Queue the Nelson Muntz laugh 1. Looks like Senator Reid is finally scheduling the Senate vote on Paul Ryan’s Destroy Medicare To Give Tax Breaks to Oil Corporations Bill. Perfect timing since the topic is getting a lot of news coverage.
When they proposed just last month to overhaul Medicare, House Republicans were confident that the wind of budget politics was at their backs and that the country’s looming fiscal problems provided justification to begin reshaping the increasingly costly social welfare system. Blogs
But the last six weeks have left Republicans pointed into a stiff headwind. With polls and angry town hall meetings suggesting that many voters were wary if not opposed to the Medicare overhaul, party unity and optimism gave way to a slow-motion backtracking in the House and, in the Senate and on the presidential campaign trail, a bit of a Republican-on-Republican rumpus.
Even before the Republican loss Tuesday night in the race for a vacant House seat from New York — a contest fought in large part over the Medicare proposal — Democrats were clinging to the developments like koalas to eucalyptus trees, hoping that the plan’s toxicity among many voters would give them a shot at retaining control of the Senate and, in their most vivid dreams, taking back the House majority.
Eager to press their advantage, Senate Democrats will stage a vote on the Medicare plan as soon as Wednesday, forcing Senate Republicans into a yes-or-no choice that both sides know will become the basis of countless campaign commercials over the next year and a half.
Republicans have asked to have alternatives budgets also come up for an initial vote. Those alternatives include a plan crafted by Senator Patrick J. Toomey of Pennsylvania that contains many of the same cuts as Mr. Ryan’s plans but leaves Medicare out of the picture, and another by Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, which includes a vast elimination of government services.
The Republicans would also like to write a bill reflecting Mr. Obama’s initial 2012 budget, which became an albatross for his party because it did not cut spending. However, because the Ryan plan already passed the House, Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the majority leader, could send the Ryan plan for votes alone, without bringing up other budget bills.
(click here to continue reading G.O.P. on the Defensive as Voters Resist Medicare Plan – NYTimes.com.)
But we’re hearing that Sen. Reid will likely call a vote this afternoon on the Ryan Medicare Phase Out plan. In a press briefing a short time ago, Sen. Reid (D) said that the vote could come as early as 5 PM. And his office tells our Brian Beutler that the vote is “very likely” to happen as scheduled.
Late Update: And it’s confirmed. Vote will be held at 5 PM along with votes on Obama, Toomey and Paul budgets.
(click here to continue reading Senate to Vote on Ryan Plan | Talking Points Memo.)Footnotes:
- you know, the kid from the Simpsons [↩]