(CNN) - As Mitt Romney unveils Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin as his running mate, questions over the House Budget Committee chairman's budget plan will likely become a hot button debate topic this fall.
Romney announced Ryan as the vice presidential candidate at a campaign event while kicking off a bus tour Saturday morning in Norfolk, Virginia.
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First put forward in 2011, the so-called Ryan Plan is a $3.5 trillion budget that would lower tax rates and cut spending, while reforming the Medicare and Medicaid government-run health care programs for senior citizens, the disabled and the poor.
READ MORE: Democratic attacks on Ryan focus on changes to Medicare and Medicaid
The budget has drawn fierce criticism from the left, particularly President Barack Obama, as Democrats claim the plan is too heavy on entitlement cuts. While the measure passed the Republican controlled House of Representatives in both 2011 and 2012, it failed to pass last year in the Democratic-controlled Senate and has no chance of making its way through the chamber this year.
But what has Romney said about the proposed GOP budget?
The presumptive GOP nominee has stood by the popular Republican plan but does not mention it as a frequent talking point. In the past, he has described the plan as "bold and exciting" and applauds it as an "excellent piece of work," one that he compares to his own economic proposals.
While appearing with the Wisconsin congressman at a Milwaukee campaign event in April, Romney said Ryan's plans on the tax code "are very similar to my own." And when the House passed the plan in March, Romney released a statement calling the bill "progress."
"Owing in no small part to the leadership of Paul Ryan, (the House) has put conservative fiscal principles into action and passed a bold budget that directly addresses the drivers of our nation's spending crisis," the statement read. "The House budget and my own plan share the same path forward: pro-growth tax cuts, getting federal spending under control and strengthening entitlement programs for future generations."
Also in March, the candidate said in a tele-town hall with Wisconsin voters that he thinks the legislation should become law.
"I think it'd be marvelous if the Senate were to pick up Paul Ryan's budget and to adopt it and pass it along to the president," Romney said.
In early April, President Barack Obama mocked Romney for using the word "marvelous."
"He said that he's very supportive of this new budget and he even called it marvelous, which is a word you don't often hear when it comes to describing a budget," Obama said.
Romney also brought up the budget at a GOP presidential debate shortly before the South Carolina primary in January, which he lost to opponent Newt Gingrich.
Romney said he would lay out a Medicare-like program that "allows people to buy either current standard Medicare or a private plan."
"And this is the proposal which Congressman Paul Ryan has adopted," Romney said, according to a transcript of the debate. "It's a proposal which I believe is absolutely right on."
In terms of the election, a CNN/ORC International poll released last month indicated that 39% of Americans view Medicare and Social Security as an "extremely important" issue, with more respondents saying the economy, health care, education, terrorism and the deficit rank higher on a list of issues.
A majority of Americans–57%–said in May that they oppose a Republican plan to change Medicare (similar to that of Ryan), while 34% said that are in favor of such a plan, according to a separate CNN/ORC International survey.
Last November, a majority of Americans–51%–said they opposed major changes in the two entitlement programs, while 41% are in favor of changes.
- CNN's Gregory Wallace and Tom Cohen contributed to this report.