Senate Democrats

Republicans Continue To Face Backlash At Home Over Their Plan To End Medicare

Associated Press: Protesters Greet Paul Ryan in Chicago. “Dozens of protesters carrying signs and chanting ‘Tax the rich’ marched outside a hotel in downtown Chicago to protest a speech by Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan. Ryan is the architect of the Republican budget plan, which includes a controversial proposal to turn Medicare into a voucher program. Doug Adams of Chicago was among the protesters. Adams says people need to wake up because Republicans, Wall Street and big business think older Americans are an expensive commodity.” LINK

Arizona Republic (AZ): Anthem Audience Challenges Quayle During Presentation On Medicare. “U.S. Rep. Ben Quayle had finished a Power Point presentation on the national debt this week when members of the audience started a running commentary and flashing signs that read ‘Hands off our Medicare.’ About 225 people filed into the Fellowship Church in Anthem on Monday to hear about a $14.3 trillion budget shortfall and ways to resolve it. The gathering quickly turned into a sort of political rally, with people arguing with the freshman lawmaker who represents Arizona’s 3rd Congressional District, which includes Phoenix, Scottsdale and Paradise Valley.” LINK

The Palm Beach Post (FL):At Town Hall Meetings, Critics Confront GOP Rep. West Over Medicare Cuts. “The shouting began before U.S. Rep. Allen West, R-Plantation, uttered a word at his town hall meeting here Tuesday afternoon. ‘Where are the jobs?’ a man yelled from the audience as West was about to begin a slide presentation. … Democrats and their allies have turned up the volume at town halls across the U.S. since the Republican-controlled House voted to change Medicare for those now 54 and younger from a fee-for-service program to one in which the government provides subsidies for seniors to buy private insurance plans.” LINK

The Vancouver Columbian (WA): Crowd Pulls Few Punches At Herrera Beutler Town Hall. “Several hundred people showed up at Skyview High School for the session. They passed a couple dozen protesters near the entrance who hoisted signs saying, ‘Save Medicare: Tax the Rich’ and ‘People not Profits.’ Several supporters of Planned Parenthood wore pink T-shirts to protest Herrera Beutler’s vote to end federal funding of family planning services. … when she insisted that the Republican budget blueprint for 2012 ‘protects Medicare,’ a chorus of boos and catcalls and shouts of “liar” erupted in the auditorium. LINK

Ocean City Today (MD): Rep. Harris Told GOP Plan “Will Kill Medicare As We Know It.” “The auditorium was filled with senior citizens concerned about Medicare and, as with the numerous town hall meetings of 2009, the crowd reached pitched debate on health care issues. George Benton of West Ocean City was concerned about the costs for future generations and that costs could increase for existing beneficiaries within several years. ‘The Paul Ryan bill will kill Medicare as we know it,’ argued Benton. ‘These good people want their tax dollars to go toward their grandchildrens’ costs. We’ve been borrowing all this money from China to pay for the Iraq War and for Bush-era tax cuts on the wealthy.’” LINK

Las Vegas Review-Journal (NV): Heck Town Hall Meeting Sparks Passions. “The crowd didn’t just argue with Republican Rep. Joe Heck at a town hall meeting in Boulder City on Wednesday. The 50 people in attendance often shouted at each other, indifferent to whether the Republican federal budget Heck was there to discuss would hurt or help Medicare and the job market.” LINK

Associated Press(MN): Freshman Rep. Cravaack Defends Medicare Vote. “Terry Bell, 62, of Cambridge, criticized the slides for being inaccurate. He asked Cravaack to point out the last time Republicans produced a balanced budget. ‘Your party has added to the deficit ever since the Ford administration,’ Bell said. ‘The only time you get the least bit concerned is when the Democratic Party gets in.’” LINK

Connecticut Post (CT): Seniors Express Fear Over Possible Medicare Changes. “James Marbury has been through a lot in his 84 years. He fought in the Korean War. When he came home from fighting, Marbury, who is black, experienced rampant racism, not being allowed in certain restaurants and being forced to use a separate YMCA from his white peers. With all he’s experienced, he feels that he and other seniors have earned the right to certain protections in their old age, such as the reassurance that they’ll be able to get affordable health care whenever they need it.” LINK

KSAZ Fox News (AZ): Congressman Quayle Takes Heat for Medicare Decision. “Monday night at a town meeting in Anthem, it was Ben Quayle who got beat up a bit while meeting with his constituents. Many people in the crowd were fired up about his stance on the proposed changes to the Medicare system. Quayle favors the Republican plan which would give seniors vouchers to buy health insurance on the private market.” LINK

South Florida Sun Sentinel (FL): Rep. Allen West Faces Tough Questions At Town Hall In Pompano Beach. “Plenty were hostile. For example, one asserted that the House Republican plan to change Medicare ‘is obviously not something Americans want. Even Republicans have been backing off of this unpopular plan.’” LINK

WBFB ABC News (FL): Congressman’s Meeting Interrupted By Shouting. “Another town hall meeting organized by U.S. Rep. Allen West, R-Plantation, devolved into a shouting match Monday night. About 100 people came to hear the congressman speak. Police escorted one person out of the meeting.  … ‘I didn’t agree with his explanation about Medicare. I’m very concerned about cutting Medicare and changing Medicare without looking at the revenue side,’ resident Dave King said.” LINK

Duluth News Tribune (MN): Sparks Fly In Cravaack’s Visit To Iron Range. “But it was clear that most in the audience, a diverse mixture of active and retired union members, small-business owners, visible DFL supporters and people who were busy drawing on one or more of those entitlement programs, had come to ask more specific questions or simply raise their own talking points. It wasn’t far into Cravaack’s slide show presentation — he jokingly called it ‘death by PowerPoint’ — that people began jumping in. … After the meeting, Reeths said Cravaack seemed to be ‘toeing the party line,’ he said. ‘So far, I haven’t seen any points where he’s willing to step away from the party line and say he supports some compromise; that’s very disappointing.’” LINK

Associated Press (WA): Lively Vancouver Town Hall For Jaime Herrera Beutler. “the Camas Republican fielded sometimes hostile questions about her vote to restructure Medicare and her reluctance to support raising the federal debt limit… Protesters near the entrance held signs saying, ‘Save Medicare: Tax the Rich’ and ‘People not Profits.’ Several supporters of Planned Parenthood wore pink T-shirts to protest Herrera Beutler’s vote to end federal funding of family planning services.” LINK

ThinkProgress: Rep. Webster Threatens To Kick Out Town Hall Constituent For Asking About Raising Corporate Taxes. “The town hall backlash that began last month over the Republican plan to end Medicare and extend tax breaks for the wealthy is showing no signs of abating. Rep. Dan Webster (R-FL) encountered many angry constituents Tuesday night during a town hall meeting outside Orlando. Attendees repeatedly admonished Webster for his support of the Ryan budget and pleaded with him to do more to ensure corporations pay their fair share in taxes.” LINK