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11 Feb 2023
Jacob Bliss

NextImg:Biden Previously Introduced Legislation to Sunset all Federal Programs

President Joe Biden, during his time as a United States senator, introduced legislation to sunset all federal programs — including Social Security, which is the same thing he accused some Republicans of doing during the State of the Union address this week.

As a U.S. senator from Delaware in 1975, Biden introduced legislation that would sunset all federal programs, including Social Security and Medicare, every four years to require each program to be examined by the federal government.

“This bill limits to 4 years the length of any spending authorization for a program,” then-Sen. Biden said on the Senate floor in July 1975 when he was arguing for the legislation. “It requires that each committee make a detailed study of the program before renewing it for another 4-year period. The purpose is to assure a uniform scrutiny of all programs on a regular basis.”

“One thing that we must do is to begin reviewing existing programs to determine whether they are still effective and whether they are worth the money that we are putting in them,” he said during another part of his speech in 1975. “We have all observed … that once a federal program gets started, it is very difficult to stop it, or even change its emphasis, regardless of its performance.”

However, 1975 was not the only time Biden tried to push this type of proposal.

In 1984, Biden, along with two other senators, co-authored a proposal that included a one-year freeze of all federal spending, including Social Security and defense.

“So, when those of my friends in the Democratic and Republican Party say to me, ‘How do you expect me to vote for your proposal? Does it not freeze Social Security COLA’s for 1 year? Are we not saying there will be no cost-of-living increases for one year?’ The answer to that is ‘Yes.’ That is what I am saying,” Biden said in a speech on the Senate floor in April 1984.

“The only way that Congress will ever be able to come to grips with deficits is by dealing with all federal programs as a package,” Biden added in April 1984. “This can happen when the beneficiaries of each program see that all others are being treated similarly.”

Then, Biden, on the Senate floor in 1995, doubled down on his previous proposals by admitting he tried to cut Social Security multiple times before.

“When I argued we should freeze federal spending, I meant Social Security as well,” Biden proclaimed. “I meant Medicare and Medicaid. I meant veterans’ benefits. I meant every single solitary thing in the government.”

“And I not only tried it once. I tried it twice — I tried it a third time. And I tried it a fourth time,” Biden continued, waving his arms on the floor of the Senate.”

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This all comes as now-President Biden accused Republicans during the State of the Union address this past week that they want to cut social security.

“Some Republicans want Medicare and Social Security to sunset every five years,” Biden claimed on Tuesday, directing his gaze to the Republican side of the House chamber. “So tonight, let’s all agree to stand up for seniors. Stand up and show them we will not cut Social Security. We will not cut Medicare.”

Following Biden’s State of the Union address, Breitbart News’s Nick Gilbertson fact-checked Biden’s claim, finding it “mostly false.”

“While some Republicans have advocated for social security cuts, Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has said Republicans in the House, where initials cuts to the debt ceiling will be debated, will not cut social security or Medicare and vehemently shook his head in disagreement when Biden made the claim Tuesday,” Gilbertson wrote.

Wendell Husebo contributed to this report. 

Jacob Bliss is a reporter for Breitbart News. Write to him at or follow him on Twitter @JacobMBliss.