“Yes, Virginia, Republicans continue to threaten Social Security benefits and eligibility”

Democrats push back on all GOP plans that cut Social Security and Medicare benefits


DonkeyHotey (Flickr)

Republican Party “Elephant”

Nicole White, Reporter

During President’s Biden State of the Union Address in Feb. he implied that Republicans are advocating for cuts to Medicare and Social Security and that some GOP members included these proposals in negotiations on raising the debt ceiling.

Some Republicans reproached Biden for this during the speech, but Biden responded by saying,

“Anybody who doubts it, contact my office. I’ll give you a copy of their proposals,” he said.

Republicans have previously proposed cuts to both Social Security and Medicare benefits. And at the center of the latest debate over federal “entitlement” programs, Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) called for all federal legislation to sunset after five years as part of an effort to curb government spending.

“All federal legislation sunsets in 5 years, if a law is worth keeping, Congress can pass it again,” the document reportedly said.

This has been a recurring theme for the GOP—go to the throat of Social Security and Medicare benefits in an attempt to curb government spending and debt.

Even former Vice President Mike Pence, who is considering a run for the White House in 2024 has said “a conversation needs to be had about reforming Social Security.”

Pence like other Republicans before him, recalled the very unpopular notion of “privatization” of Social Security by suggesting that the U.S. government allow young Americans to put part of the Social Security withholdings into a private savings account overseen by the government, a proposal that has been met with widespread disapproval.

Some Republicans go even farther than Scott or Pence in their desire to “reform” Social Security and Medicare benefits.

Reportedly, Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah)—when he initially ran for Senate in 2010 called for the complete elimination of Social Security.

Republicans have periodically raised the possibility of cutting or privatizing Social Security.

Previous budget negotiations have seen Republicans proposing an increase to the eligibility age of Social Security age to 70 and other plans—it will remain to be seen whether current GOP strategies continue to include this or similar calls for reductions to Social Security even though Social Security enjoys more than 90% support among Democrats, Republicans and Independents according to a 2020 AARP survey.

As recent as November, Senate Minority Whip John Thune declared that Social Security and Medicare benefits should be slashed. After narrowly winning back the House in November, top Republicans in that chamber initially said they planned to use the upcoming debt ceiling negotiations to cut spending on Social Security by raising the retirement age.

“Republicans will cut taxes for the mega-rich and well-connected while holding our economy hostage to force cuts to vital programs American families rely on,” Democratic Rep. Brendan Boyle of Pennsylvania said last month.