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McConnell: Medicare Has to Be Part of Deficit Reduction Deal

Creatas Images/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The Senate's top Republican Mitch McConnell on Friday said he would not vote for any eventual deficit reduction deal if it does not address Medicare, and he shrugged off the GOP's defeat earlier this week in the NY-26 special election.

"I think that we will have done something significant to alter the trajectory long-term on Medicare well before the elections. So we don't know what the issues are going to be in next year's elections. It’s a year and a half from now," McConnell said at a press conference on Capitol Hill.

"I think that drawing a whole lot of conclusions about a three-way race in New York a year and a half before the election is -- I don't want to put you down there -- but it's kind of foolish," he told a reporter a few minutes later. "A lot will have happened between now and the fall of 2012."

McConnell, who warned that he will not vote for any debt reduction deal that fails to address Medicare, hit out at Democrats for failing to unveil a budget plan that addresses entitlement programs.

"When do they plan to step up and help us deal with the most predictable crisis in history?" he asked.

To bolster his case, McConnell quoted former President Bill Clinton a whopping five times in Friday's press conference, pointing out that Clinton said neither party should use the NY-26 election to conclude that they should not make any changes to Medicare.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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