President Joe Biden used a Rose Garden speech to tout his work in cutting health care costs to launch a political attack on Republicans, accusing them of plotting to abolish Social Security if they would take back Congress.
The warning is intended to convince older voters, a key target audience in November’s midterm elections.
Still, he ended his political attack with an appeal to Americans to come together, forget the partisan bickering, and get involved in lowering costs for families.
Biden held the event to advertise that next year Americans will pay less in monthly premiums for Medicare’s Part B plan, which covers routine doctor visits and other outpatient care.
But he quickly turned to contrast his government’s plans with those of his opponents.
He waved a copy of Senator Rick Scott’s “12 Point Plan to Save America” and said it basically meant Social Security programs would “fall on the chopping block” every five years.
Scott heads the National Republican Senate Committee, which puts him at the forefront of his party’s campaign to retake the Senate.
“Okay, I won’t read it all,” Biden said. “But it says all federal legislation will expire in five years. If it’s worth keeping. Congress can pass it on again.
Translated: If you don’t vote to keep it, you don’t get it. What do you think they’re going to do when the House Budget Committee started talking about the cost of Medicare and Social Security and why we can’t afford it.”
President Joe Biden brandished Senator Rick Scott’s Republican manifesto during a speech on Tuesday, saying it would put Social Security on the chopping block every five years.
The 12-point plan has divided Republicans, who fear it will give Democrats a series of attack lines
Scott’s plan was originally 11 points, and includes plans to downsize government, repeal all federal laws after five years, and limit most federal employees — including members of Congress — to 12 years of service.
What would that mean, he asked, for millions of Americans who have been paying Social Security for years?
“Then there’s Senator Ron Johnson in Wisconsin. He thinks waiting five years out of five years is too long. No joke,” Biden continued.
“He wants to put Social Security and Medicare on the chopping block every year in every budget.
“If Congress doesn’t vote to keep it, goodbye.”
He rounded off his attack by accusing Johnson of seeking to undermine veterans’ benefits.
“He’s the same person who said that if Republicans took control of Congress, they should try again to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which, by the way, is the only reason millions of people with pre-existing conditions could get health care.” ,’ he said.
Biden ended his speech by calling on the country to come together to address the cost of living crisis.
“God bless you all and pray that we can figure out how to come together better than we have so far because the lives and futures of many people depend on it,” Biden said.
“And I’m confident we can make it happen.”
Biden targeted Sens. Rick Scott (left) and Ron Johnson, who have both threatened Social Security and other federal funding programs
Speaking at the White House in the Rose Garden, Biden praised efforts to cut healthcare costs before setting his sights on Republican plans to cut spending
Biden’s attack will raise concerns among some Republicans that Scott and his plan have handed lines of attack to Democrats.
Biden has repeatedly used it to convey the choice to voters in November.
For example, on Tax Day in April, the White House used Scott’s proposals to accuse Republicans of wanting to raise tax rates for millions of Americans.
Republicans complain that middle-class Americans don’t have skin in the game and don’t pay enough taxes,” the White House said.
“But the truth is that middle-class Americans are the backbone of our economy, paying a lot of federal, state and local taxes, and in many cases paying a higher rate than the super-rich.”
Scott’s plan involves making sure all Americans pay income taxes — essentially a tax hike for some of the most deprived in the country — so they have “skin in the game” when it comes to federal spending.
Republicans, including Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell, would rather see the election remain a referendum on Biden’s achievements, with the cost of living and immigration crises at the forefront.