An assertion by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., that budget cuts to a Department of Health and Human Services program that provides food to the elderly will deprive 6 million seniors of meals is absurd. First off, only 2.6 million seniors receive such meals, The Washington Post reported
in fact-checking the claim.
Pelosi made the claim about the Administration on Aging program this week. She said that GOP budget proposals would cut 6 million homebound seniors from the program and that Democratic proposals would leave 3 million seniors hungry. The meals programs costs about $818 million a year and House proposals would cut $65 million from the approximately $2.4 billion HHS budget, the Post said.
Pelosi staff explained she meant meals, not people, despite using the word seniors or people three times. They also maintained that HHS “informally indicated” to Pelosi that programs that would likely be cut if quick savings were needed were senior nutrition programs and senior centers, the Post said, labeling the assumption a “wild guess.”
“In a city with overheated rhetoric, Pelosi’s statement ranks high on this year’s list of bloviated bluster. It’s bad enough that she repeatedly mixed up 6 million meals and 6 million people — and made no effort to correct the record after her statement was reported in the media. But the figure she used appears to have been invented itself, with little basis in fact,” the Post concluded.
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