Earlier today, Jay Jacobs, the head of the New York Democratic Party, sent out a statement calling on the GOP challengers to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand to state where they stand on Paul Ryan’s plan to balance the federal budget.
As the House of Representatives gets ready to vote on Rep. Ryan’s election year document, there has still been nothing but silence from the three Republican candidates running for U.S. Senate. Congressman Turner won’t be able to hide much longer. Will he “pander” to the Tea Party or vote against voucherizing Medicare and raising out-of-pocket costs for our seniors? And will Wendy Long finally come out of the ‘Ryan Budget Witness Protection Program’ after her previous ‘profile in courage’ in praising the Ryan plan without actually taking a position? Or will she continue the tried and true path of refusing to take a stance on issues she would be faced with, which worked so well for Jim Tedisco, and has been working so well for Maggie Brooks?
“Presidential candidate Mitt Romney and Republicans across the country have embraced Rep. Paul Ryan’s radical budget that would end Medicare as we know it while shifting already agreed upon spending cuts to the Defense Department to slashing critical programs like Medicaid, food stamps, Head Start and Pell Grants for college. New Yorkers expect the candidates to come out of hiding and tell them where they stand.
Well, now he has heard from at least one of them: Congressman Bob Turner voted a reluctant “yes” on the floor of the House today.
I didn’t go to Washington to go wobbly on the tough votes. Tonight, with my 13 grandchildren firmly in mind, I joined 227 reform-minded colleagues in passing the budget plan prepared by Congressman Paul Ryan. I don’t love everything in the bill, but it’s the best option on the table for saving this country. The long-term economic challenges facing the nation are too frightening to ignore. We must tackle them bravely and forcefully for the sake of every generation to follow. Now it’s up to the Senate to show courage, too, by putting a budget on the table. This is gut-check time and the ball is in their court.”
Where to come down on the Ryan Plan is a question that has bedeviled Republicans since it was first unveiled last year. Expect a Democratic onslaught on Mr. Turner’s vote should he make it out of the primary.
When Mr. Turner was running for the House against David Weprin, he pledged that he would not vote for Ryan Budget. As we wrote that July, Mr. Turner was getting hammered by Mr. Weprin over the plan, and asked to respond, his then-and-now spokesman E.O’Brien Murray wrote:
Paul Ryan’s plan is a starting point for negotiations. The fact is, we need to begin somewhere. No one wants to cut anything, yet everyone agrees that we can’t keep borrowing 40 cents on the dollar. David Weprin knows about borrowing and overspending, of course; he is an Albany politician.
Asked point-blank then if this meant that Turner would have voted no on the Ryan budget, Murray responded, “Correct. Bob Turner would have voted against the Ryan Plan.”