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White House plans Social Security blitz

  |   March 3, 2005 at 3:13 PM
WASHINGTON, March 3 (UPI) -- The White House is readying a tour of American cities during which the president and other senior officials will campaign for Social Security reform.

The effort, referred to internally as 60 cities in 60 days, will have Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Treasury Secretary John Snow and others promoting personal retirement accounts as the key to the long-term solvency of Social Security.

Republican congressional leaders have been reluctant to embrace Bush's concept, the Wall Street Journal said Thursday, but have remained loyal to the president's priorities.

"In terms of whether it'll be a week, a month, six months or a year as to when we bring something to the floor, it's just too early (to say)," Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist of Tennessee said earlier this week.

Bush has yet to send a detailed proposal to Capitol Hill but has outlined principles for reform that include no benefit cuts for current or near term retirees and no tax increase.

United opposition from Democrats to personal retirement accounts has some GOP lawmakers concerned the proposal is doomed. Others, like Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., who has a bill on the subject, say the accounts are the key to fixing the problem.

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