President Joe Biden’s Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen was challenged by Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) as she presented information on the president’s proposed budget. Yellen shared her comments at a Senate Finance Committee Hearing on Thursday.
According to the Daily Caller, Cassidy called out Yellen as a liar as she spoke of the administration’s “commitment to working with Congress to protect seniors’ Social Security benefits.”
Cassidy questioned Yellen’s statement about protecting seniors’ Social Security benefits by asking if the president knew there would be a 24% cut in benefits “when [Social Security] goes broke in nine years.”
Yellen acknowledged that Cassidy’s statement was “about right.” Cassidy then asked Yellen what the president intended to do to address the Social Security Administration’s significant challenges.
Yellen tried to sidestep the question by stating: “He stands ready to work with Congress.”
An angry Cassidy cut Yellen off and asserted: “That’s a lie because when a bipartisan group of senators has repeatedly requested to meet with him about Social, so that somebody who is a current beneficiary will not see her benefits cut by 24%, we have not heard anything on our request, and we made multiple requests to meet with the president.”
Cassidy continued, “Now, you can’t comment on that, I realize that, but that is a fact, and if you’ve been told that he stands ready to meet, there’s absolutely no evidence because we have not gotten our meeting.”
The heated exchange continued as the two discussed the financial challenges associated with Medicare, the national debt, Social Security and Biden’s plan to increase taxes.
When Yellen repeated that the president “stands ready” to work with Congress, Cassidy replied, “Rings hollow.”
The committee chairman, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), rebuked Cassidy, saying, “My colleague’s out of time, and I would just caution, colleagues, we got plenty of differences around here, but accusing witnesses of lying is over the line.”
Cassidy replied: “I accept that, and I did not mean that for the Madam Secretary, who is merely saying that which she’s been told. I’m saying that for an empiric observation, when the president says he’s ready to meet, that he’s turned down multiple times.”
The exchange ended with Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE) quipping: “Well, welcome to the Finance Committee, Secretary Yellen.”
The comment prompted laughter from the audience.
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