Democrats to focus on Ryan budget in 2014
April 2nd, 2014
12:41 PM ET
4 years ago

Democrats to focus on Ryan budget in 2014

Washington (CNN) – A day after the White House claimed victory in its Obamacare enrollment numbers, the group tasked with electing Democrats to the House acknowledged it's still a "tough climate" for Democrats in this year's midterms, but also insisted they still plan to campaign on the health care law.

But Rep. Steve Israel, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said an even bigger focus this year will be renewed attempts by Democrats to clobber Republican Rep. Paul Ryan's budget plan on the campaign trail.

Speaking at the National Press Club on Wednesday, Israel said Democrats are "ratcheting up" their offense against Republicans who favor a repeal of the health care law, and stressed that Democratic strategy will focus on the negative consequences of eliminating the law.

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Israel faulted Republicans for maintaining an "obsessive" and "relentless" assault against the Affordable Care Act. Obamacare is "the only thing that animates a fractured, weak base that is in a civil war," he said, referring to the GOP.

But Israel didn't suggest there'd be party-wide Democratic support for the health care law. As some candidates or incumbents in tight races have distanced themselves from President Obama-whose approval ratings have remained underwater this year-Israel acknowledged that some Democrats will need to continue doing what's best for their contests.

"Every member has to be a good fit for their district. When you have a disagreement with the President, you should state your disagreement. When you have an agreement with the President, you should state your agreement," he said. "Don't worry about what's happening inside the Beltway. Worry about what's happening when you go door to door."

The priority, he said, will be bashing Ryan's budget plan, which balances the federal budget in a decade in part by repealing Obamacare, changing Medicare and cutting social programs like food stamps.

"Let me give the three words that will define the next seven months: The Republican budget," Israel said.

Democrats argue that Ryan’s budget places too much of a burden on the middle class, while allowing tax breaks for the wealthy.

"They should have just printed a middle finger to the middle class on page one of this budget," Israel said.

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Democrats also zeroed in on the House Budget Committee chairman's proposal in the 2012 cycle, and attributed that line of attack to their net gain of eight seats in the House, though they still failed to win back the majority. Israel said current internal polls show an attack on the GOP budget remains a winning argument for Democrats.

Republicans say the strategy is not as potent as Democrats hope.

"In 2012-with President Obama on the ballot-Steve Israel called Paul Ryan the Democrats' 'majority maker,' yet his party didn't even come close," said Andrea Bozek, a spokeswoman for the National Republican Congressional Committee.

Republicans also point to their recent win in Florida's special House election, in which the Republican candidate – who ran against Obamacare – ultimately won.

"We hope Democrats keep running on their support of Obamacare's drastic cuts to Medicare, opposition to a balanced budget, and support for an unpopular President," Bozek said in a statement.

Polls show the country remains split on the controversial health care law. According to a recent Washington Post/ABC News survey, 49% of Americans support the law, while 48% oppose the changes it's making to the health care system.

Forty-nine percent, however, say they don't favor Republican efforts to replace the law, while slightly fewer, 47%, say they back such efforts.

CNN Capitol Hill Reporter Lisa Desjardins contributed to this report.

Filed under: 2014 • Budget • DCCC • Obamacare
soundoff (37 Responses)
  1. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House

    This Ryan Budget is worst than the previous Ryan Budget. It's still cut, slash and burn everything that helps the poor, but increase defense spending and give more tax breaks to the wealthy. This guy is so out of touch with mainstream America. I don't think anyone born with a silver spoon in their mouth should be the budget chairman.

    April 2, 2014 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  2. just asking

    and where is the democrat party solution to address their massive deficits and debt??? (crickets)

    we all know the plan though. continue to grow government, larger, larger, larger, until it consumes the entire gdp of this country. they have no intention of ever cutting or slowing the growth. their only solution is to take, more more and more and more from taxpayers to fund the ever growing federal government.

    because after all, obamacare has shown us all, the democrats know better than us what our money is to be used for, just like they knew better what we needed for a healthcare system.

    April 2, 2014 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  3. Smitty

    At least its a budget, something the dems and the biggest liar of the year haven't come up with. anything that makes sense the dems don't like, they enjoy living in kaos. enjoy what you voted for which is total ineptness

    April 2, 2014 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  4. Gurgyl

    -–that deficit, debt came from Two Wars plus trickle-down. Yes, democrats are cleaning this mess.

    April 2, 2014 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  5. rick

    Paul Ryan's April fools joke on his fake budget, really shows he is a truly funny guy. it's no wonder Mit chose him as his VP as serious as Washington can be, having a comic side kick around give the people at SNL and the Daily show to make fun of, instead of them.

    April 2, 2014 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  6. rs

    Even Ms. Palin, the ultimate political feather-weight says the Ryan Budget is "a joke".
    Look, the Ryan budget hardens the idiocy of the GOP's "VooDoo economics":
    More tax cuts for the rich and corporate classes; sever cuts to things that support the middle class and poor (Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid- along with cuts to "food stamps", education, and more); a high bump in military spending (for what?).
    Mr. Ryan's budget fails to look out for Americans, makes the rich, richer, and will probably be deficit neutral.

    The solution to the budget deficit and debt is taxes- at least pre-Reagan if not higher for the beloved rich.

    April 2, 2014 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  7. rs

    just asking

    and where is the democrat party solution to address their massive deficits and debt??? (crickets)
    hey, JA, who controls the House- you know the place where there hasn't been a budget in 3 years? Oh, yeah, the GOP. Remember them?

    April 2, 2014 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  8. Enough is Enough

    Oh yea – run on the ACA!! Don't let people see the RAND report that shows that fewer than 900,000 of the enrollees were previously uninsured.....or that only half of those have actually paid a premium and are covered. And, by the way, why don't you allow the law to be enforced as it was passed? Why do you need to have Obama keep changing the requirements? I'm just curious....since it's such a masterpiece of legislation......and when will the rest of the 47 million uninsured that you told us about sign up? It seems that your numbers don't quite add up.....

    April 2, 2014 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  9. Progressives are clueless

    @Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House – You had better go check your mailbox, your government check may have arrived.....Perhaps if the Dems could have at least passed a budget....which they were unable to do for how many years....

    April 2, 2014 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  10. YoonYoungJo

    I do agree with GOP Ryan regarding defense budget to a degree. I don't believe you can neglect that aspect of the budget but you cannot so it at the expense of everything else. Cutting funding to social welfare programs is not the answer. The thing the GOP needs to consider is hardwork alone does not get you ahead. You can work yourself to the bone and it still does not guarantee basic security in 95% of people's lives. There was a time when hardwork was all that it required to get ahead sadly a lot of GOP laws have crushed that. Here is the other side of the equation, not everyone is born with the talents to get ahead. Until America restores the balance and once again restores the concept that hard work alone, can and will get you ahead in life, the social programs must remain in place. The only way to justify removing or reducing social welfare programs is once again focus and bring truth the idea hardwork alone will guarantee certain securities.

    April 2, 2014 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  11. Malory Archer

    just asking

    and where is the democrat party solution to address their massive deficits and debt??? (crickets)


    Get rid of the "shadow" military (blackwater, et. al); stop producing weapons programs the military doesn't want; stop aid to dependent corporations and make them pull themselves up by their bootstraps just like the "people" that AREN'T corporations are expected to do;

    cut ALL tax exemptions and force the idle rich to pay the same tax rate on their "capital gains" as they would pay if it were regular income. Why should my piddly little CD investments be taxed at the same rate as my earned income (after all I already paid taxes on that income when I earned it) when those who live off their investments pay a fraction of what I pay?

    stop sending $$$ to foreign nations who hate us and use that $$$ against us.

    Problem solved, budget balanced – and all before lunch!

    April 2, 2014 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  12. Alan S.

    The Bottom Line: if your income is above $200K a year you should be supporting the Republicans. If your income is $199K and below per year, you need to be supporting the Democrates or Independents. Any individual who has a low annual income and votes Republican really needs to enter into psychological therapy to see why they want to hurt themselves and this goes for rich people voting Democratic too.

    April 2, 2014 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  13. Tampa Tim

    The republican solution to end massive debt is to keep two unfunded wars off the books, keep an unfunded drug program off the books, keep TARP off the books, reduce revenue by giving tax cuts to the wealthy, then there is no debt?

    April 2, 2014 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  14. Rudy NYC

    I don't know whether or not Republicans are persistent, or just flat out stubborn and ornery. Voters have rejected the Ryan Plan at least once, back in 2012. However, I'm glad that they keep putting it out there for examination. Maybe people will finally realize that it is smoke screen for another agenda, which is cutting and eliminating taxes for the wealthy.

    The Medicare vouchers that Ryan is touting would indeed save hundreds of billions when combined with a repeal of the ACA, because the vouchers would never be spent. Seniors would be rejected by private insurers simply because of their ages and pre-existing conditions.

    April 2, 2014 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  15. Gunderson

    The National Debt? Don't use that tone of voice with me! What National Debt? It was Lyndon Johnson, after looking at the money in Social Security and said, WE ARE GOING TO SPEND THIS MONEY. So after 17.5 Trillion dollars later.....

    April 2, 2014 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  16. Tampa Tim

    Do clueless right wingnuts realize that budgets come from to do nothing House of Representatives? Apparently Fox did not divulge that big secret.

    April 2, 2014 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  17. just asking

    just asking
    and where is the democrat party solution to address their massive deficits and debt??? (crickets)
    hey, JA, who controls the House- you know the place where there hasn't been a budget in 3 years? Oh, yeah, the GOP. Remember them?

    which the democrats in the senate refuse to even vote on and obama refuses to sign. democrats, the party of no fiscal responsibility. their plan is to spend more and tax and borrow more until the country is bankrupt or taxes are doubled. so where is the democrat plan? trillion dollar deficits are projected to return in a few years, even after the trillion dollars in tax hikes the democrats have gotten. will you be demanding more from fewer and fewer people? or will you be borrowing the country into $20-30 trillion of debt?

    April 2, 2014 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  18. Tampa Tim

    Gunny – My God, where do come up with this right wing crap?

    April 2, 2014 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  19. Tampa Tim

    Alan S – I think that is why republicans want to repeal ACA. If those who vote GOP could see a doctor and get help, republicans would lose most of their base.

    April 2, 2014 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  20. Tommy G

    Tampa Tim
    The republican solution to end massive debt is to keep two unfunded wars off the books, keep an unfunded drug program off the books, keep TARP off the books, reduce revenue by giving tax cuts to the wealthy, then there is no debt?

    Yikes... thanks for proving just how clueless you are. Your nonsensical blurt is a bunch of irrelevant issues and water under the damn rubbish that has nothing to do with the future spending and debt of this country.

    April 2, 2014 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  21. God MAY NOT be a Liberal, but He IS a Democrat

    Anytime spending is raised, revenue must go up. Want to spend more on an unnecessary military, Mr. Ryan? Then raise the Capital Gains tax rate; don`t think liberals are going to allow you to fund the excessive f-35 engines from both P&W and GE out of the mouths of babies deprived of their formula or goverment cheese.

    April 2, 2014 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  22. Tony D

    Alan S.
    The Bottom Line: if your income is above $200K a year you should be supporting the Republicans.

    The real bottom line is if you are a working stiff that pays taxes and cares about the future of this country, you should be supporting the Republicans. If you are a young person that will be saddled with repaying all of this debt, you should be supporting the Republicans.

    If you are a taker, a government dependent or a criminal that lives off of the people paying the bills in this country, then you should be supporting the Democrats. Free money, handouts or exemptions from the law will be granted. The future of our country be damned.

    April 2, 2014 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  23. Dead Bear

    I wonder if the GOP still thinks they're broadening the base after today's SCOTUS ruling and the recent unveiling of the Ryan budget... They just can't stop shooting themselves in the foot. Fitting for the crowd that thinks the right to own a gun is more important than being able to get affordable health insurance.

    April 2, 2014 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  24. Randy, San Francisco

    The Ryan GOP budget is one in which Scrooge and the Grinch who stole Christmas can be proud of and endorse with their cold cold hearts.

    April 2, 2014 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  25. Tampa Tim

    It appears a right wingnut learned a new word, "nonsensical." Keep up the good work, wingnut. By the way, you did realize that there was national debt before President Obama took office, and he put the war costs and the rest of the republican errors on the books for all to see?

    April 2, 2014 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
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