By Stacy M. Brown
NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent
When Republicans like Georgia’s Marjorie Taylor Green and Utah’s Mike Lee interrupted President Joe Biden’s State of the Union Address to call him a liar, they may have forgotten their own words.
Worse, Lee doubled down on his own lie, claiming that “no Republican had made such a suggestion” of cutting or changing Social Security and Medicaid.
The White House exposed Lee and others on Thursday, just two days after their arrogant behavior during the globally televised event.
“Half of Sen. Lee’s statement is an admission that he did indeed call for eliminating Social Security outright,” White House spokesman Andrew Bates told reporters.
“But in terms of his claims that he’s aware of ‘no Republican – in either House of Congress – who has suggested any modification to Social Security as a condition for raising the debt ceiling,’ we can help.”
The White House then provided several news articles in which Republican members expressed a desire to cut or modify Social Security and Medicaid.
The articles were published by Fox News, the Washington Post, Reuters, and Bloomberg News.
The White House also noted that Biden has taken steps to protect Social Security and strengthen Medicare, two foundational programs on which tens of millions of seniors rely for a living.
“Congressional Republicans, however, have a different record. For years, Republican members of Congress have repeatedly tried to cut Medicare and Social Security, move toward privatizing one or both programs, and raise the Social Security retirement age and Medicare eligibility age,” White House officials wrote in a Fact Sheet.
Earlier, House Republicans introduced legislation to repeal Biden’s inflation-reduction bill, a move that would raise prescription drug prices for seniors, raise taxes on an estimated 14.5 million people, and give Big Pharma tens of billions of dollars.
On Feb. 9, Biden visited Florida to highlight the work his administration is doing to protect and strengthen Medicare and Social Security.
According to the White House, Republican members of Congress have continued to push plans that would jeopardize the economic security of millions of people.
To back that claim, administration officials presented receipts detailing congressional Republicans’ long history of working to reduce Medicare and Social Security.
- Senator Mike Lee said, “One thing that you probably haven’t ever heard from a politician: it will be my objective to phase out Social Security. To pull it up by the roots and get rid of it.”
- In November, John Thune, the number two Senate Republican in leadership, declared that Social Security and Medicare benefits should be slashed.
- Florida Senator Rick Scott is championing a plan to put Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security on the chopping block every five years, which would put the health and economic security of 63 million Medicare beneficiaries, 69 million Medicaid beneficiaries and 65 million Social Security beneficiaries at risk.
- Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin proposed sunsetting these laws every year.
- According to Politico, the Republican Study Committee, which includes most House Republicans, released a budget plan that would raise the entry age.
The GOP would also raise taxes on some people who retire early or have a certain income, and they would privatize Social Security.
In addition, in 2015, the majority of House Republicans, including Speaker Kevin McCarthy of California, Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana, and a slew of others in current leadership, voted to raise the retirement age to 70.
That move would reduce Social Security benefits for tens of millions of seniors who had paid into the system for years.
Republicans in the House also proposed repealing the Inflation Reduction Act, including its provisions on health care.
Working families across the country, including in Florida, where Biden recently traveled, would see their insurance premiums rise by $7,000 per year as a result of such actions.
Approximately 14.5 million Americans would face higher health-care premiums and a tax increase.
If Medicare is unable to negotiate drug prices, everyone with Medicare will face higher drug prices, and the deficit will grow as tens of billions of dollars are returned to Big Pharma.
More than 3.3 million Medicare beneficiaries who use insulin will no longer have the peace of mind of knowing that their insulin is capped at $35, and drug companies may resume increasing drug prices faster than inflation with no accountability, as happened last year for 1,200 prescription drugs.
“In his State of the Union address, President Biden vowed to protect Social Security and Medicare while building on our progress in lowering health-care costs for millions of seniors and American families,” officials said.