Senate Republicans decide on their debt ceiling hostages: Social Security and Medicare

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U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) holds a news conference after the weekly party caucus policy luncheons at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, March 10, 2015.  REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst    (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS HEADSHOT) - RTR4STHJ

Mitch McConnell is drawing up the list of hostages he plans to take as part of debt ceiling negotiations. With the debt ceiling approaching on November 5, the Senate majority leader is ready to make some serious demands in exchange for Republicans not forcing the United States to default on its debts:

McConnell is seeking a reduction in cost-of-living adjustments to Social Security recipients and new restrictions on Medicare, including limiting benefits to the rich and raising the eligibility age, several sources said. In addition, the Kentucky Republican is eager to see new policy riders enacted, including reining in the Environmental Protection Agency’s clean water regulations.

And, of course, if President Obama gives in to McConnell’s demands on Social Security and Medicare, Republicans will spend the next year blanketing the airwaves with ads blaming Democrats for cutting Social Security and Medicare. However, according to a White House spokeswoman, “Proposals such

raising the eligibility age for Medicare and changing the way Social Security retirement benefits are indexed to inflation are non-starters for the administration and Democrats in Congress.”

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