Rep. Bob Inglis (R-SC) testified today before the House Budget Committee that a proposal to dramatically overhaul entitlement programs is “bold” and signed on as a co-sponsor of Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget “roadmap” plan which cuts and then partially privatizes Social Security and creates a voucher system for Medicare.
Inglis said in testimony today that he’s “comfortable” with the plan, which he said would help “get our fiscal house in order.” The Ryan plan also has new co-sponsors: Rep. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and
Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-MN). (See correction below.)
TPMDC has been tracking where House Republicans stand on the Ryan “roadmap.” Yesterday we detailed the lawmakers we’ve gotten on the record, with nearly a dozen refusing to say where they stand despite repeated requests.As supporters of the Ryan plan, Inglis, Flake and Paulsen are joining Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and the nine original co-sponsors of the plan.
We also got a rejection of the plan from Rep. Tom Rooney (R-FL). A spokesman said Rooney “won’t support any plan which makes cuts to Social Security and Medicare,” adding, “these programs are crucial to seniors in the 16th district.”
It’s illustrative of the tough politics of the issue as the White House attempts to tackle entitlement reform. Democrats are putting the squeeze on Republicans in Washington and candidates across the country to see if they’d back the changes. But some Republicans say the GOP should go for it as the “courageous” way to cut the deficit.
Inglis said today the federal debt has reached a crisis and “this is a truly unique moment where the people are rising up and demanding of the Congress that we get the situation under control,” according to a transcript of the testimony provided by his office.
“It’s a very bold plan and perhaps some on the Democratic side of the aisle that don’t like it and think it goes too far. But if that’s the case then what we should is expect from those on the other side of the aisle is to give us their ideas and then let’s come together and solve this challenge,” Inglis said.
“Our challenge here is to have the courage to talk about those things,” he said.
Correction: Rep. Erik Paulsen is not a co-sponsor of the Ryan plan. A budget aide told us this morning that Paulsen was accidentally added as a cosponsor to the Ryan budget due to an internal paper error. We’ve called Paulsen’s office several times and have not gotten an answer to whether he supports the measure.
Late Update: A Paulsen spokesman writes in to say the Congressman opposes the Ryan plan.