Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Obama: 70M Social Security, Vets & Disability Checks at Risk if No Deal

Same story, different day as the debt negotiations go on.

The congressional leaders from both parties are back late this afternoon at the White House, but this time facing a stark warning from President Obama, who  says he cannot guarantee that Social Security, veterans benefits or disability checks will go out on Aug. 3 if no deal is reached by Aug. 2.

"I cannot guarantee that those checks go out on Aug. 3 if we haven't resolved this issue. Because there may simply not be the money in the coffers to do it," Obama said in an interview with CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley set to air tonight.

Obama, who apparently has not played his lkast wild card in the high-stakes game of political poker, was asked specifically about Social Security, but said the problem is much bigger that that.

"This is not just a matter of Social Security checks. These are veterans checks, these are folks on disability and their checks. There are about 70 million checks that go out," Obama said.

As it stands, Obama won't do a short-term deal and the Republicans say they won't do a deal that includes tax increases.

There is evidence that the showdown over raising the debt ceiling is beginning to take a toll on the financial markets, as analysts blame a downturn in most of the global markets overnight, including Wall Street the past two days, on two main concerns: The growing debt crisis in Europe and the debt shenanigans in Washington.

Meanwhile, Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky), is offering up a scheme that may allow Obama to raise the debt ceiling with a vote, a veto and override vote.

It is a complex plan that the Democrats will first have to review, but at face value it appears to require something that neither side has for the other: Trust.

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