Washington: When President Joe Biden suggested that Republicans want to slash Medicare and Social Security, the GOP howls of protest during his State of the Union address showcased a striking apparent turnaround for the party that built a brand for years trying to do just that.
The record ranges from President George W. Bush’s ideas about privatizing Social Security to House Speaker Paul Ryan’s sweeping Medicare overhaul plan to current Sen. Rick Scott’s idea of allowing those and other federal programs to “sunset.”
As budget negotiations move ahead, expect the long history of GOP efforts to slash the popular entitlement programs for seniors to remain a politically powerful weapon the White House intends to wield.
“They sure didn’t like me calling them on it,” Biden said Wednesday about his address that drew heckling from Republicans the night before.
He headed to the political battleground Wisconsin, home of Republican Sen. Ron Johnson, who has proposed forcing Congress to authorize spending for Social Security every year.
Speaking at a union training facility in DeForest, Biden pulled out a copy of Scott’s campaign proposals and quoted Johnson as well as Republican Sen. Mike Lee of Utah to warn that Republicans would target Social Security and Medicare.