It appears the Democrats don’t intend to make Social Security directly part of any near term deal regarding the fiscal cliff. Top Democrats figures in the looming negotiations have stated that they don’t think changes to Social Security should be party of any pending deal, but something that should be dealt with on its own later.
The White House press secretary said that Social Security is “currently a driver of the deficit” and that President is interesting in dealing with it but on a “separate track.”
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), who has been one of the Democrats most aggressively pushing for a grand bargain, said something very similar today at the Center for American Progress. From The Hill:
“I think we should take Social Security off the table for the current fiscal cliff and deficit reduction but be very honest about what we’re going to achieve in the near term,” he said in his live remarks to the audience at CAP.
Durbin called for the creation of a special commission to come up with a plan to extend the program’s projected solvency to 75 years and require Congress to vote on it.
In the past Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has been even more direct in stating Social Security changes will not be part of any end of the year deal.
In the very short term Social Security appears safe, despite President Obama’s history of trying to use it to entice Republican vote. In the mid term though, some are setting the stage for a separate fight over Social Security next year.