Republicans dismiss Social Security warning from ‘scarer-in-chief’

More than 50 House Republicans are urging President Obama to commit to making payments to military personnel, Social Security and Medicare recipients and interest on the national debt if Congress does not act to raise the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling by Aug. 2.

“We ask that you make an immediate, clear and unequivocal public commitment that your administration will continue to make all interest payments on time, as well as ensuring the pay of our military personnel, and making Social Security and Medicare payments in full,” reads a letter signed by 57 GOP lawmakers that was released on Thursday.


In a press conference outside the Capitol, rank-and-file Republicans assailed the president for saying he could not guarantee that Social Security checks would be sent out if Congress does not meet the Aug. 2 deadline set by the Treasury Department for raising the debt ceiling.

Rep. Louie GohmertLouis (Louie) Buller GohmertGOP increasingly balks at calling Jan. 6 an insurrection 21 Republicans vote against awarding medals to police who defended Capitol GOP's Gohmert, Clyde file lawsuit over metal detector fines MORE (R-Tex.) denounced Obama as the “scarer-in-chief” and said the only way those payments would not be made is if the president made a “mean-spirited” decision to withhold them. 

Some conservatives contend the administration can prioritize payments if the federal debt ceiling is breached, but the Treasury Department has warned that will not prevent the U.S. credit rating from being downgraded, potentially sending the economy into a tailspin.

“This is immature political posturing,” Rep. Bill FloresWilliam (Bill) Hose FloresThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC - Calls mount to start transition as Biden readies Cabinet picks Hillicon Valley: House votes to condemn QAnon | Americans worried about foreign election interference | DHS confirms request to tap protester phones House approves measure condemning QAnon, but 17 Republicans vote against it MORE (R-Tex.) said of the administration’s warnings.

Republicans suggested the administration should first stop payments to implement the 2012 healthcare law and remaining funds from Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) if the debt ceiling isn’t raised.