The ongoing battle between Republicans and Democrats over Social Security reached new heights when Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) grilled a Biden official during a hearing.
During tense questioning, Romney asked Shalanda Young, director of the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB), if she was aware of any cuts being made to the program proposed by lawmakers, which President Joe Biden has repeatedly accused Republicans of doing despite GOP leaders ensuring that is not the case.
“You’ve heard of proposals from a current senator or congressman currently proposing to cut benefits to Social Security?” Romney asked Young several times.
“Yes. Have they changed their position? Maybe, but yes. Members who are current—” Young began as Romney interrupted, asking if the proposed cuts have been made in the last couple of months or the previous year.
“Current members have well-known policies out there to cut Social Security and Medicare,” Young attempted to say before Romney clapped back, saying, “that is simply wrong, and it’s not honest to say that to members of Congress. That is simply wrong.”
Young admitted that she knew the program’s trust fund is expected to “run out” during the next decade, noting estimates that “benefits would be cut dramatically, like 25 percent.”
“Well, why is it then that in the president’s budget, there’s no effort to address that whatsoever?” Romney pressed.
“While we clearly disagree on this, there are some who have policies on websites — I’m happy to print them and send them to the committee — whether they have changed our position is another thing — who wants to cut–” Young said, changing the topic.
Romney asked again why Biden’s budget does not show how Democrats would protect Social Security.
“There’s nobody in this committee that wants to cut it,” Romney argued. “I know of no Republican or Democrat in the House or the Senate proposing cutting Social Security benefits, and it’s dishonest to keep saying it. It’s offensive and dishonest and not realistic.”
In response, Young said, “this president believes the biggest threat to Social Security is those who want to cut it… his budget says no.”
DC politicians have accused each other of making decisions that would pose risks to Social Security and Medicare. Republicans have vowed not to associate changes to Social Security with the debt ceiling fight, which must be down in the next few months as part of a deal to raise its limit.