FACT CHECK: Did Joe Biden Say Veterans ‘Get Enough Handouts’?
An image shared on Facebook claims President Joe Biden announced plans to cut veteran benefits, saying, “They get enough handouts.”
There is no record of Biden saying the quote. The claim about veteran benefits originated in a satirical article.
The image appears to show a screen grab of a news headline saying, “Biden to Cut Benefits for Veterans, ‘They Get Enough Handouts.'” The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides benefits to U.S. military veterans such as offering health care and assisting with “education, home loans, life insurance and much more,” according to the VA’s website.
Check Your Fact didn’t find any evidence Biden announced widespread cuts to veteran benefits or said veterans “get enough handouts.” A search of Biden’s remarks, press releases and executive actions on the White House website turned up no record for such an announcement or comment. They do not appear on his verified social media accounts. The remarks would also likely garner widespread coverage by major media outlets.
The American Rescue Plan Act, signed into law by Biden in March, includes $386 million to “initiate a COVID–19 Veteran Rapid Retraining Assistance Program that provides up to 12 months of training and employment assistance” and $14.5 billion for “COVID-19 related health care,” including “information technology and facility requirements” and “resources for Veterans currently receiving housing support,” according to a VA press release. In January, Biden also asked the VA to consider “pausing federal collections on overpayments and debts” for veterans, according to a White House fact sheet.
During his presidential campaign, Biden promised to provide veterans with health care to meet their specific needs and to expand programs facilitating job and education opportunities for veterans, among other measures, his campaign website states. (RELATED: Does The US Government Spend Zero Dollars On Homeless Veterans?)
The link in the image being shared online directs to an article on the website Bloom Medical News. That article lifts from America’s Last Line of Defense, a parody news website that describes itself as part of a network that publishes “parody, satire, and tomfoolery.” The original satire article appears under the category “Biden Satire For Delusional Trumpsters to Hate” on America’s Last Line of Defense.
While America’s Last Line of Defense explicitly disclaims its satirical nature, some websites that share its content fail to do so, leading Facebook users to erroneously believe its claim is genuine.