Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said only Republican Sen. Rick Scott proposed and supported an initiative to sunset Social Security and Medicare.
Scott, who unsuccessfully ran against McConnell for the top spot in the Senate, proposed a plan in 2022 to sunset all federal legislation after five years, forcing Congress to reauthorize them.
Scott is chairman of the Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee. McConnell was interviewed on Thursday by Terry Meiners on his self-titled podcast.
“Unfortunately, that was the Scott plan, that’s not a Republican plan,” McConnell told Meiners, noting that Republicans never intended to implement Scott’s scheme, even if they won the majority.
“So it’s clearly the Rick Scott plan, it is not the Republican plan,” sai McConnell. “And that’s the view of the Speaker of the House as well.”
Scott’s plan states: “All federal legislation sunsets in 5 years. If a law is worth keeping, Congress can pass it again.”
In recent years, Republicans have withheld necessary votes to force Democratic concessions. The debt ceiling is currently being used as a bargaining chip, a move that is endangering the entire economy.
McConnell said that since he and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy were in GOP leadership positions, they had more authority to “state what the position of the party is than any single senator.”
Calling Scott’s plan “a bad idea,” McConnell promised that the programs wouldn’t be reduced, but said it might be an issue for the Florida senator’s upcoming election campaign.
“I think it will be a challenge for him to deal with this in his own reelection in Florida,” McConnell said, adding that it is “a state with more elderly people than any other state in America.”
The issue was brought up by President Biden during in his annual State of the Union address, when he criticized the Republican Party for Scott’s proposal.