Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Wednesday that he'll push for a vote next week on Republican Rep. Paul Ryan's 2012 budget plan in the Senate. Of course, the plan has little hope of passing the Senate or getting a signature from President Obama, but by forcing the issue, Reid hopes to put Republicans on the spot about a plan that includes drastic reforms to Medicare and Medicaid. "We'll have an opportunity to vote on the Ryan budget, to see if they like it as much as their House colleagues did," Reid said during a conference call with reporters. The budget resolution passed 235-193 in the House of Representatives on April 15. During the April break, Democrats are touting some boisterous Republican town hall meetings as proof that the bill, which would convert Medicare into a voucher-based system, is a political loser for Republicans.
Reid, returning from a trip to China, also said he would support statutory caps on annual budget deficits as part of a compromise on the debt ceiling vote. The majority leader presented deficit caps as a more workable idea than spending caps, which many Republicans and some Democrats have proposed as a way to stem the overall national debt. Congress is expected to take up the debt ceiling vote when it returns from recess next week.
- Check out a roundup of editorial cartoons about the budget and deficit.
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