WATCH: ‘We all apparently agree’ on saving Medicare and Social Security, Biden teases during State of the Union

In a rowdy back-and-forth, President Joe Biden accused some congressional Republicans — not a majority — of wanting to “take the economy hostage” by insisting that Medicare and Social Security be sunset, drawing loud boos.

Watch Biden’s remarks in the player above.

He said in his Tuesday State of the Union address that he was glad to see their response, adding, “I enjoy conversion.”

“As we all apparently agree, Social Security and Medicare is off the books now, right?” Biden said, saying he would stop any effort to cut the social safety nets. He also offered to sit down with Republicans to discuss their mutual fiscal plans.

“We’ll pay for it the way we talked about: by making sure the wealthy and big corporations pay their fair share,” Biden said.

WATCH: President Joe Biden’s 2023 State of the Union address

Biden said his administration has worked to prevent surprise medical bills and has cracked down on nursing homes that commit fraud. And he noted that many Americans can now get hearing aids over the counter, which saves costs.

Biden’s Feb. 7 address comes nearly a year after Russia invaded Ukraine and amid new diplomatic tensions between the U.S. and China over a suspected surveillance balloon. This is Biden’s second State of the Union address, as his first was a joint address to Congress in April 2021.

Last year, Biden used his address to emphasize themes of bipartisanship and unity. But he now faces a split Congress, with the GOP-led House launching efforts to investigate his family and his administration.

Watch more of PBS NewsHour’s State of the Union coverage: