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Pelosi: Dems Won't Support Cuts to Social Security or Medicare Benefits

JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- After meeting with the president and congressional leadership at the White House earlier Thursday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said that House Democrats “are not supporting any cuts in benefits for Social Security or Medicare” and that any savings potentially gained from entitlement reform should be used to make the programs stronger.

“We do not support cuts in benefits for Social Security and Medicare. Any discussion of Medicare or Social Security should be on its own table,” Pelosi, D-Calif., said. “You want to take a look at Social Security then look at it on its own table, but do not consider Social Security a piggy bank for giving tax cuts to the wealthiest people in our country.”

Pelosi, who called the meeting “very constructive and productive,” did not rule out Medicare reform as part of an eventual deal to increase the debt limit as long as the changes do not reduce benefits -- telling reporters that her goal “is to have a balanced bipartisan agreement to reduce the deficit without doing harm to the economy.”

“It’s very important that we remove all doubt in anyone’s mind that we will not default on past debt,” Pelosi said. “This isn’t about leaving room for future spending. That’s not what this is about. It’s about paying past debt.”

Pelosi is scheduled to meet with the president one-on-one Friday at 10 a.m. at the White House.

Asked whether she agreed with House Speaker John Boehner that a deal could possibly be reached in the next 48 hours, Pelosi signaled she was also optimistic both sides could soon come to an agreement.

“I’m glad to hear that [Boehner] said that,” Pelosi said. “I certainly hope so.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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