Obama, Democratic leaders strategize on spending

By Erica Werner

Associated Press

Published: Wednesday, Feb. 16 2011 4:00 p.m. MST

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev. gestures during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2011, to discuss jobs.

Alex Brandon, Associated Press

Enlarge photo»

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama has met with Senate Democratic leaders to strategize about taking on Republicans over spending cuts and overhauling Social Security and other entitlements.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada asked for the meeting at the White House on Wednesday, two days after Obama released his 2012 budget, and as lawmakers joust on Capitol Hill over the deficit and spending.

Reid's spokesman says Reid and his top three lieutenants spoke with the president about how the deep budget cuts proposed by the House GOP would affect the public and about Reid's position on protecting Social Security. Reid has said that Social Security is in fine shape, whereas Obama has talked about "strengthening" Social Security, though he's not laid out specifics.

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