Dems Find Their Wedge Issue And Aim To Force GOP Vote On Ryan Plan

February 8, 2010 7:29 a.m.

House Democrats want to kick House Republicans where it hurts, and are exploring ways to force the minority party to take a stand on Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget “roadmap” that has become a political minefield in advance of this fall’s elections.

A Democratic leadership source told TPMDC they are considering options for putting the Ryan plan on the floor, forcing Republicans to vote for or against a plan they don’t want to talk about. This appears to be the Ryan bill, with seven GOP co-sponsors.

While conservative groups love the plan – which cuts Social Security and Medicare benefits before effectively privatizing the entitlement programs – and Ryan says he’s willing to lose his job over presenting new policy ideas, GOP leaders are backing away.We told you Friday the Democrats plan to force a vote on a resolution that “expresses the will of House Democrats to preserve Social Security and reaffirms our commitment to working in a bipartisan way to make common sense adjustments to strengthen the program for generations to come.”

The resolution is a way to expose fissures among House Republicans and the first real indication the Democrats plan to play hardball leading up to the 2010 midterm elections.

(Read it in full here, and notice how similar it is to votes the GOP forced on issues such as leaks to the New York Times, and votes for supporting troops.)

Our leadership source tells us not to expect a vote on the resolution in the next two weeks because Democrats want to draw that out as long as possible to poke the Republicans in that 2005 wound.

“We should take our time and call out Republicans for not signing on as co-sponsors first, before voting on it,” the source said.

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