Echoing President Barack Obama's warning, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says Social Security payments would stop if there is no deal to raise the government's borrowing limit by Aug. 2.
Speaking on the Senate floor, the Nevada Democrat said flatly that payments for veterans benefits and the military, as well as Social Security, would cease if the government defaults on its obligations. His statement goes beyond Obama, who said earlier this week that he could not guarantee Social Security checks will be issued on Aug. 3.
Later, a Reid spokesman said the senator meant to say the payments "could" stop, which would be consistent with the president's comments.
Republicans have called such statements scare tactics.
About 55 million Americans receive Social Security payments each month, totaling about $60 billion.