Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Wednesday that he will not allow changes in Social Security to be part of the negotiations to avoid a federal budget fiscal cliff, further narrowing the opportunities for savings that could be tapped to close the deficit.
Republicans have insisted that big entitlement programs such as Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid be part of the end-of-year negotiations to head off tax-rate increases and the $110 billion in automatic spending cuts.
But Mr. Reid said Democrats have already made changes to Medicare as part of President Obama’s health law, and said Social Security is solvent for the time being and shouldn’t be tapped to pay for other government needs.
“Social Security is not part of the problem, That’s one of the myths the Republicans have tried to create,” he said. “Social Security is sound for the next many years. But we want to make sure that in the outer years people are protected also, but it’s not going to be part of the budget talks, as far as I’m concerned.”