Mitch McConnell Will Not Urge Senate Republicans To Support Ryan Plan

The latest example of the extent to which Senate Republicans do not wish to associate themselves with the Ryan Plan comes in the news the Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell will not try to persuade his caucus members to support the plan when it comes up for a vote:

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) is leaving Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) budget plan to its own fate in the Senate by not whipping his GOP colleagues on the vote.

Republican senators say McConnell has made it clear he will vote for the House Budget Committee chairman’s plan, but has said rank-and-file members should vote as they want on the 2012 budget proposal.

Sens. Jon Kyl (Ariz.) and Lamar Alexander (Tenn.), the second- and third-ranking members of the Senate Republican leadership, say they will also vote for Ryan’s plan.

But as for the rest of the GOP conference, “every senator will have to decide that for himself,” Alexander said.

House GOP Leaders whipped the vote on the Ryan budget, and it was approved with only four GOP defections. Every House Democrat voted against it.

The decision to let GOP senators vote their conscience means there might be more “no” votes on the budget plan from Republicans in the Senate.

(…)

One GOP senator who spoke on the condition of anonymity expressed his belief that Ryan made a serious tactical mistake by spelling out Medicare reforms in his budget plan.

“All Ryan had to do was set an overall number and leave it up to the policymaking committees how to come up with the savings,” said the lawmaker. “The important number to focus on is that the federal government takes in $2.2 trillion and spends $3.7 trillion.”

The lawmaker, who did not want to be quoted on the record criticizing a fellow Republican, said that by laying out specific Medicare reforms, Ryan gave Democrats political ammunition.

“The only people talking about Medicare are Republicans, and we’re just arguing with ourselves,” said the lawmaker.

A few things likely factor into the Senate GOP’s reluctance to get fully on board with the Ryan Plan, but they all boil down to the simple fact that there’s no way the Ryan Plan is going to become law. Senate Republicans are looking at 2012 and seeing a chance to regain the majority for the first time since 2006, and being tied to a controversial budget plan that includes alterations to one of the most popular entitlement programs in existence is not necessarily smart politics, especially since Senate races are more likely to be dominated by national issues than House races.

The only question is how long it will be before we hear someone call Mitch McConnell a traitor.

 

FILED UNDER: Congress, Deficit and Debt, Health Care, Quick Takes, US Politics, , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. legion says:

    If all the people who will actually have to _vote_ on the plan don’t like it, how does one explain the flamethrower Newt took to the face for publicly dissing it last week? Is it just a matter of putting up a united Repub front to the world? Or does the ‘establishment’ GOP really hate Newt as much as the rest of the world?

  2. legion,

    It’s simple, and I’ve been meaning to get around to writing about this, but, in short, Republicans hate Newt Gingrich.

  3. Stan says:

    “…in short, Republicans hate Newt Gingrich.”

    It’s more than that, Doug. In terms of ideological conformity the Republican party resembles the American Communist Party back in the 30’s and 40’s. Say something out of line, like criticizing the Hitler-Stalin pact or Paul Ryan’s Medicare plan, and the apparatus comes down on you hard. You’re then expected to grovel your way back into the Party’s good graces, the way Gingrich is doing now. If some party favorite, say Hayley Barbour, said what Gingrich said, he’d get the same treatment. It’s nothing personal, it’s just business.

  4. Tlaloc says:

    It almost makes me feel sorry for Paul Ryan. I mean the guy legitimately had the balls to straight up attack medicare because that’s what his side says needs to be done, and now it seems everyday he’s left to twist a little more in the wind. And after the likely electoral repercussions, which I don’t even know if Ryan himself will survive (the WI left being rather agitated and engaged now), it’s going to be a lot worse. Expect a lot of finger pointing by GOPers at Ryan as the cause of things. So I sort of want to feel bad for him.

    Then I remember how hard he just tried the %$# the poor so the rich could get yet another round of tax breaks. That goes a long ways towards alleviating any ill placed sympathy for the man.

  5. AFV007 says:

    How delusional are republicans that think they will win a majority in 2012? Damage is done. Walker being recalled will be the beginning of an avalanche of anti-republican policy backlash. Old white men seem blind to the world around them.

  6. legion says:

    AVF,
    They’re not blind, they just don’t give a rat’s ass. They know that by Nov 12, the voting public won’t remember squat. What’s ‘good for the country’, of even ‘borderline effective’, has long since taken a back seat to ‘whatever we can get people to vote for today, even if it means baldly lying to them until the day after the election’. See the Governors of WI and FL…

  7. TED SUPULSKI says:

    YES , I AGREE THAT MR OBAMA’S HEALTH CARE PROGRAM NEEDS TO BE REDONE, BUT TO SAY THAT THE REPUBLICANS ARE TRYING TO DO AWAY WITH MEDICARE IS “STUPID”, AND THE AMERICANS WHOM THINK THAT’S WHAT’S HAPPENING ARE DUMB. THE MEDICARE SYSTEM NEEDS TO BE RETHOUGHT, AND READDRESSED, SO WHERE ALL AMERICANS FROM THE AGE OF 18 PAY INTO IT!, THEN WHEN THEY GET TO THE RETIREMENT AGE, THEIR MEDICAL PROBLEMS WILL BE PAYED FOR BYE WHAT THEY PUT INTO IT. LIKE SOCIAL SECURITY, YOU PAID INTO IT SO IT’S YOUR MONEY, AND THE GOVERNMENT DOES NOT HAVE THE RIGHT TO USE THAT MONEY TO PAY THEIR BILL’S. THE MEDICAL COMMUNITY AND THE SOCIAL SECURITY COMMUNITIES SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO PAY FOR THE COUNTRIES DEBTS.