CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley asked President Obama whether he “can tell the folks at home that, no matter what happens, the Social Security checks are gonna go out on August the 3rd?” President Obama replied that it wasn’t just Social Security checks that would need to go out and that “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.”

According to Obama’s own budget, the federal government will take in $2.174 trillion this year, and Social Security outlays will total $727 billion. Moreover, the government has already borrowed plenty of money this year to supplement the $2.174 trillion. So what, exactly, would Obama rather spend that money on, instead of sending out Social Security checks?

House Republicans should take away his choice, legislating the order of funding that must occur if the president refuses to strike a deal to cut spending and the debt ceiling is therefore reached — and they would be well served to pass such legislation now.

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