Friday, July 8, 2011

Pelosi to Obama: Dems 'Firm' in Opposition to Entitlement Cuts

Democrats balk as Obama's 'big' deal push may affect Social Security

President Barack Obama spoke Thursday as GOP House Speaker John Boehner listened at the White House meeting.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais
President Barack Obama spoke Thursday as GOP House Speaker John Boehner listened at the White House meeting.
WASHINGTON | Suddenly changes to Social Security may be on the table as President Barack Obama and congressional leaders negotiate a deal to raise the national debt ceiling and trim future budget deficits.
While Obama denies he’d do anything to harm the program, he’s also said he’d like to strengthen it for the future.
After Obama met with congressional leaders of both parties Thursday at the White House — their first session to discuss the deficit cuts Republicans demand as their price for voting to raise the government’s debt ceiling — the president faced a rebellion from his own party and the elderly over possible cuts to Social Security.
After House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi returned to the Capitol from the budget talks, she made it clear Democrats would oppose such cuts.
“We do not support cuts in benefits to Social Security and Medicare,” said Pelosi of California. “We’re not going to balance the budget on the backs of America’s seniors, women and people with disabilities.”
Obama called the Thursday meeting “very constructive” and said he’d reconvene the group of eight leaders at the White House on Sunday after congressional and White House staff meet today and Saturday to hash out the exact details of everyone’s opening proposals.
“At that point,” Obama said, “the parties will at least know where each other’s bottom lines are and will hopefully be in a position to then start engaging in the hard bargaining that’s necessary to get a deal done.”
Obama is pressing for a “big” deal that would total about $4 trillion in cuts to projected deficits over the next 10 years. He had proposed a $4 trillion plan in April that would be spread over 10 or 12 years, but recent talks had focused on a $2 trillion goal.
Rep. Peter King, a New York Republican, said before the White House meeting that he got a sense that there was a 50-50 chance a deal could be struck within 48 hours.Read more:

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