The cuts include a plan to deny illegal immigrants refundable tax credits of up to $1,000 per child that they are presently able to claim despite being in the country illegally. Another measure would increase the amount of health insurance subsidies under the new health care law that people must pay back if their incomes go up.
Several of the GOP proposals have won condemnation from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, including the food stamp cuts and the effort to deny the refundable child tax credit to immigrant children, many of whom are U.S. citizens.
"To deny the (child tax) credit to children of working poor immigrant families — the large majority of whom are American citizens — would hurt vulnerable kids, increase poverty, and would not advance the common good," wrote Bishop Stephen E. Blaire, of Stockton, Calif.
The Financial Services panel voted to again repeal several elements of the 2010 overhaul of financial regulations, including what the GOP dubs a "bailout fund" that was established for the liquidation of future failed banks. And a controversial regulatory panel would have to compete with other domestic agencies for its budget, rather than be funded automatically.
The Judiciary Committee is debating a plan to cap punitive damages in medical malpractice lawsuits at $250,000, which budget scorekeepers say could produce savings exceeding $50 billion over the coming decade, largely by slowing inflation in health care.
Across the Capitol, the chairman of the Senate Budget Committee convened a debate on a plan by Obama's 2010 deficit commission. But Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., didn't permit a vote on the measure, which lacks enough support to make it through the panel, much less survive on the floor. Republicans condemned Conrad's move, saying he had broken a promise made last summer to present a budget and hold a vote. Conrad appeared to bow to pressure from Democratic leaders to protect party colleagues from politically difficult votes.
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