Washington Post Writer Pulls Back Curtain On Senate Democrats Putting Politics Ahead Of Passing Bipartisan Reforms
For those who have been following the ongoing debt ceiling negotiations and questioned the difficulty of both parties reaching a bipartisan agreement, a new report out by a left-leaning blogger for the Washington Post is instructive.
The Post’s Greg Sargent reports that Senate Democrat campaign strategists who are overseeing U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson’s re-election bid have concluded that passing much-needed Medicare reforms will squander their efforts to score political points by scaring Florida seniors. This comes despite even President Obama making clear that everything should be on the table to start reining-in our out-of-control federal debt.
- Top Democrats in charge of keeping the Senate in Dem hands and maintaining the political health of the party — DSCC chair Patty Murray and messaging chief Chuck Schumer — have privately expressed frustration that deep Medicare cuts risk squandering the major political advantage Democrats have built up on the issue, people familiar with internal discussions say. In red states like Montana, Nebraska, and Missouri, one key to good Dem performance is maintaining good standing among seniors. The Dems took a shellacking in 2010 in part because of the swing in seniors in such states….Schumer has consistently expressed the most concern,” a source familiar with recent leadership meetings says. “Schumer has been on this bandwagon for weeks.” The source adds that a recent meeting at which Stabenow and Begich sounded the alarm about cuts ”got pretty heated.”
Notably, the decision by Senate Democrats to put their own political interests ahead of reaching a bipartisan agreement on entitlement reform comes just weeks after the latest report from the trustees who oversee Medicare confirmed – again – that doing nothing, which is the preferred course of Bill Nelson, will doom Medicare to bankruptcy in 2024, five years earlier than forecast just last year.
“This report confirms what many who have followed this debate in recent weeks have long suspected – Bill Nelson would rather win re-election than protect Medicare for future generations,” National Republican Senatorial Committee spokesman Jahan Wilcox said today. “For Nelson and his fellow liberal Senate Democrats this isn’t about passing good policies or protecting Florida seniors – it’s about preserving their own power in Washington. We hope Floridians remember this report as we continue to watch Bill Nelson play politics with Medicare.”