In February, President Joe Biden spoke before a joint session of Congress, telling Americans the GOP wanted to cut the programs they had paid into their whole lives. "Instead of making the wealthy pay their fair share, some Republicans want Medicare and Social Security to sunset every five years," he said.
"That means those programs will go away if Congress doesn’t vote to keep them. Other Republicans say if we don’t cut Social Security and Medicare, they’ll let America default on its debt for the first time in our history."
His comments got a chorus of boos from the audience of Republicans. Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) shook his head.
As he repeated the claim at his State of the Union address, Biden incensed Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) so much she leaped her feet yelling “liar!", while Republicans committed on television to never making such cuts.
McCarthy even told CBS's Face the Nation he was taking Social Security and Medicare “off the table” in debt ceiling negotiations.
And then, on Wednesday, the speaker announced he's starting a commission to look at how to make cuts.
Appearing on the Fox network, McCarthy explained, "And now we're cutting, and you know what? It's gonna make some people uncomfortable by doing that, but I'm not going to give up on the American people."
"I'm going to announce a commission coming forward from the speaker — from bipartisan, both sides of the aisle," he added. "...The majority driver of the budget is mandatory spending; it's Medicare; it's Social Security, interest on the debt."
McCarthy told Fox host Harris Faulkner that only 11 percent of the budget could be negotiated during the debt ceiling talks because Biden had "walled off" parts of it – including the part that included discretionary spending programs.
Now, he said, "We have to look at the entire budget."
See a clip of the interview below or at the link here.
McCarthy pledges a commission to examine cuts to Social Security and Medicare