House Republicans, who unanimously oppose a plan by Democrats to jam through a massive social welfare package, will launch their own campaign next week condemning the legislation as “welfare expansion.” Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, center, the ranking member of the House Ways and Means Committee, is joined at left by Chairman Richard Neal, D-Mass., at the Capitol in Washington, Friday, Sept. 10, 2021. The panel is holding a markup hearing to craft the Democrats’ Build Back Better Act, massive legislation that is a cornerstone of President Joe Biden’s domestic agenda. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

Republicans plan roundtable to attack ‘welfare expansion’ in spending bill

Susan Ferrechio October 18, 07:00 AM October 18, 07:00 AM

House Republicans, who unanimously oppose a plan by Democrats to jam through a massive social welfare package, will launch their own campaign next week condemning the legislation as “welfare expansion.”

Republicans on the Ways and Means Committee plan a roundtable forum on Wednesday highlighting ways in which the GOP believes the plan will damage the economy, create government dependency, and kill jobs.

“The meeting will focus on the massive welfare state expansion included in Democrats’ Build Back Better reconciliation bill and how policies that foster government dependency ultimately fail our most vulnerable families and children,” committee Republicans announced Friday.

Republicans in the House are relegated to the minority and have no power to stop Democrats from passing the measure over their objections.


But Democrats are struggling internally to come up with a top-line cost and policy language that can win over their own centrists. The GOP roundtable attacking the package will take place as Democrats reconvene to try to hash out a deal by an Oct. 31 deadline.

Republicans can make it harder for the Democrats to come to an agreement by amplifying criticisms of the massive package.

“Even though the U.S. has more than 10 million job openings and is facing a worker shortage, Democrats are making the largest expansion of the welfare state in our lifetimes and discouraging work, threatening the recovery of our post-COVID economy,” Republicans on the panel said Friday.

Democrats are hoping to transform and increase the nation’s reliance on government by passing legislation that creates a broad array of new programs and financial assistance.

House Democrats in September authored a proposal with a $3.5 trillion price tag but are now forced to cut the plan back to roughly $2 trillion or less due to the objections of Senate centrists Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona.

Republicans say none of the spending is needed in the wake of trillions of federal dollars already approved by Congress in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The new round of spending proposed by Democrats will threaten the nation’s economic recovery, Republicans say they’ll highlight on Wednesday.

The Democratic plan would eliminate work requirements for the child tax credit and other government programs, ending years of bipartisan agreement that the work requirement helped transition people out of poverty.

Some polls show the public is unaware of the details in the bill, which could give the GOP an opportunity to shape public opinion.

“With inflation rising and employers struggling to hire, the country can’t afford to relegate an entire generation of workers to the sidelines,” Republicans said Friday.

In a press conference this week, Pelosi told reporters the extension of the child tax credit that Democrats hope to include in the bill, “has great appeal” with the public, along with many of the other social spending programs in the package including free preschool and paid family and medical leave.

Pelosi acknowledged the public does not know very much about the measure, at one point blaming reporters for failing to deliver the message for the Democrats.


“It is a vast bill,” Pelosi said. “It has a lot in it.” She also said the public overwhelmingly supports it, “whether they know it or not.”

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