Democrats aren't letting Republicans run away from the GOP shadow budget--a Social Security and Medicare slashing bill sponsored by their top budget guy, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI). But they don't want the issue to disappear from view--in fact, they want it to be a defining issue of the 2010 election. And as such are trying to frame it just right--elevating Ryan and his proposal to magnify the differences between Democrats and Republicans.
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"Representative Ryan has made a proposal, significant parts of which I do not agree [with]," said House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) at his weekly press event this afternoon. "However, having said that, it is a serious proposal made by a member in my opinion who has very sincere objectives in mind. And it is a substantive proposal."
I asked Hoyer what he made of the GOP leadership's response to the Ryan plan.
"Mr. Boehner as I understand it, when asked which proposals in the Ryan proposal he [opposed] he couldn't articulate any of them," Hoyer said. "Mr. Ryan is the ranking Republican on the budget committee. If they were the majority, presumably he'd be the chairman of the budget committee. Some of the things he's proposed are controversial."
This is just one of the ways one of the ways Democrats are trying to force Republicans to confront the proposal, which could have long political legs.