Destroying the retirement income security of more than 1 million hardworking Americans is an outrageous and unacceptable price for a debt deal.
The McCarthy plan also would dim hopes of transitioning to a cleaner energy economy and rebuilding our manufacturing base around clean energy jobs. The United States is in a position to become a dominant producer of high-tech goods—from wind turbines to solar to electric vehicles. Rescinding the Inflation Reduction Act’s clean energy tax credits would cede the clean energy future to China and raise taxes on our businesses that are trying to remain globally competitive while combating climate change.
The cuts in the McCarthy plan would fall disproportionately on the backs of federal workers and undermine the ability of government agencies to fulfill their mission to serve the American people. The cuts will mean longer security lines at airports, fewer safety inspections for railroads and our food supply, and the closure of Social Security offices, veterans’ clinics and rural hospitals.
The full faith and credit of the United States should not be used as leverage to implement budget cuts Republican leaders are unable to achieve through the regular budget and appropriations process. Instead of working to pass a budget that builds on the successes of the Biden administration, the House Republican leadership is pressing forward with a bill that would do irreparable harm to working families—while leaving intact Republican tax cuts for the rich that have added $10 trillion to the national debt.
We urge you to vote against this misguided legislation.
Director, Government Affairs