President Obama on Tuesday said he cannot guarantee that retirees will receive their Social Security checks August 3 if Democrats and Republicans in Washington do not reach an agreement on reducing the deficit in the coming weeks.

“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,” Mr. Obama said in an interview with CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley, according to excerpts released by CBS News.

Mr. Obama’s comments followed remarks from the Senate’s top Republican, who said Tuesday that he did not see a way for Republicans and Democrats to come to agreement on meaningful deficit reduction as long as Mr. Obama remains in office.

Still, McConnell said Republicans would “do the responsible thing” to avoid default, suggesting that a deal on the debt ceiling could be reached without a “real” deficit reduction package.

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