Rep. Dan Newhouse Calls Biden’s State of the Union Address “Divisive”
4th Congressional Rep. Dan Newhouse remarked on President Joe Biden’s “divisive” State of the Union Address.
During the address on Feb. 7, Biden claimed that the GOP wished to cut spending for Social Security and Medicare when discussing potential budget cuts.
“Instead of making the wealthy pay their fair share, some Republicans want Medicare and Social Security to sunset,” Pres. Biden said.
Congress has been deliberating on what to cut as they decide whether to raise their debt ceiling, a limit on the amount of money the federal government can owe.
Rep. Newhouse thought that the President’s comments towards the GOP were false and uncalled for.
“If you're trying to build coalitions and come together in a bipartisan way, that is not a helpful comment to make in front of a live national television audience, because I just don't think it was the case.”
During budget discussions, House Speaker Rep. Kevin McCarthy confirmed with Pres. Biden that both Social Security and Medicare were “off the table.”
Rep. Newhouse did say that if the government doesn’t start controlling government spending, then Social Security and Medicare may remain in an unsustainable state.
“The cost of health care in this country is truly going to eat us alive as far as our federal budget is concerned,” Newhouse said. “Over two-thirds of the federal budget is just for those two things, Social Security and Medicare, and they're going bankrupt both of them and that's the ugly truth that most politicians don't want to talk about.”
According to USA Today, Social Security is projected to increase from $1.3 trillion in 2023 to $2.4 trillion by 2033, while Medicare costs rise from $820 billion in 2023 to $1.6 trillion in 2033.
“There's going to be some very hard discussions, difficult decisions, to make in order to make both of those programs sustainable into the future," Newhouse said. "That's something that as Congress, as a country, we need to recognize this. We can no longer ignore it.”
He clarified that there are no plans to cut either Social Security or Medicare funding.
The next step for Congress is to look out for Pres. Biden’s 2023 Government Spending Plan, which should be released on March 28.