Republicans called Biden a “liar” for saying some of them wanted to drop Social Security and Medicare. But there are several examples of lawmakers advocating cuts or easing programs.

President Joe Biden delivers the State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress at the United States Capitol, Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2023, in Washington.

President Joe Biden delivers the State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress at the United States Capitol, Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2023, in Washington.Susan Walsh/Associated Press

  • President Joe Biden was booed on Tuesday when he said some in the GOP wanted to cut rights.

  • But there are several examples of lawmakers advocating for cuts or ending programs.

  • Spokesman Kevin McCarthy said cuts to Social Security and Medicare were out of the question.

President Joe Biden’s comments on popular rights programs sparked a dramatic exchange between him and House Republicans Tuesday during the State of the Union address, an event that is typically known for being, well, boring.

THE extraordinary exchange it began after the president said, “Instead of making the rich pay their fair share, some Republicans want Medicare and Social Security gone down,” immediately prompting loud boos from the public.

“I’m not saying it’s a majority,” Biden continued. “Anyone who doubts this, contact my office: I will give you a copy of the proposal.”

Amidst the loud boos, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia could be seen shouting “liar” while Senator Mike Lee of Utah’s expression looked incredulous.

Biden went on to say that he didn’t think it was a “significant” number of Republicans proposing such cuts, but that “it was proposed by individuals. I politely won’t name them, but it was proposed by some of you.”

Biden appeared to be referring to Senator Rick Scott, of Florida, among others. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has insisted that the cuts to Medicare and Social Security are off the table.

But there are several examples of Republicans suggesting cutting or weakening Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

Senator Rick Scott of Florida

In 2022, Scott proposed a “Rescue America” ​​plan that would include dropping all federal legislation, including Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, after five years.

“If a law is worth keeping, Congress can pass it again,” says Scott’s plan.

Biden appeared to directly reference Scott’s plan, as his prepared remarks that were released by the White House included that time frame: “Some Republicans want Medicare and Social Security to end every five years. That means if Congress doesn’t vote to keep them, those programs will go away.”

In response Wednesday, Scott doubled his floor with a tweetsnoting his assertion that if the legislation is worth keeping, it could be re-passed every five years.

He also applauded, releasing a list of events in the 80s and 90s in which Biden proposed a temporary freeze on federal spending, including authorization programs. He also noted a bill introduced by Biden in 1975 that called for federal legislation to be revoked every four years.

When reached by Insiders about Biden’s past comments, a The White House spokesman noticed a video the president’s campaign launched in 2020 in response to similar allegations. “Joe Biden has repeatedly voted to save Social Security; he and President Obama have rejected Republican attempts to privatize it,” the video says, adding, “Biden’s plan protects Social Security and will increase benefits.”

The spokesperson also noted that while Scott said he didn’t want to cut Social Security and Medicare, he didn’t specify how the programs would be protected under his plan for sunset legislation.

Senator Mike Lee of Utah

Lee, who seemed upset by Biden’s claim that some Republicans wanted to cut rights, has previously denied ever advocating such an idea. But the White House and other Wednesdays resurfaced Lee’s old clip seems to support the cuts.

“It will be my goal to phase out Social Security, pull it out by the roots and get rid of it,” Lee could be heard saying in a clip taken during his first campaign in 2010, adding that he was told by political advisers that it was a “dangerous” thing. to support.

“That’s why I’m doing it. To get rid of it,” Lee continued. “Medicare and Medicaid are of the same species.”

Lee responded to the clip on Twitter Wednesday, saying Biden “mischaracterized what half of the Senate body believes” and shared a video which includes additional commentary from the 2010 clip.

In the clip Lee shared, he can be heard saying he wanted to protect current entitlement recipients, adding that retiree benefits should remain “intact” and “unchanged.” She added that even people who were due to retire in the next few years should be “kept harmless.”

Lee added in a separate declaration on Twitter that in his 12 years in the Senate he has never proposed cutting Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid.

Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin

Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin has proposed changing Social Security from mandatory spending, where Congress cannot change it, and operates essentially on autopilot, to discretionary spending, which would subject the program to annual Congressional spending bills in which lawmakers could make changes to it.

After criticism from former President Barack Obama, Johnson said Obama “lied” about him and that he “never” said he wanted to cut Social Security and that he “never would.”

“I want to save Social Security,” Johnson said, according to the local WKOW. “We need to start prioritizing spending. We can’t keep wasting money. It’s the top priority.”

Republican Study Committee

The Republican Study Committee, made up of House conservatives, issued a detailed plan in 2022, called the “Blueprint to Save America,” that would raise the retirement age for receiving Social Security and Medicare benefits. It has also resulted in decreasing Social Security benefits over time and for higher-earning retirees, as well as increasing Medicare premiums for some.

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