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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made his case for keeping Social Security out of budget negotiations in a meeting with President Obama and other Senate leadership Wednesday afternoon, Roll Call reports [sub req.]

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 great news for Social Security is that President Obama in his budget press conference Tuesday, publicly stated what advocates have been pointing out so strenuously: "Social Security is not the huge contributor to the deficit that the other two entitlements are." The bad news is the other part of that statement: “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." Congressional Republicans in 2011 are not the same Congressional Republicans of 1983. They don't want an agreement. They don't want to see this White House succeed at anything, and surely not in being able to make the claim that it "saved" Social Security, not unless "saving" Social Security means gutting it.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Thu Feb 17, 2011 at 09:30 AM PST.

Also republished by Social Security Defenders.

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