WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden's State of the Union address Tuesday night was briefly interrupted by shouts from Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, and a few other Republicans, who accused him of lying while discussing the debt crisis facing the nation.
The Republican outbursts came as Biden addressed the ongoing conflict in Congress over raising the debt limit. Biden suggested that "some" Republicans were willing to go to extreme measures to get what they wanted out of the crisis.
"Some of my Republican friends want to take the economy hostage ... unless I agree to their economic plans. All of you at home should know what those plans are," Biden said. "Some Republicans want Medicare and Social Security to sunset."
The declaration drew immediate boos and shouting, where several Republican members of Congress were visibly unhappy with the turn the speech had taken. Some Republicans even jumped to their feet to object.
"Anybody who doubts it, contact my office. I'll give you a copy of the proposal," Biden said.
Greene then repeatedly shouted "Liar!" from the back of the chamber.
The proposal Biden referenced comes from Florida Sen. Rick Scott, but it hasn’t been endorsed by the majority of the Republican Party. It calls for a Congressional vote on the two programs to take place every five years in order to keep them operating.
Biden acknowledged that the proposal wasn't popular, even among the Republicans on the hill, but said it was being pushed by some on the right.
"I'm not saying it's a majority of you. I don't even think it's a significant (number), but it's being proposed by individuals," Biden said. "I'm politely not naming them, but it's being proposed by some of you."
Again, the gallery erupted into shouts, while Greene's voice could again be heard calling Biden a "liar."
Biden's comments were a reference to the ongoing fight over raising the debt ceiling, which is essentially America's credit card. The debt ceiling acts as the spending limit, and doesn't affect the country's budget, only the debts it owes on that budget.
If the U.S. fails to raise the debt ceiling before extraordinary measures put in place by the treasury run out sometime this summer, the country could default on its debts and send the global economy into a recession.
Even so, Republicans appear ready to fight, using the threat of not raising the ceiling as leverage to cut spending in the country's budget.
Biden pivoted away from that section of his address with a tongue-in-cheek bipartisan olive branch, saying that he had reached common ground with the Republicans during the back-and-forth moments of his speech.
"As we all apparently agreed, Social Security and Medicare is off the books now. We've got unanimity," he said.