Political Animal


May 24, 2011 3:50 PM Bipartisan opposition to GOP Medicare plan grows

By Steve Benen

With the Senate majority still pushing to bring the House Republican budget plan to the floor for a vote, the list of GOP opponents keeps growing. As of today, the total stands at four, but it’s not done.

Maine’s Republican senators will vote against the House Republican 2012 budget authored by Rep. Paul Ryan, with Sens. Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe in opposition to the House GOP-proposed Medicare changes.

Snowe confirmed her opposition this afternoon during a Capitol Hill interview, while Collins reiterated a position she first made known last month.

Collins was first out of the gate, announcing her opposition to the Republican agenda before it was fashionable for a GOP senator to do so. Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) was next, announcing his intention to vote against it earlier this week, though he originally said he’d vote for it, before it dawned on him it would likely ruin his career.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), oddly enough, said yesterday he’ll oppose the Paul Ryan plan, too, though he’s doing so because it’s not right-wing enough. “I can’t vote to add that much debt,” he said.

And with Snowe’s comments today, that makes four Republicans who won’t support the House GOP agenda. Snowe’s announcement is of particular interest, since her opposition to the far-right budget plan will likely be used against her in a Republican primary next year.

Will any other GOP senators run away from their party’s agenda? We’ll see soon enough, but keep an eye on Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, who, as of yesterday, has “concerns” about the right-wing plan. Mark Kirk of Illinois also hasn’t said which way he’ll vote.

Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) and Dick Lugar (R-Ind.) were considered possible “no” votes, but both announced their support yesterday.

For Dems, this is still shaping up to be a win-win scenario — if Republicans back the House GOP plan, it’s a vote that can and will be used against members going forward. If Republicans balk, it sows divisions within the GOP, and makes those who supported it look that much more extreme.

Steve Benen is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly, joining the publication in August, 2008 as chief blogger for the Washington Monthly blog, Political Animal.


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  • John R AKA Mr. Serf Man on May 24, 2011 4:01 PM:

    WTF - Just saw this at TPM

    Corwin (R) in the 26th filed a court motion barring the certification of the election BEFORE the polls have closed.

    Heaven forbid a Dem should win and they are basing the order on the closeness of the polls?????

    This country has lost it's collective mind


  • Rochester on May 24, 2011 4:16 PM:

    Rep. John Boehner. Least effective Speaker. Ever.

  • T2 on May 24, 2011 4:24 PM:

    I just hope Harry Reid keeps his word and holds the vote. No doubt there is some negotiating going on by the GOP to avoid this.

  • rikyrah on May 24, 2011 4:38 PM:

    I WISH Mark Kirk WOULD be stupid enough to vote to end Medicare. I want him GONE

  • jb on May 24, 2011 5:23 PM:

    If Corwin loses in NY26, expect many more Republicans to peel off the Ryan plan.

    Then Democrats need a media strategy to remind the country of the Ryan end-Medicare plan EVERY DAY.

  • MuddyLee on May 24, 2011 7:01 PM:

    Attack the GOP every day, all day on the Ryan plan to "voucherize" (ie, ruin) Medicare. Any Republican who votes for this plan in the Senate or who has already voted for it in the House, must face public scrutiny and attack ads. Mick Mulvaney beat John Spratt in SC by telling outrageous lies about Spratt's "vote with Pelosi to cut Medicare" - he MUST have this thrown back in his face every day in the next campaign. Come on, Democrats - please do not wimp out on this issue. Here's a slogan - Ryan is Lyin' - you can use it for no charge.

  • just bill on May 24, 2011 10:14 PM:

    these republicans opposing the medicare plan are too late. they already voted for it once.


  • Cha on May 25, 2011 1:17 AM: