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Rick Scott isn’t helping his case on Social Security and Medicare

Rick Scott thought he was defending himself in response to the State of the Union address. Instead, the far-right Floridian made matters worse for himself.


When Sen. Rick Scott unveiled his far-right policy blueprint about a year ago, many members of his party weren’t altogether pleased with the Florida Republican. Indeed, Democrats spent much of 2022 treating Scott’s plan like a piñata, and some operatives in both parties believe the Floridian contributed to the GOP’s underwhelming showing in the 2022 midterms.

And yet, Scott keeps digging deeper. The Washington Post reported this morning:

Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) doubled down Wednesday on a plan that would require all legislation — including that relating to popular programs, such as Social Security and Medicare — to be passed every five years to stay on the books. Scott’s comments, made in a tweet, followed a reference by President Biden on Tuesday night to Scott’s plan, which Democrats used as fodder to attack Republicans in advance of the midterm elections last year.

In his State of the Union address, President Joe Biden did not call out Scott by name, but there was no real doubt who he was talking about when he referenced “some” Republicans who would allow Medicare and Social Security to sunset.

In response to GOP heckling, the Democrat added, “I’m politely not naming them, but it’s being proposed by some of you.”

It was against this backdrop that Scott turned to Twitter this morning, standing by his plan to sunset “all federal legislation” after five years. “If a law is worth keeping,” the Floridian wrote,  “Congress can pass it again.”

Scott added this morning, however, that this doesn’t mean he wants to “cut” Social Security and Medicare. Perhaps not, but that’s beside the point: The senator’s plan was (and is) controversial for a variety of reasons, including the fact that it would sunset the popular social insurance programs, not “cut” them. That’s what Biden said in his address, and it remains accurate.

Indeed, it’s a point of bipartisan agreement: Even Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell publicly conceded last year that under Scott’s plan, Medicare and Social Security would have to be reapproved every five years.

For the far-right Floridian to double down on this point again today only helps bolster the White House’s point. Scott seemed to think he was correcting Biden with his Twitter thread, when in fact he inadvertently helped prove the president right.

Postscript: At the conclusion of his weird Twitter thread, the senator added, “Biden & the Dems did, in fact, cut Medicare just last year. They lie about it & the liberal media covers for them.”

It is among the most tiresome of Scott’s many lies. He’s been told several times that his efforts to deceive the public on this point are indefensible, and yet the Republican continues to peddle this demonstrably ridiculous claim, indifferent to reality and propriety. The fact that he repeated the lie again this morning, while ironically accusing his rivals of lying, served as a reminder that the GOP lawmaker is impervious to shame.