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EXCLUSIVE: President Biden on Monday commemorated the 87th anniversary of the Social Security Act becoming law by touting Democrat plans to protect, expand and deliver “stronger” benefits to recipients, while warning that a Republican-controlled Congress could put the program “on the chopping block.”
In a video exclusively obtained by Fox News Digital, Biden says “we should celebrate” Social Security’s Birthday. The Social Security Act was signed into law by then-President Franklin D. Roosevelt on Aug. 14, 1935.
“Look, if you know me, you know I think rebuilding the middle class is the moral obligation of our time,” Biden says in the video. “Social Security allows for our seniors to retire with dignity, and me and my Democratic friends on the hill are trying to protect it and expand it.”
Biden touted the “strong employment recovery” in the American Rescue Plan, and said that because of its passage, Social Security “is going to pay for benefits for even longer than it was originally projected.”
“There’s more we want to do,” Biden said.
“But here’s what’s crazy,” Biden continued. “Republicans on the hill—they want to put it on the chopping block.”
“Every five years it would come up to reconsideration, whether it continues or not,” Biden said. “Think about that.”
Biden was referring to a plan Republican Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., proposed earlier this year that would sunset Social Security and Medicare within five years.
“Let me ask you have you ever seen the Republicans on Capitol Hill do anything to protect or increase or to benefit Social Security?” Biden asked.
In a video exclusively obtained by Fox News Digital, Biden says "we should celebrate" Social Security’s Birthday. (Credit: White House)
“So here’s the deal, with Democrats in Congress, you get stronger social security because you paid for it and you deserve it,” Biden said. “With Republicans in Congress, it’s probably going to get sliced.”
Biden has repeatedly used Scott’s proposal, which came as part of the GOP Senate campaign point man’s “12 Point Plan to Rescue America,” when warning voters what the GOP agenda could look like in a Republican-controlled Congress.
Senator Rick Scott, a Republican from Florida, speaks during a television interview at the Russell Senate Office building in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2020. (Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
But Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., shut down Scott’s proposal earlier this year, stressing that Republicans “will not have as part of our agenda a bill that raises taxes on half the American people and sunsets Social Security and Medicare within five years.”
Scott’s website now states that his plan “cuts taxes.”
“Nothing in this plan has ever, or will ever, advocate or propose, any tax increases, at all,” Scott’s website says, noting that it would “require a supermajority to raise taxes or fees on the American people.”
A senior Republican source told Fox News that “income tax hikes are never part of the discussion when Republicans are in charge in Washington.”
Spokesman for House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., Mark Bednar, told Fox News that it is “rich that President Biden is pointing the finger at others because Democrats’ inflation is forcing social security benefits to increase just to try to keep up.”
“The result is the trust fund is draining even faster, without any real benefit to seniors, and forcing the program into bankruptcy sooner,” Bednar said.
And Republican National Committee spokesman Nathan Brand told Fox News that “Biden lies, because the reality he’s created for Americans is a recession, higher prices, and sky high gas prices.”
Brooke Singman is a Fox News Digital politics reporter. You can reach her at [email protected] or @BrookeSingman on Twitter.