Sen. John N. Kennedy took aim at President Joe Biden’s proposed $6.8 trillion budget on Sunday. The Republican senator from Louisiana mocked the proposal, which the White House unveiled on Thursday.
“The president says that his budget will solve our financial problems in Medicare and Social Security; that is not true. Anything seems possible when you don’t know what you are talking about,” Kennedy said during an interview on “Fox News Sunday.”
“The only way I know how to improve the president’s budget is with a shredder,” he said.
On Thursday, the president outlined his vision for the next fiscal year, proposing a total budget of $6.8 trillion, which would decrease the federal deficit by nearly $3 trillion through a series of tax increases on corporations and the wealthiest Americans.
Biden’s proposal has little chance of passage in the Republican-controlled House, but presidents’ budget requests are carefully scrutinized as a reflection of their administration’s principles and priorities.
Progressive Democrats have welcomed large chunks of Biden’s latest budget request, but there is also anger and disappointment on key issues that the left of the party holds dear, notably defense spending and immigration policy.
Progressives celebrated Biden’s commitment to ensuring corporations and high earners pay their “fair share” of taxes, praising the president’s plan to use that tax revenue to lower healthcare and childcare costs for working Americans.
House Republicans have called for cuts to spending in return for lifting the debt ceiling later this year; the House Freedom Caucus offered a 10-point plan last week.
Florida Sen. Rick Scott has suggested sunsetting Social Security and Medicare programs as a way to do so, a topic that became particularly contentious after Biden criticized the plan during his State of the Union speech earlier this year.
Kennedy said there should be conversations about making changes to these programs, though he was quick to say people should receive the Medicare and Social Security benefits they’ve paid for.
But he echoed recent comments by Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley suggesting the possibility of raising the eligibility age for Social Security.