State Republicans Are Gutting the Social Safety Net

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WASHINGTON — Republican state legislatures are playing politics and attacking vitally important benefits for working families. Even though Missouri voters passed an initiative to expand Medicaid, the Republican state legislature refused to fund the effort and Republican Governor Mike Parson announced he would let the effort fail — preventing hundreds of thousands from accessing health care and subverting the will of the voters.

Republicans are also gutting the social safety net in about a dozen states including Georgia, Montana, and Iowa, where Republican lawmakers are ending the extra $300 unemployment insurance — prematurely cutting off relief that’s helping workers, small businesses, and the economy. These changes could leave those ineligible for state benefits, like the long-term unemployed and gig workers, entirely without aid.

“Republicans would rather leave billions of dollars on the table than put their partisan politics aside and provide much needed economic support and access to affordable health care,” said Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee executive director Heather Williams. “Working families are still trying to get their heads above water after Trump’s incompetence tanked the economy. Democrats are working to bolster economic support for workers and get America back on the track while the GOP is playing politics with people’s lives and incomes.”

Cutting the social safety net early would not only hurt those families that are still getting their footing in President Biden’s rapidly expanding economy, but it would also hamstring self-employed entrepreneurs and gig workers. Republicans are once again putting their personal politics ahead of serving their constituents.

Texas Republicans have also failed to expand Medicaid during their legislative session — despite having the highest number of uninsured people in the country. Enhanced unemployment benefits are keeping workers out of poverty while they secure good paying jobs in the improving economy. These benefits also pump money into local economies, keeping businesses afloat. Republican cuts to these benefits will harm their constituents, small businesses, and the economy.

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