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Entries in Kathy Hochul (2)

Wednesday
May252011

Senate Democrats Set to Force GOP to Vote on Ryan Budget

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Democrats believe the political fallout from Rep. Paul Ryan's cost-slashing budget proposal was evident in their victory in Tuesday night's special election in New York -- and on Thursday they hope a Senate vote on Ryan's plan will cause even more problems for Republicans up for re-election next year.

The victory in NY-26 for Democrat Kathy Hochul was seen nationally as a referendum on Ryan's proposal to overhaul Medicare. Now Democrats in the Senate are poised to force their GOP counterparts to go on the record and say where they stand on the issue.

"Democrats in Congress and even some candid Republicans know the plan to kill Medicare is irresponsible and indefensible. Last night, voters showed the country and the Congress that they know it too," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Wednesday on the Senate floor. Wisconsin Republican Congressman Ryan was prepared for comments like Reid's, telling CNN's Morning Joe this week, "The president and his party have decided to shamelessly distort and demagogue Medicare. So we're going to see a 'Mediscare' reform campaign here."

Furthermore, Republicans who support Ryan's package counter Reid's claims by expressing the need to drastically cut the federal budget -- as they claim Ryan's plan will -- was the prime mover behind the GOP's dramatic midterm elections last November.

Reid wants to make vulnerable Republicans like Indiana's Dick Lugar and Maine's Olympia Snowe take a stand on Ryan's proposal. Four Republicans have already revealed that they will break with their party and vote against the Ryan budget. More are expected to follow suit when the Senate votes on Thursday.

Also Thursday, the GOP will force Democrats to vote on President Obama's budget proposal submitted in February -- the same one that Democrats like West Virginia's Joe Manchin and Montana's Jon Tester criticized at the time for not doing enough to reduce the country’s soaring deficits.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio´╗┐

Wednesday
May252011

Democrat Wins Special Election in GOP-Leaning NY District

Comstock Images/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- In what can be taken as the first referendum on the House Republican budget authored by Rep. Paul Ryan, Democrat Kathy Hochul picked up a Republican seat in Western New York thanks in part to her ability to attach GOP candidate Jane Corwin to the budget's restructuring of Medicare.

The surprise upset in New York's 26th congressional district is likely to be seen by many as a bellwether for 2012.

Tuesday's special election was held to replace Republican Rep. Chris Lee, who resigned after a shirtless photo of him was leaked to the press by a woman the married Lee met, and flirted with, on Craigslist.

Corwin's last-minute appeal to voters, and hundreds of thousands in dollars from outside conservative groups, did little to improve the assemblywoman's chances in the Republican-leaning district.

The race was initially considered a shoo-in for Corwin.

The last Democrat to be elected from the district left office eight years ago, and only three Democrats have won in this area in the past century.  New York's 26th was one of just four districts in the state that voted for John McCain over Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential election.

But Hochul made Ryan's Medicare plan, which would overhaul the program from the way it exists now, the key issue of her campaign.  Hochul portrayed Corwin, a multimillionaire, as a Republican insider who would help end Medicare.

In a district where the elderly make up 15 percent to 20 percent of the population, the message carried weight.

Although observers warn against looking too much at the special election as a forecast for 2012, Democrats were quick to tout the win as a referendum on Rep. Paul Ryan's controversial Medicare plan.

Within the GOP, the election is likely to ignite debate on how to handle the issue that could come back to bite them in 2012.  The Medicare issue has already divided the party, with many -- like Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass. -- saying they won't vote for Ryan's budget.´╗┐

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