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Republican Study Committee Recommends Cutting Welfare Program That Already Expired

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The Republican Study Committee on Monday recommended reducing the deficit by cutting a welfare program that lards the federal budget with $2.5 billion in wasteful spending every year.

The Committee, led by Rep. Tom Price (Ga.), called for cutting the $2.5 billion Emergency Fund created by the stimulus bill to help states subsidize jobs via the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, formerly known as welfare. Price has targeted the program as part of House Republicans' "YouCut" initiative to reduce federal spending.

"The goal of welfare programs should be to help people get back on their feet as quickly as possible rather than simply expanding dependence on government," Price said in a statement. "In addition to saving taxpayers $25 billion over the next 10 years, cutting the emergency fund from the President's failed stimulus package will refocus temporary assistance on its rightful role."

Problem is, the TANF Emergency Fund has already expired, along with the 240,000 jobs progressive economists say it created.

"Republicans claim to be serious about reducing the deficit but yet they roll out a proposal to eliminate a program that no longer exists," said Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.) in a statement. "What's next -- claiming savings for cutting New Deal work programs that were terminated over 70 years ago?

"The real question is when are Republicans going to abandon this sort of hollow rhetoric and get serious about the problems facing this country?"

A spokesman for the committee did not immediately respond to a request for comment from HuffPost.

In August, Senate Democrats, apparently by coincidence, embraced a YouCut proposal to eliminate the Advance Earned Income Tax Credit, offsetting $1 billion of a $26 billion state aid bill.

"While we welcome the Democrats' embrace of the YouCut initiative, the purpose of the program is to start cutting spending, not to use the cuts that Americans want as an opportunity to increase government spending somewhere else," said a spokesman for Republican honcho Rep. Eric Cantor (Va.) at the time.

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