Billions in WV Federal Funds at Stake as Debt Ceiling Looms

Nadia Ramlagan

Over the weekend, lawmakers announced they have reached an agreement to reduce spending and address the debt limit. The deal needs a full signoff from Congress before it becomes law.

West Virginia could lose billions of dollars for programs like Medicaid and Head Start under the historic spending cuts House Republicans are proposing. An analysis by the group Americans for Tax Fairness found the GOP debt ceiling budget would reduce federal aid to the Mountain State by $518 million in 2024, and by more than $8 billion over the next decade.

David Kass, executive director of Americans for Tax Fairness, said Republican lawmakers are pushing for massive cuts in federal programs that help working families.

“Seven hundred teachers would be removed from West Virginia classrooms, 5,500 West Virginians would lose access to job-training programs, 220,000 West Virginians would lose health care coverage from Medicaid,” Kass outlined. “Those are the cuts, and they’d have a really significant impact on West Virginia.”

Republicans argued limiting federal spending through measures like blocking student loan relief and tightening work requirements for programs like SNAP and Medicaid — along with temporarily increasing the debt limit — will help the nation pay its bills.

Kass pointed out GOP lawmakers continue to support tax breaks for upper-income households who do need social services to stay afloat.

“They’re proposing these cuts in really essential services for people in West Virginia, ‘Because we need to cut the deficit,’ they say,” Kass asserted. “At the same time, they’re proposing these tax cuts that will primarily benefit the wealthy.”

The Biden administration has proposed restoring the top 39.6% tax rate for households with taxable annual income of more than $450,000 a year, and single earners with taxable income above $400,000, along with closing some of the tax loopholes used by the wealthy.