When the White House issues deficit recommendations on Monday, changes to the federal retirement benefit will not be among them
President Obama, who was willing to include Social Security reform in his quest for a "grand bargain" just two months ago, will not ask the congressional super committee to include the program when it tackles the nation's debt crisis in coming weeks.
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The decision, confirmed by the White House on Thursday, is no surprise because the president has repeatedly said he does not see the retirement entitlement program as a factor in the current deficit, although he has called for long-term reform. House Speaker John Boehner, in a speech on Thursday to the Economic Club of Washington, called on the committee to reform entitlements such as Social Security and Medicare but didn't specify how.
White House press secretary Jay Carney would not rule out Obama's asking the committee to take on Medicare and Medicaid reforms when he outlines his deficit recommendations on Monday.
"The president from the beginning has stated that we need to take measures to strengthen Social Security for the long term," Carney said "but it is not a driver of our near-term deficit problems, and it can be pursued on a parallel track."