Republicans and Democrats sparred in the Senate on Thursday after a GOP lawmaker said it was a “lie” to say President Biden is willing to work with Congress to save Social Security.
In a Senate Finance Committee hearing with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., accused the Biden administration of being unwilling to work with Congress to save Social Security.
Cassidy was grilling Yellen about whether any of the funds from Biden’s proposed tax hikes, which the White House said will generate nearly $3 trillion, are meant to go toward extending the solvency of the Social Security program – which is expected to run out of funding by 2037.
Yellen told him that Biden is ready to work with lawmakers to keep the program solvent. “He stands ready to work with Congress,” she said.
“That’s a lie,” Cassidy shot back. “Because when a bipartisan group of senators has repeatedly requested to meet with him about Social [Security] so that somebody who is a current beneficiary will not see her benefits cut by 24%, we have not heard anything on our request. And we’ve made multiple requests to meet with the president.”
That response prompted Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden, D-Ore., to scold Cassidy for accusing Yellen of lying.
“My colleague is out of time, and I would just caution colleagues – we’ve got plenty of differences around here, but accusing witnesses of lying is over the line,” Wyden said.
“I accept that and I did not mean that for the madam secretary, who is merely saying that what she’s been told, I’m saying it for an empiric observation – when the president says he’s ready to meet and he’s turned down multiple…” Cassidy said before being cut off by the chairman once again.
Wyden interrupted Cassidy to tell him once again that his allotted time had expired.
“Accusing witnesses of lying is over the line,” the Democrat restated.
Cassidy denied calling Yellen a liar once again before the next lawmaker began his turn.
Yellen appeared before the Senate Finance Committee on Thursday to discuss Biden’s fiscal year 2024 budget proposal.