Joe Biden Advocates Entitlement Spending Freeze During 1995 Senate Debate

In 1995, Joe Biden spoke during a Senate debate about his support for freezing spending on Social Security, Medicaid, and veterans’ programs, despite denying that he did so during the March 15 Democratic debate with Bernie Sanders.

During the debate, aired without a live studio audience due to coronavirus precautions, Sanders pressed Biden’s record on voting or advocating for cuts to Social Security, Medicaid, and veterans’ programs.

Sanders asked Biden: “Have you been on the floor of the Senate … time and time again, talking about the necessity, with pride, about cutting Social Security, cutting Medicare, cutting veterans’ programs?”

Biden answered, “no,” before Sanders questioned him again.

After a second denial, Sanders urged those watching to “Go to YouTube. It’s all over the place.”

A 1995 clip from a Senate debate on a balanced budget amendment was then widely shared online following the debate.

In the clip, Biden says: “When I argued that we should freeze federal spending, I meant Social Security as well. 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."

In a Politifact fact-check article detailing Biden’s 40-year record on Social Security, it concludes that although he supported freezing benefits in the past, his most recent voting records show that he advocates for increasing Social Security benefits. Credit: C-SPAN via Storyful