President Joe Biden was chided by a wide swath of GOP lawmakers for falsely claiming they wanted to cut Medicare and Social Security.
During the president’s second State of the Union address Tuesday evening, he faced strong resistance from Republicans, who he accused of trying to take the economy “hostage.”
“Some of my Republican friends want to take the economy hostage, which I get it unless I agree with their economic plans,” said Biden. “All of you know, should know what those plans are.”
“Instead of making the wealthy pay their fair share, some Republicans, some Republicans want Medicare and Social Security sunset,” said the president before clarifying, “I’m not saying it’s a majority.”
That remark was met with boisterous boos and lawmakers shaking their heads and waving their hands.
“Well, I’m glad — I’ll tell ya, I enjoy conversion,” joked Biden. “It means if Congress doesn’t keep the programs the way they are, they will go away. Other Republicans say — I’m not saying it’s a majority of you … but it’s being proposed by an individual.”
“I’m politely not naming them, but it is being proposed by somebody,” added Biden.
President Joe Biden likely referred to a proposal introduced last year by GOP Senator Rick Scott of Florida, who said, “All federal legislation sunsets in five years. If a law is worth keeping, Congress can pass it again.”
Senator Scott’s proposal was rejected widely, even by members of the GOP, and was made in his failed bid to challenge Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for leadership.
The Washington Post, widely known as a liberal publication, declared the Democrats’ claim that Republicans want to end Medicare and Socials Security as “false.”
President Biden also scorned for debt claims, admission of the continued need for oil
Before Biden’s accusation, the first boos came at the State of the Union as President Biden mentioned the amount of money that was added to the debt by the Trump administration.
“Nearly 25% of the entire national debt that took over 200 years to accumulate was added by just one administration alone — the last one,” said Biden as Republicans grumbled. “They’re the facts. Check it out. Check it out.”
During the primarily climate-friendly State of the Union speech, the president also went off-script and admitted, “We’re still going to need oil and gas for a while.”
The assessment from the president was unusual, who also slipped up twice in his address and made remarks not included in his prepared remarks that were circulated beforehand. The statements laid bare the conflict between his administration’s economic and climate goals. Biden has repeatedly pressured oil companies to pump more crude even as he seeks to end the use of it.