Reid makes his way to a meeting of the Senate Democratic Conference as Congress continues a weekend session in hope of agreeing on a deal to avert the fiscal cliff.
But for leading liberals in the Senate, such as Sens. Tom Harkin of Iowa and Bernard Sanders of Vermont, it’s nothing more than a benefit cut to pay for more tax cuts. Any deal that includes Social Security cuts will lose Democratic votes as a result. Still, the odds remain high that the proposal will soon become law; if not in this package then in a bipartisan package in a few months to extend the debt ceiling.
With Obama having already walked away from the other headline benefit cut he tentatively backed during the 2011 grand bargain talks — raising the Medicare eligibility age to 67 — the chained CPI is the biggest remaining trophy he has left to offer up to the GOP in any long-term deal.
Emily Holden and David Harrision contributed to this report.
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.