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Grassley: no Social Security reform now
Iowa Senator says Bush's overhaul is off the table until after the next presidential election.
November 8, 2005: 4:33 PM EST
Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley
Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley
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NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Social Security system reforms may have to wait until 2009, the Republican Senator leading the effort said Tuesday.

Following a meeting at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said that he did not expect fellow lawmakers to pass Social Security reform legislation until after the next presidential election.

"I can't even get a consensus among Republicans," he said, according to a Grassley staff member who in an e-mail confirmed comments reported earlier.

President Bush proposed Social Security reforms in his State of the Union address earlier this year, encouraging the creation of individual investment accounts that he said would help boost the program's solvency.

Critics have said private accounts by themselves won't help Social Security, which faces the expected retirement of millions of Baby Boomers in the coming decade.

Not taking into account Democratic opposition, Republican members of the Senate Finance Committee have not been able to reach an agreement on proposed changes.

Grassley said he will try to get his fellow committee members to act sooner than 2009, but those efforts may be hampered by next year's Congressional elections.

"I'm pessimistic that it could come up before 2009," Grassley said. "Doesn't mean that I won't try to bring it up before 2009."

Grassley's remarks first appeared in an earlier story published by a news service in Washington.

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