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Reid Argues Against Social Security Cuts in White House Meeting

In a meeting with President Barack Obama on Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) repeated his contention that cuts to Social Security benefits should be off the table as the president eyes a broader deal with Republicans on the deficit, a Democratic leadership aide said.

Reid requested the afternoon Oval Office meeting with Senate Democratic leaders to talk about upcoming budget and spending issues, according to the aide. One topic was House Republicans’ continuing resolution for fiscal 2011 spending, which would slash $100 billion from Obama’s fiscal 2011 budget request.

“The leaders had a serious discussion about the House’s proposed cuts and what they mean to real people in their everyday lives,” the aide said. “Sen. Reid also reiterated his position on protecting Social Security.”

Obama said Tuesday that he was confident the parties could come together to put Social Security on sounder footing.

“The truth is, Social Security is not the huge contributor to the deficit that the other two entitlements are,” he said during a news conference about his fiscal 2012 budget request. “I’m confident we can get Social Security done in the same way that Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neill were able to get it done: by parties coming together, making some modest adjustments. I think we can avoid slashing benefits, and I think we can make it stable and stronger for not only this generation, but for the next generation.”