Aside from its separate effort to pretend it is implementing Paul Ryan’s budget resolution (which, of course, was buried in the Senate), House GOPers are moving ahead this week to pretend to enact serious safety-net reductions in order to avoid the “automatic sequestration” of defense funds set up in last year’s debt-limit deal. That’s not going anywhere in the Senate, either, and in any event, the president’s promised to veto it.

Notes Think Progress:

Under the Republican plan, millions of Americans would lose access to services they depend on. Nearly two million would lose food assistance through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP); at least 750,000 would lose access to health insurance from cuts to Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act; and 23 million would be affected by the repeal of the Social Services Block Grant, which helps fund child care and disability assistance to low-income Americans, among other programs.

Normally Members of Congress don’t call for these sorts of painful and unpopular cuts unless they are making some sort of a compelling argument that it is necessary. In this case, since the whole exercise is a sham, they just want to go on record as saying they are determined to give the Pentagon money it says it doesn’t need in order to inflict some serious privations on people who truly are in need. And they’re loud ‘n’ proud about it.

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Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.