May 05, 2023

White House Releases State by State Fact Sheets on the GOP House’s “Default on America Act”

President Biden invited the “big four” congressional leaders – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Leader Jeffries and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy – to the White House next week, after the federal government’s debt managers warned Congress of a possible June 1 deadline to raise the statutory borrowing cap.

Ahead of that meeting the White House released 51 fact sheets highlighting the severe impact of the Default on America Act (H.R. 2811), passed by GOP members of the House of Representatives last week, on Americans in every state and the District of Columbia.

Nationally, the legislation would have devastating effects on the American people. For older Americans, it would:

  • Worsen Social Security and Medicare Assistance Wait Times for Seniors. People applying for disability benefits would have to wait at least two months longer for a decision. With fewer staff available, seniors would also be forced to endure longer wait times when they call for assistance for both Social Security and Medicare, and as many as 240 Social Security field offices could be forced to close or shorten the hours they are open to the public.
  • Jeopardize Food Assistance for Older Adults. House Republicans are threatening food assistance for up to 900,000 older adults with the Default on America Act’s harsh new eligibility restrictions in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
  • Raise Housing Costs for Americans. More than 600,000 families would lose access to rental assistance, including older adults, persons with disabilities, and families with children, who without rental assistance would be at risk of homelessness.

In addition, about 600,000 people would become uninsured under the House Republican debt bill’s plan to impose Medicaid work requirements.

“Congress needs to raise the debt ceiling with no strings attached,” said Richard Fiesta, Executive Director of the Alliance. “Seniors will not stand for being taken hostage by MAGA Republicans in the House so that the GOP can implement harmful cuts to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid or critical social programs in exchange for avoiding a default on our financial obligations.”

Five of the most likely outcomes of the debt ceiling debate and their implications for the country and economy are explained here.

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