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During his annual State of the Union address, President Biden appealed to Congress to commit to lifting the debt ceiling, while warning Republicans against cuts to Social Security and Medicare.
JOE BIDEN: In the last two years, my administration has cut the deficit by more than $1.7 trillion, the largest deficit reduction in American history.
Under the previous administration, the American deficit went up four years in a row. Because those record deficits, no president added more to the national debt in any four years than my predecessor. Nearly 25% of the entire national debt that took over 200 years to accumulate was added by just one administration alone, the last one. They're the facts. Check it out.
Check it out. How did Congress respond to that debt? They did the right thing. They lifted the debt ceiling three times without preconditions or crisis. They paid American bills to prevent an economic disaster in the country. So, tonight, I'm asking the Congress to follow suit. Let's commit here tonight to the full faith that the credit of the United States America will never, ever be questioned.
Some of my Republican friends want to take the economy hostage-- I get it-- unless I agree to their economic plans. All of you at home should know what those plans are. Instead of making the wealthy pay their fair share, some Republicans want Medicare and Social Security to sunset. I'm not saying it's a majority.
Let me give you-- anybody who doubts it, contact my office. I'll give you a copy-- I'll give you a copy of the proposal. That means Congress doesn't vote--
Well, I'm glad to see-- No, I'll tell you, I enjoy conversion.
You know, it means, if Congress doesn't keep the programs the way they are, they'd go away. Other Republicans say, I'm not saying it's a majority of you. I don't even think it's even a significant--
But it's being proposed by individuals. I'm politely not naming them, but it's being proposed by some of you.
Look, folks, the idea is that we're not going to be-- we're not going to be moved into being threatened to default on the debt if we don't respond. Folks--
So, folks, as we all apparently agree, Social Security and Medicare is off the books now, right? They're not to be discussed? All right!
Amazing. We've got unanimity!
Social Security and Medicare are a lifeline for millions of seniors. Americans have to pay into them from the very first paycheck they started. So, tonight, let's all agree, and we apparently are, let's stand up for seniors.
Stand up and show them, we will not cut Social Security, we will not cut Medicare! Those benefits belong to the American people! They earned it, and if anyone tries to cut Social Security, which, apparently, no one's gonna do, and if anyone tries to cut Medicare, I'll stop them. I'll veto it. And I'm not going to allow them to be taken away, not today, not tomorrow, not ever, but, apparently, it's not gonna be a problem.