Dems hammer Cantor over Ryan budget plan

Democrats hammered House Majority Eric Cantor (R-Va.) for embracing a plan by the Republican budget chief to make deep cuts to entitlement programs, saying the GOP is “doubling down on plans to gamble Social Security in the stock market and eliminating Medicare.”

Cantor on Sunday praised the roadmap offered by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.), chairman of the House Budget Committee, which would reduce Social Security benefits and replace Medicare with private voucher payments for most younger Americans.

Republican leaders have kept their distance from the specifics of the plan, and Ryan himself has not committed to making it the party’s official budget proposal. Ryan, however, will see his national profile increase this week when he delivers the Republican response to President Obama's State of the Union address.

Cantor denied that the GOP was not behind Ryan and pointed out that his roadmap was featured as a chapter in a book published by Cantor, Ryan and Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.). “The direction the road map goes is something we need to embrace,” Cantor said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

A spokesman for the majority leader declined to elaborate on his comments but said they were consistent with what Cantor has said repeatedly about the Ryan plan.

Democrats, however, took his remark on NBC as a new and ringing endorsement. “House Republican Leader Eric Cantor and House Republicans are now ‘full speed ahead’ on a devastating plan that would privatize Social Security and eliminate Medicare that American seniors earned,” said Jesse Ferguson, a spokesman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “House Republicans are doubling down on plans to gamble Social Security in the stock market and eliminating Medicare.”

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