Monday, April 25

April 25th, 2011




LA Times: House Republicans face backlash at home over budget plan Standing in a brightly lit bingo hall off a wooded road, a space that doubles as the dining room for Danny's Friday night fish fry, Republican Rep. Charles Bass should have felt a long way from the pressure-cooker of budget politics in Washington. But in many places, Democrats turned out to express their opposition, much as Republicans had done in the healthcare debate. In a Pennsylvania coal town, a man outraged by the GOP budget plan was escorted out of a town hall by police. In Wisconsin, Rep. Paul D. Ryan, the architect of the Republican plan, was booed in his own district as he outlined the proposal. He struggled to defend the GOP plan vigorously, once mischaracterizing a key element. By the time he left, he seemed less than wedded to the details. "If there are certain facets of the budget that are manifestly unpopular, I think that should be taken into consideration, but it's too soon," he said. "This is the beginning of a long conversation." … Some were openly skeptical of Republican promises that current seniors would be protected. "I don't trust these guys," said Barbara Walden, 77.


National Journal: Republicans in Swing Districts Take Heat for Supporting Ryan's Medicare Plan: Republicans who used seniors’ rage over health care changes to sweep into office last fall are now facing the same type of heat over the same issue: Modifications in Medicare and Medicaid. Many who voted for the plan House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., laid out to privatize the programs in future years have been in constituents’ crosshairs during Easter recess town-hall meetings. Others have simply avoided meeting with constituents. All but four House Republicans voted in favor of Ryan’s plan. House Republican leaders plan to hold a conference call with members Tuesday. Republicans with knowledge of the call say that it has long been scheduled, but that part of the call will be spent discussing ways to discuss the vote with constituents. One source says it’s intended to help swing-district members "who have been getting the crap kicked out of them." … some freshman Republican House members who were swept into office on that wave of hostility are facing the same experience.”


Politico: Freshman feel the heat back home: Any lawmaker in a swing district can expect to take criticism from his right flank at a town hall meeting. But at an American Veterans outpost tucked deep in the Pocono Mountains this week, freshman Republican Rep. Lou Barletta took heat from every direction — from Democrats angry with the tax cuts in the GOP budget, to conservatives who thought he caved on the last continuing resolution vote, to a precocious 16-year-old critical of the lawmaker’s environmental record. First Barletta was told “not to be steadfast in Paul Ryan’s Republican plan,” to “bend a little, work and come together to pass something that’s agreeable to everybody.”


ABC News: Republican Lawmakers Face Angry, Confused Constituents on Medicare, Budget Cuts: The backlash that some Republican members of Congress are facing in town hall meetings over their 2012 budget proposal rings a familiar bell. As Republican members take to the road during their two-week break from Congress to try and sell the budget proposal crafted by Rep. Paul Ryan, they are facing similar questions, though the outcry thus far has not yet escalated to the level that their Democratic counterparts faced. Americans are particularly concerned, and somewhat confused, about the proposal to overhaul Medicare, a central feature of the Wisconsin congressman's proposal.


USA Today: Republicans in Congress get earful on Medicare: Some Republicans in Congress are getting an earful back home over their votes to dramatically revamp Medicare for seniors. House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., who proposed changing the federal entitlement into a voucher program, got booed at such a meeting in his district last week. Rep. Charlie Bass, R-N.H., who represents a district that voted for Democrats Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential contest and John Kerry in the 2004 race, was questioned about Medicare in his swing district. So was freshman Rep. Lou Barletta, R-Pa., who heard from Democrats such as Linda Christman at his town hall meetings. "You said nothing in the campaign about 'I'm going to change Medicare.' Now you voted for a plan that will destroy Medicare," Christman said.”


Washington Post: Republicans facing tough questions over Medicare overhaul in budget plan: Anxiety is rising among some Republicans over the party’s embrace of a plan to overhaul Medicare, with GOP lawmakers already starting to face tough questions on the issue at town hall meetings back in their districts. House leaders have scheduled a Tuesday conference call in which members are expected in part to discuss strategies for defending the vote they took this month on a budget that would transform the popular entitlement program as part of a plan to cut trillions in federal spending.


The Hill: Left hopes for town-hall rage of its own: If video of angry constituents haranguing members of Congress over healthcare reform captured the tone of that policy debate, Democrats and their allies hope that similar clips will emerge in 2011 to define the coming battle over Medicare and entitlement reform. If video of angry constituents haranguing members of Congress over healthcare reform captured the tone of that policy debate, Democrats and their allies hope similar clips will emerge in 2011 to define the coming battle over Medicare and entitlement reform. Left-leaning groups pushed the idea last week that Americans all over the country are outraged at Republican legislators and have been confronting them at town halls to voice their opposition. 


NPR, 4/22:  DANIEL KRAKER: People at the town hall were much less sympathetic to Gosar's vote in favor of the House budget bill that would significantly transform Medicare. It's a risky vote in a state like Arizona, where retirees known as snowbirds flock to the desert sun and vote in high numbers.  Ms. SUSAN COSENTINO: I'm horrified by the plan to turn Medicare into a voucher system. I think it'll just send the seniors into poverty.  KRAKER: That's retiree Susan Cosentino. The hundred or so people at the town hall in Sedona were mostly seniors. Another, Anne Leap, also works with retirees. She runs a small business connecting them with services they need to live independently.  Ms. ANNE LEAP: Seniors at the lower end are so frightened by all this, and seniors at the upper end, they're just - many of them are just outraged. It's a scary time for us.

Posted by Kombiz


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