By Vicki Needham - 01/24/11 11:46 PM EST
The White House held specifics of address close to the vest today with Press Secretary Robert Gibbs reminding reporters that the speech is at 9 p.m. Tuesday.
"So to my mind, you have a situation now ... where Social Security can pay out every benefit owed to every eligible American for the next 27 years," Sanders said.
Progressive Democrats have urged the Obama administration to avoid making any major changes to Social Security.
House lawmakers in the Congressional Progressive Caucus sent a letter to Obama last week requesting a meeting before Tuesday's address for the sole purpose of discussing Social Security.
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) said while he's looking forward to "a bipartisan process going forward in the next two years, but we also look forward to the president showing strong leadership on critical issues and being willing to stand and fight on points where he is -- feels that's the in the best interest of the nation."
Whitehouse and Sanders said they support a move such as eliminating the cap on the maximum taxable earnings as a way to close the cost gap of Social Security down the road.
"And it's not just us. There was a senator named Barack Obama who ran for president of the United States on exactly that position," Sanders said. "And what he said is, if you raise the cap above $250,000, you can make Social Security strong and vibrant for a very, very long time. And actually the president -- as president, he has often -- also reiterated that position.