President Barack Obama greets House leaders before a meeting with the House Democratic Caucus at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., March 14, 2013. Standing with the President, from left, are: Assistant Democratic Leader James

President Barack Obama greets House leaders before a meeting with the House Democratic Caucus at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., March 14, 2013. Standing with the President, from left, are: Assistant Democratic Leader James “Jim” Clyburn, D-S.C.; Chairman Xavier Becerra, D-Calif.; Rep. Steve Israel, D-N.Y.; Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.; Vice Chairman Joe Crowley, D-N.Y.; and Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md.(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

OH, BUT that’s not all, folks. President Obama also tells Republicans he’s not trying to push a deficit deal that might help Democrats win back the House.

From The Hill:

President Obama pledged in a private meeting with Senate Republicans on Thursday to challenge his own party on entitlement reform.

He also asked Republicans not to believe conspiracy theories that he is pushing a deficit deal as part of a strategy to help Democrats capture the House.

As for where entitlements stand, the look on Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s face in the picture above could be foreshadowing.

In December, however, Pelosi raised eyebrows when she defended Obama’s offer of the chained CPI amid the “fiscal cliff” debate, saying the move represented “a strengthening of Social Security.” Although the provision was not included in the final deal, liberals were up in arms that top Democrats seemed open to Social Security cuts as part of the package.

“The chained CPI is, no doubt about it, a benefit cut,” Ellison said at the time.

This month, Pelosi has been extremely cautious in her approach to the chained CPI. She has in no way endorsed the shift, promising only to consider it; she has stipulated that the Democrats won’t budge on the issue unless Republicans are willing to accept new tax revenues; and she has insisted that any change to Social Security, or other entitlements, must protect the most vulnerable beneficiaries. “If we can demonstrate that it doesn’t hurt the poor and the very elderly, then let’s take a look at it,” Pelosi said Thursday.

[The Hill]