WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says cost-cutting in large government-benefit programs is possible as long as Social Security isn't part of the discussion.
Reid says that Social Security hasn't contributed to the deficit and therefore isn't part of the problem.
Reid's spokesman, Jon Summers, says the Nevada Democrat opposes any cuts for Social Security recipients, as well as any reduction in benefits promised to future retirees.
The Senate's top Democrat also rejects an increase in the age at which workers can begin to draw full Social Security retirement because he sees that as a cut in benefits.
Senior lawmakers in both parties have talked about seeking a broad deficit-reduction agreement. Reining in the costs of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are widely cited as essential ingredients in any such compromise.
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