Friday, February 04, 2005

Some in GOP Question Social Security Plan

Congressional Republicans are expressing doubt that President Bush's plan for personal accounts in Social Security can win approval, saying lawmakers fear the political consequences of voting major change to the popular retirement program.

Some suggested that Bush jettison the central feature of his plan, which is to let younger workers divert part of their Social Security payroll taxes to private retirement accounts.

"Politically speaking, right now it's probably not doable," Sen. Pete Domenici (news, bio, voting record), R-N.M., said Thursday, citing lack of Democratic support.

"We should take this year to study the issue and come up with solutions," said Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine. She said there was no consensus for action now and that she had not made up her own mind.

Her Maine colleague, Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe, has said outright that she opposes diverting the program's taxes to pay for personal accounts. Snowe serves on the Senate Finance Committee that would handle any Social Security legislation, making the task before Republicans more daunting.

None of this is news to folks who have been following the issue, of course. But the blunt tenor of the reporting (from AP) suggests that the White House attempots to keep Izvetsia and Pravda toeing the WH line are failing.

May this be the first of many such times.


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