House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) says Democrats will not support any entitlement benefit cuts as part of a deficit reduction package.
“We do not support cuts in benefits to Social Security or Medicare,” she said after today’s meeting at the White House.
Pelosi is the most prominent Democrat to raise objection to cuts endorsed by Obama as part of a “big” deficit deal proposal — as large as $4 trillion in cuts over 10 years — echoing comments from Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) expressing surprise that steep entitlement cuts are under consideration.
Democratic lawmakers said they first learned of the $4 trillion proposal through media reports. “Good politics starts with good communication, and I think they should have come and talked to us about the direction, particularly when it’s the social contract and we feel so strongly about it,” Mikulski told National Journal.
“The debt-ceiling talks seem to be occurring in “a parallel universe,” she added. “The base is quite cheerless right now.”
Carney tried to distance the White House from a report in this morning’s Washington Post that Obama was considering cuts to Social Security as part of a “grand bargain.”
“The fact is the president’s position [on Social Security] has not changed at all since January,” he said, adding “there is no news in the story that pretended to be news today.”
Earlier this year Obama said Social Security is not a deficit problem now, and should not be included in a deal. Carney only said today Obama would not “slash” benefits as part of a deal.
Pelosi indicated that if Social Security were to be reformed, it would have to be undertaken independently of the debt limit.
“If there’s a table that Social Security is on, it’s on it’s own table,” she said.
Pelosi will meet with Obama at the White House tomorrow to continue negotiations.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.