November 06, 2015

Republicans in U.S. House and Senate Plan Ways to Cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., center, speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014, after a weekly policy luncheon. From left are, Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo.; McConnell, Sen. John Thune, R-S.D.; Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn of Texas. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said on Thursday he now estimates that “no later than” November 3, Treasury is likely to exhaust the accounting measures that are keeping the country’s debt below its legal limit. Late last week, Politico published the conservative House Freedom Caucus “questionnaire,” which seeks a commitment from the next House speaker to tie any increase in the debt ceiling to cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

CNN reported on Tuesday that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R) wants significant changes to Social Security and Medicare in exchange for raising the debt ceiling and funding the government. Several people familiar with the high-stakes fiscal negotiations said the Senate majority leader’s staff is trying to drive a hard bargain in the private talks with the White House and Democratic leaders.

“Republican Senate staff are using the debt ceiling as leverage to cut Social Security and Medicare, and Republican members of the House are using the race for speaker to do the same,” said Alliance Secretary-Treasurer Joseph Peters, Jr.

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