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The Epoch Times
The Epoch Times
11 Feb 2023

NextImg:Sen. Rick Scott Proposes Bill to Protect Social Security and Medicare

Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) announced a new bill to preserve and protect Social Security and Medicare on Friday after President Joe Biden claimed that Republicans in Congress aim to reduce funding for these programs.

The proposed bill, named the Protect Our Seniors Act, would rescind funding from the Inflation Reduction Act for 87,000 new IRS agents and redirect it to the Medicare and Social Security Administration Trust Funds.

Additionally, it would create a Budget Point of Order that requires a two-thirds vote against any legislation that the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) determines would reduce or cut existing Medicare and Social Security benefits.

“That means that if any bill makes changes to Medicare that result in a ‘savings’ every dollar of those savings must remain in Medicare and are prohibited from being used to fund woke projects as Democrats have recently done in their so-called Inflation Reduction Act,” Scott said in a statement.

The bill would also amend CBO scoring laws to prevent savings from Medicare from being used to offset or pay for spending outside of the Medicare program, preventing cuts to the programs.

Scott, who announced the bill at a roundtable discussion with Florida community leaders and seniors in Sun City Center, said he’s been fighting “since day one” to protect Social Security and Medicare for Florida seniors.

“While Democrats howl and lie about made-up threats to Social Security and Medicare, the reality is they haven’t done one thing to protect them,” Scott said. “In fact, Joe Biden and Democrats in Congress have done more to hurt Social Security and Medicare than anyone I can think of.”

“While Joe Biden had legislation to actually cut entitlements, my record shows that I’ve been 100 percent committed to protecting them from the start,” he continued. “I welcome Biden and anyone else who truly cares about protecting seniors to support this good bill.”

President Joe Biden delivers the State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress in the House Chamber of the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Feb. 7, 2023. (Jacquelyn Martin-Pool/Getty Images)

During Biden’s recent State of the Union address, he claimed that some Republicans are wanting to cut Social Security and Medicare in debt-limit negotiations.

“Some of my Republican friends want to take the economy hostage unless I agree to their economic plans. All of you at home should know what their plans are,” Biden said.

“Instead of making the wealthy pay their fair share, some Republicans want Medicare and Social Security to sunset.”

The president’s claim was met with strong objections from Republicans in the House chamber, with some members shouting “no” and two members, Rep. Byron Donalds (R-Fla.) and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), yelling “we never said that!” and “liar!” respectively.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) gives a thumbs down during President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address during a joint meeting of Congress in the House Chamber of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, on Feb. 7, 2023. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

The president’s comments were in reference to a plan authored by Scott that was swiftly rejected by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), as well as a report issued by the Republican Study Committee last year that recommended changes to Social Security and Medicare.

In response, Scott defended his legislative agenda and stated that Biden had twisted his words. He clarified that he had proposed a bill where all federal legislation expires after five years in order to deal “with ALL the crazy new laws our Congress has been passing of late.”

“I will not be intimidated by Joe Biden twisting my words, or [Senate Majority Leader] Chuck Schumer twisting my words—or by anyone else for that matter,” he said.

Republicans firmly denied the accusation of wanting to end Social Security and Medicare, with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy reiterating that these two programs “are off the table.” Biden and McCarthy are negotiating over an increase in the nation’s debt ceiling.

In response to Biden’s State of the Union address, House Republicans proposed a bill that would ensure that the payments for Social Security and Medicare continue even if the debt limit is reached.

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks during an event to discuss Social Security and Medicare held at the University of Tampa in Tampa, Florida, on Feb. 9, 2023. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

During his post-State of the Union tour, Biden aimed to win over Florida voters by targeting Republicans.

While speaking at the University of Tampa on Thursday, Biden repeatedly named Scott and distributed Scott’s plan to sunset federal legislation.

He criticized the idea, calling it “outrageous,” and said that it puts Social Security and Medicare at risk of being cut every five years.

“I reminded them that Florida’s own Rick Scott, the guy who ran the Senate Campaign Committee for Republicans last year, had a plan to sunset—maybe he’s changed his mind, maybe he’s seen the Lord—but he wanted to sunset it. Meaning if you don’t reauthorize it, it goes away,” Biden said.

“The very idea the senator from Florida wants to put Social Security and Medicare on the chopping block every five years I find to be somewhat outrageous, so outrageous that you might not even believe it.”

The president promised to defend these benefits and veto any plans that threaten them.

“I know that a lot of Republicans—their dream is to cut Social Security and Medicare,” Biden said. “If that’s your dream, I’m your nightmare.”

Dorothy Li contributed to this report.

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