Florida Senator Rick Scott backtracks from GOP plan to retire Social Security as Biden extolled at the State of the Union speech
Republican Senator Rick Scott has backedtracked on Friday’s plan to retire Social Security and Medicare. President Joe Biden made this fiery State of the Union speech.
On Friday, the Florida senator wrote that he was changing his so-called Rescue America plan to exempt the untouchable retirement benefits from potentially facing the chopping block every five years — while slamming Biden for pushing a “Democrat lie” that the plan supported slashing the programs.
“Note to President Biden … As you know, this was never intended to apply to Social Security, Medicare, or the U.S. Navy,” Scott wrote in an opinion piece in the conservative Washington Examiner newspaper.
Scott called attacks on his plan “shallow gotcha politics” from both Democrats and his own fellow Republicans.
“I have never supported cutting Social Security or Medicare, ever. To say otherwise is a disingenuous Democrat lie from a very confused president,” Scott said.
He also criticised GOP Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell for his unsuccessful leadership challenge.
“And (McConnell) is also well aware of that. It’s shallow gotcha politics, which is what Washington does,” Scott wrote.
Along with Social Security and Medicare, the Scott plan now exempts “national security, veterans benefits, and other essential services,” a catch-all that makes it far less meaningful if ever adopted.
Scott’s claim notwithstanding, his plan did apply to Social Security and Medicare before he changed it. It required all spending plans that Congress had created, which included the benefits for older Americans as well, to be renewed at least every five years.
That’s why everyone from progressives to McConnell derided it as dead on arrival when he promoted it as part of the GOP Senate campaign last year.
“It’s a bad plan,” McConnell said. “That’s a Scott plan. It’s not a Republican plan.”
The plan backfired badly on Republicans at the State of the Union when far right-wing lawmakers interrupted Biden’s speech with calls of “lies” after the president accurately described the contents of Scott’s plan.
Biden turned the tables on the GOP He received a bipartisan standing ovation after he asked for both sides to promise to remove Medicare and Social Security from the table during budget negotiations.
Scott cannot deny that Scott called for Medicare and Social Security retirement, but the plan as it stands would have almost certainly led to reductions in popular plans.
The legislature would have to make a cut without having to reduce either of them. 85% from all other programs to reach the GOP’s goal of a balanced budget in the next decade.