Biden proposed sunsetting Medicare, Social Security while senator

While in the Senate, Biden sponsored a bill that would require programs including Medicare and Social Security to be reauthorised every four to six years.

In his State of the Union speech, President Joe Biden harshly criticized proposals by some Republicans that would cut Medicare and Social Security, or require these programs to be Congress ratifies it every 5 years.

The second proposal, by Senator Rick Scott (R-Fla.), would “repeal” all federal laws — that is, any law, including those that created Medicare and Social Security , will automatically expire after 5 years unless Congress votes to renew it. .

Some VERIFY viewers said they heard that Biden himself, while still a senator, made a similar proposal to Scott’s.


Did Biden ever propose legislation that would end Social Security and Medicare?



This is the truth.

Yes, in 1975, then-Senator Biden introduced a bill requiring all federal spending to be reviewed and re-authorised every four to six years. That includes Social Security and Medicare.


In the 1970s, members of both parties became increasingly concerned about the increase in federal spending and sought to slow or cut it. One popular idea: sunset proposals, which require federal programs to be periodically reviewed to maintain their funding.

In 1975, Joe Biden, as a senator for Delaware, introduced S. 2067, a proposal that was closing in on four main components.

First, it makes any future federal spending last up to four years, before asking Congress for re-approval.

Second, any approved federal spending automatically expires in four or six years unless Congress authorizes it again. The four-year requirement will be for programs with predetermined end dates for more than four years. The six-year requirement would be for plans that don’t have a predetermined end date, meaning they’re initially funded in perpetuity, like Medicare and Social Security.

Third, before Congress can re-approve spending programs, it will have to conduct a program review. That assessment should consider how effective the program is, the bill says, and whether it’s up to its original intent and whether other programs could be more effective instead.

Biden’s bill was never put to a vote. Also, like Scott’s original proposal, Biden’s proposal doesn’t specifically address Medicare or Social Security – popular programs that are unlikely to fail the reauthorization vote – but despite stars will also apply to them.

When introducing the bill before the Senate, Biden argued in favor of it by saying: “We must…start looking at existing programs to determine if they are still effective and if they are worth it. worth the money we are spending or not. We have to get rid of waste.”

He continued: “One thing we’ve all observed is that once the federal program starts, it’s very difficult to stop it, or even change its focus, regardless of its performance in the field. past. “The time has come for us to demand, on a regular and ongoing basis, that both those who administer these programs and we, the legislators who apply the programs, check their operation carefully. careful and detailed.”

The Biden administration did not immediately respond to VERIFY’s request for comment.

But when asked about the proposal, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters on February 9 that regardless of his proposal in 1975, Biden’s current position on Medicare and Social Security is obvious.

“The president ran to protect Medicare and Social Security from cuts, and he reiterated that in his State of the Union Address,” she said. “He has been very clear over the last few years. Rick Scott has the opposite view.”

Senator Scott has since updated his own proposal to specifically exempt “Social Security, Medicare, national security, veterans benefits, and other essential services.”

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Edmuns DeMars

Edmund DeMarche is a USTimesPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Edmund DeMarche joined USTimesPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing

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