With the August 2 deadline just weeks away, lawmakers are preparing to work over the weekend on a possible deal on the debt ceiling. President Obama says he and congressional leaders will reconvene at the White House on Sunday. It comes after his meeting with those leaders yesterday. Making a short statement in the briefing room yesterday, the President called the talks “constructive” but says both parties still have a lot of work to do. He said, “Everybody acknowledged there’s going to be pain involved politically on all sides, but our biggest obligation is to make sure that we’re doing the right thing by the American people.”
Nancy Pelosi is expected to meet privately with President Obama today to discuss raising the debt ceiling. One issue that is likely to come up is entitlement reform. President Obama is proposing significant reductions to Medicare and Social Security, something White House Press Secretary Jay Carney says is not news. Pelosi expressed alarm at the proposal, saying Democrats do not support cuts in benefits in social security and medicare. Pelosi said, “do not consider social security a piggy bank for giving tax cuts to the wealthiest people in our country.”
As the President opens the door to cutting some entitlements, a new poll by the Pew Research Center shows most Americans don’t want benefits cut from Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. 60% of those surveyed say it’s most important that the programs’ benefits stay untouched. But at the same time, the majority of people surveyed think all three programs need to be completely rebuilt. They also gave the programs mediocre scores for their performance on serving recipients.