Negotiations between Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell have hit a major set back today after Republicans demanded a new method for calculating entitlement benefits be included in the fiscal cliff solution.
Many liberals oppose the provision, known as “chained CPI,” because it would result in lower payments for Social Security beneficiaries. However, President Obama has supported it as a way to reduce the deficit. Senate Democrats say that this provision does not need to be included in a scaled-down fiscal cliff deal.
Republicans have stated that this new provision is in exchange for raising tax rates, but Harry Reid has announced on the floor that he will not accept any cuts to social security as part of this fiscal cliff deal. Earlier today McConnell complained that Reid has yet to submit a counter offer to a proposal that was submitted by the Republicans last night. McConnell said this afternoon, “The majority leader’s staff informed us they would be getting back to us this morning at 10 a.m., despite the obvious time crunch we all have. It’s now 2 p.m., and we have yet to receive a response to our good-faith offer. Now, I’m concerned about the lack of urgency here. I think we all know we’re running out of time.”