When he was a freshman United States senator in 1975, Joe Biden proposed legislation that would sunset all federal programs, including social security, every four years.
Biden stated at the State of the Union on Tuesday night that "some Republicans" want to "sunset" social security and Medicare, prompting significant pushback from GOP lawmakers on the House floor in front of millions of people, according to a report by Breitbart News.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has stated on multiple occasions that Republicans in the House, where the framework for a debt ceiling resolution will be formed, are not seeking to cut programs as part of their desired cuts to offset the $31.7 trillion debt ceiling reached last month.
When Biden made the claims from the rostrum, he shook his head in disbelief.
Biden spoke at the University of Tampa in Florida on Thursday and mentioned that Sen. Rick Scott's (R-FL) "Rescue America" policy plan included a proposal to sunset all federal legislation every five years.
“If a law is worth keeping, Congress can pass it again,” the plan adds.
Scott had "changed his mind, maybe he's seen the Lord - but he wanted to... sunset social security and Medicare every five years," according to Biden.
However, when Biden was representing Delaware in the United States Senate, he proposed “to sunset all federal programs, including social security and Medicare,” according to Fox News, when he introduced S. 2067 on July 19, 1975. The rapid increase in the federal budget was Biden's main argument for reviewing all programs.
“It is not just the size of our budget that is staggering, but even more the rate at which it is increasing,” Biden said at the time. “We cannot long continue such growth rates in expenditures.”
“In brief, this bill limits to 4 years the length of any spending authorization for a program,” he added. “Furthermore, it requires that each committee make a detailed study of the program before renewing it for another 4-year period.”
He then expressed a sentiment similar to Scott's: “The examination is not just of the increased cost of the program, but of the worthiness of the entire program,” said then-Sen. Biden.
Scott issued a statement following the president's speech in Florida on Thursday, challenging him to a debate on the subject.
“Joe Biden spent 20 years trying to slash Social Security and Medicare. Does he really think Americans are stupid enough to believe anything he said today?” the senator wondered.
“The President should accept my invitation to debate him on this issue. Floridians deserve to know the truth about Biden’s war on Social Security and Medicare.”