Durbin: White House won't increase Medicare age

Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin talks to reporters

Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin talks to reporters after the Senate Democrats' weekly policy luncheon at the U.S. Capitol. (Dec. 11, 2012) (Credit: Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON - One of President Barack Obama's top Senate allies says he's been assured by the White House that the president won't yield to GOP demands to increase the eligibility age for Medicare.

Fellow Illinois Democrat Dick Durbin made the revelation to reporters after a Capitol Hill news conference.

Increasing the eligibility age is a key demand by Republicans seeking cost curbs in popular benefit programs in exchange for higher tax revenues.

Durbin said he's been told that increasing the eligibility age from 65 is "no longer one of the items being considered by the White House."

Obama and House Speaker John Boehner remain far apart on a potential agreement to avoid a so-called fiscal cliff of expiring tax cuts and across-the-board spending cuts looming at the end of the year.

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