Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Midlands residents are reacting to news that 70-million social security checks may not go out, which would affect people all over the country.
The United States' debt crisis could be hit hard next month. President Obama says if congress can't reach a debt reduction deal by August 2, the Federal Government may not be able to cut checks. This includes checks for social security, disability and military benefits.
America could be thrown into an economic crisis not seen since the Great Depression.
"I cannot guarantee that those checks go out on August third if we haven't resolved this issue," says Obama.
In an interview with CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley, President Obama says social security dollars could be in jeopardy if a compromise to raise the ceiling for the country's debt isn't reached.
"There may simply not be the money in the coffers to do it," said the President.
Here in the Midlands, residents who depend on social security money are responding to the announcement. Charles Russell has received a check for years.
"The whole thing is crazy, is congress not going to get a check? Is my congressman not going to get paid on the third or first when they're supposed to get paid?"
News 19's Nate Stewart asked war veteran Elijah Nesbit how not getting a social security check would effect his family. "I couldn't pay my bills, my rent, food, clothing, everything else. I wouldn't be able to do anything."
Carolyn Huiett said her and her husband depend on social security checks to survive. When asked if she could imagine a country full of people not receiving social security checks, Huiett said, "Absolutely not, I think it would be a greater catastrophe than we already have."
Some think both sides are simply waiting it out.
"I mean they're gonna push each other to the limit and then at the eleventh hour they will come to some agreement. They'll raise the debt ceiling then move on," said Russell.
President Obama says the only solution is for both parties to come together.
"The only way it's going to get resolved is if some of us make some compromises, and we take a balanced approach that finally deals with this debt and deficit in a serious way."
Republican House Speaker John Boehner said the President's threats today of no social security checks is premature. Boehner says if an agreement isn't reached by August 2nd then it would be up to the treasury secretary to determine who gets paid.
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