Entries in Rep. Steve Israel (2)


House Dems Want to "Fire" Republicans

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Considering the high unemployment rate, Democrats have chosen a curious message for GOP House incumbents: You’re fired.

At a press conference with top-tier Democratic candidates on Friday, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel unveiled “pink slips” to be handed out by Democrats in their districts, saying they will “fire” Tea Party lawmakers.

“They came to work, and they hardly worked, and when they did, they worked for the wrong people,” Israel said of the freshman GOP House class, speaking at a podium labeled “FIRE the Tea Party Republican Congress.”

“When you do damage on the job, you get fired. When you don’t perform, you get fired,” Israel said. Pointing to Congress’s 13 percent approval rating, he added, “I ran a small business. If one of my employees was right only 13 percent of the time, I’d fire them.”

Other Democrats echoed Israel’s comments, telling reporters that it’s time for Republicans to “get the pink slip,” citing national issues like women’s health and business tax loopholes.

Republicans used a similar messaging campaign in 2010, when the Republican National Committee ran a “Fire Pelosi Bus Tour,” aimed at turning races across the country into referendums on then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and the Democratic House majority.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Top Dem Says They Will Retake the House in 2012

Comstock Images/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Rep. Paul Ryan and his Budget, which would change the face of Medicare, will be the cornerstone of Democrats election strategy in 2012, according to Rep. Steve Israel, the Democrat in charge of taking back the House in 2012, who appeared on ABC’s Top Line Friday.

Israel distilled Democrats’ message into what a likely campaign ad would be.  

“Well all we have to do is use the ad Republicans used against Democrats,” he said. “They ran these ads saying I'm going to come to Washington to protect Medicare and we're going to remind the American people they lied about us, all we have to do is tell the truth about them. And the truth is in today's vote to terminate the Medicare guaranteed benefit. All we have to do is tell the truth and we'll win the House back.”

Republicans passed Ryan’s sweeping and controversial budget proposal Friday afternoon. It would cut corporate taxes, drastically alter Medicare for those under 55, and impose more than $5 trillion in cuts to government spending.

“Every budget is about a bottom line and the bottom line in the Ryan budget is that if you earn over a million dollars a year you get a $100,000 tax cut and if you're a senior on Medicare you lose your guaranteed Medicare benefit and your medical costs go up $12,000 dollars. So if you're a millionaire you win the lotto. If you're a senior, you lose your Medicare,” said Israel,  D-N.Y.

“We're going to hold every single Republican accountable for choosing to protect the special interest and turning their back on America's senior citizens by terminating their Medicare benefit,” he said.

It was pointed out to Israel that Democrats fell prey to  a similarly Medicare-centric strategy employed by Republicans in 2010. They argued to great effect that Democrats’ health reform law is paid for largely by money taken from Medicare reforms. So we asked Israel: Is it intellectually dishonest to complain, as Democrats do,  that Republicans unfairly used Medicare cuts in the name of health reform against Democrats in 2010 and then turn around and use proposed Medicare reform in the name of deficit reduction against Republicans in 2012?

“If there's any hypocrisy at all in this, if there's any intellectual dishonesty at all in this it is those Republicans who came to Congress by complaining about Medicare cuts and then didn't just cut it, ended it. And we're going to hold them accountable for that hypocrisy,” said Israel.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio