Obama: Social Security Checks Threatened If Debt Ceiling Deal Isn't Reached
Originally Posted At HuffingtonPost.com
President Barack Obama told CBS News' Scott Pelley Tuesday that he cannot guarantee that Social Security checks will go out as planned if Democrats and Republicans fail to reach a deal to raise the debt ceiling by August 2.
"I cannot guarantee that those checks go out on August 3 if we haven't resolved this issue, because there may simply not be the money in the coffers to do it," Obama said in an interview on the CBS Evening News Tuesday evening.
"This is not just a matter of Social Security checks," Obama said. "These are veterans checks, these are folks on disability and their checks. There are about 70 million checks that go out."
Obama has been pushing for $4 trillion in a 10-year deficit reduction proposal. But House Speaker John Boehner, after seeking to forge a deal of that magnitude, told the president that a smaller, $2 trillion to $2.4 trillion deal was more realistic. A deal is essential to win Republican votes to increase the nation's debt ceiling by Aug. 2, or risk a government default.
Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday that Republicans will "do the responsible thing and ensure the government doesn't default on its obligations," but said Democrats and the Obama administration were relying on budget gimmicks to give the "appearance of serious belt-tightening."
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