(CNSNews.com) - House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Republicans are putting wealthy Americans ahead of senior citizens when they propose cost-saving changes to entitlement programs.
Asked if Democrats would be willing to go further than the $600 billion in entitlement cuts that President Barack Obama has proposed, Pelosi said that discussion should "be left until next year."
"I mean if you're collecting trophies, and if you want the scalp of seniors before you will touch one hair on the head of the wealthiest people in the country, then what's the discussion about?" Pelosi asked.
She said serious negotiations about economic security for senior citizens and families require “a longer conversation about where we have to go.”
"I have said over and over, if you want to talk about Social Security, having it on the table – it’s on its own table." She added that any “savings” in Social Security should be used to “strengthen the life” of the program – “not to give a tax cut to wealthy people and call that deficit reduction.
Pelosi was equally strenuous in her defense of Medicare: “"As I have said, don't even think about raising the Medicare age," Pelosi said at Thursday’s news conference.
“We are not throwing America's seniors over the cliff to give a tax cut to the wealthiest people in America."
But when it comes to other things, such as higher tax rates for the wealthy, Pelosi said Republicans should go to the table, “then negotiate.”
House Republicans have insisted that entitlements be on the table, proposing raising the eligibility ages to obtain deficit reduction and avoid the programs becoming insolvent.