White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on Friday responded to Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., after Scott amended his “Rescue America” plan to specifically exempt Social Security and Medicare from a proposal to sunset all federal legislation every five years.
For months, President Biden has relentlessly attacked Republicans, waving around a proposal from Scott to require Congress to reauthorize all federal legislation every five years to keep those programs and eliminate unnecessary ones. The White House has repeatedly suggested Scott’s idea would threaten Social Security and Medicare.
Fed-up with the Democratic attacks, Scott announced in an op-ed Friday that he has amended his proposal with “specific exceptions for Social Security, Medicare, national security, veterans’ benefits, and other essential services.”
Asked if Scott’s amended plan put an end to the conversation on Social Security and Medicare spending, Jean-Pierre took a victory lap over his concessions.
“The president congratulates Senator Scott on joining the post-State of the Union red wave, as we have seen from Republicans acknowledging that they [have], in fact, been attempting to put Medicare and Social Security on the chopping block,” she said.
Jean-Pierre claimed the fact that Scott felt he needed to add specific exceptions to his plan showed that in the original draft it would have endangered those programs.
“The past year, he has explained the absence of an exception by saying if it’s worth keeping, we’re going to keep it. But make no mistake, his true colors are undeniable,” she said.
Jean-Pierre went on to accuse Republicans of “speaking at both sides of their mouths” and said it has been a “longstanding passion” of Scott and other GOP lawmakers to cut Social Security and Medicare.
Republicans have forcefully pushed back on these attacks. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., disavowed Scott’s plan and has said Republican leadership agrees Social Security and Medicare “are not to be touched.”
In his op-ed, Scott wrote that the “inconvenient truth” is that “Medicare and Social Security are going bankrupt” and demanded that Biden put forward his plan to protect those programs from insolvency.
“President Joe Biden’s failure to address the imminent insolvency of entitlement programs reveals his ultimate plan: massive tax increases to fund his liberal wish list and new Medicare and Social Security taxes — the largest tax increases on America’s seniors in history,” Scott charged.
“One more inconvenient truth: Washington Republicans are as responsible for the massive increase in our national debt as Joe Biden and the Democrats,” he continued. “Too many Republicans have caved to the Democrats too many times, and the result is a $32 trillion bill that’s about to come due.”