When House Budget Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan released the Republican 2012 budget in April, Republicans praised it as “courageous” and hailed it as a reflection of their core values. One after another, GOP lawmakers raced to celebrate a plan that would end Medicare as we know it, slash Medicaid, cut taxes for millionaires, reduce education funding, and repeal the Affordable Care Act and Wall Street reform.
For many Republicans, however, that enthusiasm has been short lived.
For weeks, GOP members across the country have experienced widespread backlash – from the Congressional Budget Office to town hall meetings to local news reports, the American public is voicing their concern.
Now, one by one, Republicans are pulling away from a plan they voted to pass.
Newt Gingrich, former Republican Speaker of the House and 2012 presidential hopeful, began the parade of rejections — but he's not alone. When asked about Rep. Ryan’s budget, Republican Senator Lamar Alexander said, "I think there are other proposals that deserve serious consideration and I'm waiting to see what those are and I might vote for those as well.”
Republican Dave Camp admitted that the GOP budget was an effort to make an ideological point without any real promise of passage. Even Tea Party favorite Rep. Michele Bachman expressed concern that the Republican plan would shift costs to seniors.
Not all Republicans have recanted, however. Speaker Boehner, Majority Leader Cantor, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell all still support it. And Rep. Paul Ryan, of course, also continues to stand by his plan.
In his speech last month on fiscal policy, President Obama spoke about the Republican budget:
This vision is less about reducing the deficit than it is about changing the basic social compact in America. Ronald Reagan’s own budget director said, there’s nothing “serious” or “courageous” about this plan. There’s nothing serious about a plan that claims to reduce the deficit by spending a trillion dollars on tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires. And I don't think there’s anything courageous about asking for sacrifice from those who can least afford it and don’t have any clout on Capitol Hill. That's not a vision of the America I know.
Today, it's become clear that most Americans are standing with the President.