By Ariele Vaccaro
On Monday, members of the Budget Conference Committee made their opening statements on the 2016 U.S. budget. This year, Republicans make up majority of the committee. In an effort to shrink a mounting deficit, they are proposing a number of cuts to social services.
Congresswoman for Wisconsin’s Fourth District is a member of the conference committee.
She thinks those cuts will come at the expense of the country’s most vulnerable. She has proposed other ways to make way on the U.S.’s debts.
“We do have to ask the wealthy to do more,” said Moore.
On Thursday, the House repealed the estate tax – a tax levied on the value of an inheritance. The tax would cost the U.S. government about $270 billion in tax dollars and affect 6,000 families that would have otherwise paid it.
“These 6,000 individuals are much better able to weather that tax than our seniors,” said Moore. “They should be providing tax dollars.”
Tax dollars for Pell grants for students, Moore suggested.
The federal grant for college students would also be cut, per the proposed budget.
Among other cuts proposed by Republicans is $125 billion in funding for the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP).
Medicaid could be funded by a block grant. The grant could offer Medicaid the ability to spend the grant in whatever way it sees fit.
However, in the event the grant is spent, there’s no guarantee that the program will be able to serve more beneficiaries.
“If the state runs out, the next little old lady might find herself rejected, and the family be forced to figure out what to do with their elderly patient,” said Moore.
Rather than these cuts, Moore wants to see the budget work in favor of the working and middle class.
For Moore, that means a transitional jobs program to help unemployed Americans re-enter the workforce, an increased minimum wage, and the removal of a marriage penalty that keeps couples from receiving an earned income tax credit (EITC).
A deficit-neutral reserve fund for paid sick leave attracted bipartisan support. The fund would secure payment for days when workers call in sick.
“It’s a significant benefit to Americans,” said Moore, who expects the fund to result in more loyal employees, more productivity, and fewer hospital visits.
The president will ultimately need to approve the 2016 budget.