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President Joe Biden has not said he plans to impose a two-beer-a-week limit on Americans.
The director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism said the U.S. may follow Canada and recommend adults consume only two drinks per week.
Even if implemented, it is a recommendation, not a mandate.
U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz fumed at President Joe Biden’s administration, claiming it plans to strictly curb Americans’ alcohol consumption.
In an interview with Newsmax, the Texas Republican accused the Biden administration of limiting Americans to only two beers a week.
"What is it with liberals that want to control every damn aspect of your life? ... Now these idiots have come out and said, ‘Drink two beers a week.’ That’s their guideline," Cruz told the conservative outlet. "Well, I’ve got to tell you, if they want us to drink two beers a week, frankly they can kiss my ass."
Cruz then grabbed a bottle of Shiner Bock, a dark lager, unscrewed the cap and took a swig. Behind him, a cluster of men in cowboy hats and plaid shirts guzzled their own beers. The senator posted the now-viral clip for his 6.1 million followers on X, formerly Twitter. In another post, he quoted a Sean Hannity post about an anti-woke beer brand by saying, "So that’s why Biden is trying to limit you to two beers per week."
The only problem: No such plan exists.
Current U.S. guidelines advise men to limit themselves to two drinks a day and women to one.
White House spokesperson Kelly Scully said the suggestion that Biden would prevent Americans from consuming more than two beers a week is "absolutely false."
PolitiFact looked for a reference of Biden calling to limit drinking and found none.
Cruz spokeswoman Maria Reynolds called this "yet another trial balloon by the Biden administration for yet another campaign to regulate the behavior of everyday Americans."
It appears the story unfolded Aug. 28, when Fox News correspondent Peter Doocy asked White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre whether Biden wants to limit Americans to two beers a week.
Appearing bewildered, Jean-Pierre asked for additional context.
Doocy pointed to remarks by Dr. George Koob, director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, which is part of the U.S. National Institutes of Health.
The agency was founded more than 50 years ago, under President Richard Nixon; its director is appointed by the National Institutes of Health. In his Newsmax interview, Cruz referred to Koob, who was appointed in 2013, as Biden’s "alcohol czar."
In an August interview with the Daily Mail, a British news outlet, Koob said the U.S. could revise its alcohol recommendation to match Canada’s, where people are advised to limit themselves to two drinks per week.
When Doocy pressed her, Jean-Pierre declined to comment.
"I have no idea," she said. "I’ve not seen the data. I cannot speak to this. I will leave it to the experts and not weigh in."
Clips of the exchange circulated widely on social media, with many users speculating that the government plans to crack down on how much alcohol Americans consume.
Even if the guidelines change, they are not mandates. They are recommendations meant to promote health and prevent disease, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The U.S Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services jointly issue the guidelines every five years, relying on expertise from policymakers, health care providers, nutrition educators and federal nutrition program operators.
Revised guidelines will be issued in 2025, according to the health department.
Biden and former President Donald Trump have both said they are teetotalers. Koob told the Daily Mail he enjoys a couple of glasses of white wine per week, usually a California chardonnay.
Cruz said, "Biden is trying to limit you to two beers per week."
Biden hasn’t said this, nor has he issued any executive action toward that goal.
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism’s director said the U.S. may consider recommending adults consume only two drinks per week. But even if such a recommendation is issued, it will be a recommendation, not a mandate.
We rate this claim False.
UPDATE, Sept. 7, 2023: This fact-check has been updated to include the X post where Sen. Ted Cruz said President Joe Biden was trying to limit Americans to two beers per week.
Daily Mail interview with Dr. George Koob, director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, Aug. 31, 2023.
Dietary Guidelines for Americans, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, interview with Newsmax, Aug. 31, 2023.
White House press briefing transcript, Aug, 28, 2023.
Phone and email interviews with White House spokeswoman Kelly Scully, Sept. 1, 2023.
Email interview with Ted Cruz spokeswoman Maria Reynolds. Sept. 1, 2023.
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