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Obama: Debt Limit Fight Imperils Elderly's Checks

Boehner has made it clear that he's eager to avoid a first-ever default on U.S. obligations â¿¿ even if some Republicans aren't afraid of the idea.

In one sign of flexibility, a Boehner spokesman says that though there is the so-called Boehner Rule requiring $1 in spending cuts for every $1 in increased authority to issue government debt, the speaker is willing to apply it more leniently to include savings from "reforms" to entitlement programs like Medicare and Social Security that accrue over the long term.

Obama has his doubters, who note that he has compromised before in the face of last-minute deadlines.

Asked during the news conference how steadfast he was, Obama replied: "We've got to break the habit of negotiating through crisis over and over again. Now is as good a time as any, at the start of my second term. Because if we continue down this path, then there's really no stopping the principle."

___

Follow Jim Kuhnhenn on Twitter: http://twitter.com/jkuhnhenn

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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