Cleaver noted that African-Americans have much lower life expectancy than whites, so later eligibility affects them far more.
On Thursday, 73 House Democrats sent a letter to the president urging him to not raise the age — although Obama did not rule it out in an interview with ABC News’ Barbara Walters.
The president questioned how much the move would save. The Congressional Budget Office has scored a gradual increase to age 67 as saving Medicare $148 billion in the first decade.
Of course, Obama already agreed to the idea as part of the 2011 grand bargain talks, and the fact that the administration has not agreed to the idea this time around has been a source of frustration in GOP circles. A House Republican aide said Dec. 14 that they have proposed the increase in the negotiations.
But White House Press Secretary Jay Carney contended that Republicans had yet to offer a single specific spending cut or revenue hike during the talks.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.