Is President Obama Shifting on Social Security?

News & Politics

As mentioned in my previous post, on February 23rd, there will be a "fiscal responsibility summit" convened by Jim Cooper and other Blue Dogs. One of the main goals of the summit is to create a commission that will provide non-amendable, non-filibusterable legislation that will cut Social Security and Medicare:

At the moment, discussions are focused on whether to name a special panel to make the difficult decisions that would be required to right the nation's finances. Key senators in both parties are backing a plan put forward by Conrad and the Budget Committee's senior Republican, Sen. Judd Gregg (N.H.), that would create a task force of lawmakers and administration officials. The task force would wrestle with the details of Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare and the tax code, and deliver a reform plan to Congress for a vote later this year.

Under the proposal, the task force's recommendations could not be amended; the House and Senate would be required to accept or reject them without changes or additions, similar to the process lawmakers use to close military bases.

On February 2nd, the Washington Post reported that President Obama was opposed to such a commission:

Obama specifically mentioned the Gregg-Conrad proposal when he met with Senate Republicans last week. Several senators told him they would like to see such a task force created as part of the economic stimulus bill, saying the promise of a fiscal reckoning would make the massive measure easier to swallow.

But Obama "was not supportive" of that idea, said Gregg, whom Obama may tap to join the administration as Commerce secretary. "I think they think it's just too big a lift for the stimulus package."

Today, however, the Wall Street journal is reporting that President Obama is in favor of such a commission:

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