The Corner

Coburn Reaches Out to Obama on Social Security

Washington — Sen. Tom Coburn (R., Okla.), who supports the debt commission’s recommendations, would like to reach out to President Obama in coming days to discuss proposals for Social Security reform. The debt panel, he says, provides an opportunity for the president to craft a deal.

“The greatest thing to come out of this, I think, is that there is a way forward in getting a bipartisan compromise on Social Security,” Coburn tells National Review Online. “I think we can probably tweak that some. Then we can get a deal, I hope. What we have to do is get the president interested in leading on it —working with some of us behind the scenes.”

“I hope to talk with him about it.”

Coburn is one of three Republicans who voted to approve the commission’s final plan, which received bipartisan support among lawmakers. The plan’s recommendations included raising the Social Security retirement age to 69 (by 2075), introducing a means-testing scheme, and trimming the size of future benefits.

Coburn says his decision to back the commission’s plan, despite having some reservations, “shows you that [Democrats and Republicans] can come together” in order to address fiscal issues.

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