JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Local residents are worrying after hearing President Obama say a failure to reach a deal could keep social security checks from going out.
It could also affect other programs like veteran and disability payments. Alicia Dorsie-Frank gets her social security check every month. Without that income, money will be much tighter and luxury items like cable will be the first to go. "We just don't go out to dinner, something like that," said Dorsie-Frank.
Alicia is one of the estimated 70 million people who get government checks every month. The president says unless the debt ceiling is raised, veterans, people on disability, and those who get social security will have less money in the bank. "I cannot guarantee that those checks go out on August 3rd if we haven't resolved this issue because there may simply not be the money in the coffers to do it," said President Obama.
The debt ceiling has become a fierce battle between parties. Democrats won't support a deal unless it closes tax loopholes. Republicans won't back a plan that includes tax hikes. Time is running out for the two sides to find a compromise. "My first choice is to get an agreement with the president to significantly reduce spending, and we're going to continue to talk to them about that in the hopes that we can get there because that's what we think is the single biggest problem," said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
But Alicia thinks they will have a plan in time to meet the August 2nd deadline after all she worked all her life and paid in to the system that's supposed to pay her back. "It really helps when people paid into it. I think it'll be a problem, a major problem," said Dorsie-Frank.
Raising the government's borrowing limit to about 16-trillion dollars would give the treasury about 13 more months of breathing room.