Pelosi calls GOP heckling of Biden during State of the Union ‘showbiz’

Associated Press

Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), the former Speaker, said Republican heckling of President Biden during the State of the Union address Tuesday evening was “showbiz.” 

Several members of the Republican conference shouted out at Biden during his speech, notably when he accused some in the GOP of wanting to “sunset” Medicare and Social Security, or requiring Congress to pass them again if they want them to continue. 

Pelosi told CNN in an interview following the address that Biden recognized that some Republicans have discussed the status of Medicare and Social Security in their efforts to force the federal government make spending cuts in exchange for raising the debt ceiling. 

“I think that they were protesting too much. They knew that they had been identified as putting Medicare and Social Security on the table,” Pelosi said. “And they were trying to dismiss that. But the fact is, it still is part of who they are.” 

“And the leader of their Senate campaign committee, as you mentioned, Sen. [Rick] Scott [R-Fla.], had that as the priority of what they would do. So, this was sort of showbiz,” Pelosi told CNN’s Jake Tapper. 

Biden referenced a proposal from Scott from last year that all federal legislation should sunset in five years. 

“If a law is worth keeping, Congress can pass it again,” the proposal states. 

Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has said cuts to Social Security and Medicare are “off the table” as part of negotiations to raise the debt ceiling, but spending cuts to everything else is being considered. 

Pelosi said the heckling of Biden did not bother her, adding that it was better behavior by comparison. 

“Well, actually, it was, for them, fairly well-behaved, from what we see every day of the week in the House of Representatives, unfortunately,” she said. 

Heckling during the State of the Union and presidential addresses before Congress has not been common throughout the years but has happened before. One notable example happened in 2009 when Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) yelled “You lie” at then-President Obama when the president was talking about his health care plan.

Tags heckling Joe Biden Joe Wilson Nancy Pelosi Nancy Pelosi State of the Union

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