Sley "pessimistic" about Social Security change before 2009 |

Sley "pessimistic" about Social Security change before 2009

WASHINGTON – Social Security reform probably cannot pass Congress until 2009, after the next presidential election, the chairman of the Senate panel overseeing the program said Tuesday.Finance Committee Chairman Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, told an audience at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that he’s “very pessimistic” that lawmakers can act sooner on revisions that President Bush made the centerpiece of his second-term legislative agenda.At this year’s State of the Union speech, Bush asked Congress to pass a plan establishing personal Social Security accounts while shoring its financing.Grassley said Bush entered the second term with “somewhat of a mandate” to address the retirement and disability program, but efforts to unite the GOP around a single plan failed.”I can’t even get a consensus among Republicans,” he said. Grassley held 15 sessions with fellow Republicans on the Finance Committee but couldn’t find agreement among the group.The environment won’t improve with congressional elections upcoming next year and the presidential election season soon to follow, Grassley said. That doesn’t mean he will not try to advance something sooner.”I’m pessimistic that it could come up before 2009,” he said. “Doesn’t mean that I won’t try to bring it up before 2009.”Vail, Colorado

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