Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) speaks in favor of Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio)

Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) speaks in favor of Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) for House speaker on October 18, 2023 in Washington, D.C.

(Photo: C-Span)

Amid House Speaker Chaos, GOP Confess Attack on Social Security, Medicare Still Top Priority

"Raise your hand if you DON'T want a speaker of the House who is hellbent on cutting your hard-earned Social Security and Medicare," said one Democratic state lawmaker.

In the midst of the second vote on U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan's nomination to be the next House Speaker on Wednesday, one right-wing lawmaker cut through the Republican infighting to remind his fellow GOP members of the common goal they share: cutting programs that millions of Americans rely on to obtain healthcare and afford their day-to-day expenses.

Speaking in favor of the Jordan, Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) called on his colleagues to recognize the Ohio Republican's so-called "courage" in fighting "to get at the real drivers of debt, and we all know what they are. We all know it's Social Security, we all know it's Medicare, we all know it's Medicaid."

Cole recalled how he and former Rep. John Delaney (D-Md.) offered a proposal to make changes to Social Security akin to those made in 1983, when benefits for retirees were effectively cut by 13%.

"We never could get any help," Cole lamented. "[Jordan] is the guy that wants to create a debt commission, a bipartisan debt commission and get at the roots of our spending problem. That takes courage."

Progressives have long warned that as soon as they win the White House and majorities in the House and Senate, Republicans will not hesitate to slash Social Security and Medicare spending, and the party itself regularly claims the two programs are bankrupting the federal government—all while voting in favor of hundreds of billions of dollars in military spending.

Since Social Security is funded almost entirely through contributions of workers and employers, explains the advocacy group Social Security Works, the program does not contribute to the national deficit and "can never go bankrupt... Even if Congress were to take no action, Social Security could pay 100% of promised benefits for the next 12 years, and more than three-quarters of benefits after that."

Jordan, the group said on social media Wednesday as it posted the following image, supports plans to cut benefits by raising the retirement age to 70.

Image of Rep. Jim Jordan(Photo: Social Security Works)

An Associated Press/NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll found in April that 79% of Americans oppose reducing Social Security benefits and 67% oppose raising monthly premiums for Medicare, which Republicans have also proposed.

"Raise your hand if you DON'T want a speaker of the House who is hellbent on cutting your hard-earned Social Security and Medicare," tweeted Tennessee state Rep. Gloria Johnson (D-90).

While Republicans are not yet united around a speaker, said Social Security Works, "they are united on destroying our earned Social Security and Medicare benefits."

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