Republican Congressman Michael Lawler Fends off CNN Bulldozing

Cassandra DeVries | May 31, 2023
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CNN This Morning’s anchor Poppy Harlow pressed New York Republican Congressman Michael Lawler on Wednesday for saying that the proposed budget would reduce the deficit by $1.5 trillion over the 2023-2033 period. Harlow hyper focused on one specific aspect of the bill which would supposedly cost $2.1 billion more over the next ten years and repeatedly chided Lawler for not mentioning this component every time he cited the bill’s net savings.

Harlow bluntly asked Lawler why he planned on voting for the bill. “I had three parameters throughout this; that the President and the Speaker must negotiate in good faith, we must cut spending, and we cannot default. A default was never an option, and it's not an option going forward. So, the objective was to get a bipartisan compromise, which the Speaker has secured, and it meets my objectives to bend the curve here,” Lawler explained, referring to the Congressional Budget Office’s report which predicted a $1.5 trillion reduction in the budget deficit.

Harlow refuted his statement that the bill would cut spending. She cited the specific example of SNAP funding, which the CBO predicted would rise by $2.1 billion. “Yes, this would reduce the deficit by $1.5 trillion over the next ten years,” Harlow admitted. “But, and this is a big asterisk, changing those work requirements on the cash, TANF assistance, and food stamp, SNAP, actually increases federal spending by $2.1 billion over ten years.”