SEATTLE, Washington — Washingtonians who feared they or their loved ones might not receive their Social Security checks Tuesday cans breathe a sigh of relief – for now – as the U.S. debt crisis was averted Sunday.
Samantha Rawley of Tacoma, south of Seattle said Monday morning, “I was scared my grandma wasn’t going to get her Social Security check and that would be horrible for her. She depends on that money to survive. So hopefully now things will be OK and I hope that they’ll figure this all out so it doesn’t happen again.”
On Saturday Congress was filled with uncertainty and both Democrats and Republicans were at odds on how to avoid America from defaulting on their bills Tuesday.
But by Sunday morning news reports indicated there was a sense of relief in Congress saying default was less of a possibility than it was Saturday.
The White House and Congressional leaders were trying to work out a deal that would extend the debt limit to 2012.
“We shouldn’t have to live in fear that our grandparents are going to lose the very money they depend on for survival,” Jon Sorensen of Seattle said Sunday evening. “This is ridiculous. It’s time this country get its sh—together and do what it takes to stop the nonsense of the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. This is 2011 for God’s sake!”
President Obama said Congress reached an agreement late Sunday that will lower the deficit and avoid default. He said the default would have had a devastating effect on our economy.
The President still insists the wealthiest Americans should do their share by giving up tax breaks and special deductions. He wants programs like MediCare around for future generations, he said.
CNN Money reported Monday that programs that aid low-income Americans would be exempt from this round of cuts – Social Security, Medicaid, veterans’ benefits and pensions, food stamps, and Supplemental Security Income.
However, Medicare would not be exempt. The framework would restrict cuts to no more than 2% of the program’s cost, and the cuts that occur would not, according to CNN’s report, affect Medicaid benefits nor would they increase seniors’ costs, according to the White House Democrats’ fact sheets.
President Obama said part of Sunday’s agreement requires that a bipartisan committee of Congress report back by November with ways to further reduce the deficit. Congress will vote and at that point, he said, everything will be on the table to hold us all accountable for making these reforms.
President Obama said he will report to both parties explaining why he believes a balanced approach is necessary to finish the job.
“This process has been messy and it’s taken far too long,” President Obama said Sunday. He thanked leaders from both parties for the compromises they made in dealing with the U.S. debt crisis.
The President thanked the American people saying it was their emails, letters, phone calls, and Tweets that compelled Congress to act in the past couple of days. He said the American voice is a very powerful thing.
Americans would have “felt the pain” if an agreement had not been reached. Among other things, Americans could have faced rising interest rates and seen a decline in the value of the dollar. Not something they need while they’re still trying to get out of a long and painful recession.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell addressed the U.S. debt crisis Sunday and said Democrats and Republicans were “very close” to reaching a $3 trillion deal that he says would avoid a possible government default over the next few days.
McConnell said they had a very good day Saturday and that both sides made dramatic progress in negotiations. They were working to cut government spending and raise the federal debt ceiling. McConnell said he could confidently say no fall would take place, which is important for everyone in America.
Financial experts threatened if there were a reduction in America’s triple-A credit rating, the stock market could plunge. Congress said they want to get bills paid on time next week.
For instance, President Obama said he wanted to see Social Security checks mailed out Tuesday. If they were not mailed out Tuesday, it would have been disastrous for people whose very lives depend on receiving their checks on time.
Rawley said, “I’m just thankful that we can breathe a sign of relief for now.”