Democrats sought to send House Republicans a warning at the outset of this week's congressional recess: Political peril awaits in 2012 if they push ahead with proposed changes to Medicare.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) released a video on Monday and an associated website warning against the House GOP's 2012 budget, the Medicare reforms in which have become something of a political albatross for Republicans.
The video, "Don't End Medicare," features old news footage touting the creation of Medicare alongside testimonials by constituents calling out some of their Republican representatives by name for supporting the changes to Medicare as proposed by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.).
The video singles out Reps. Gus Bilirakis (R-Fla.), Pat Meehan (R-Pa.), John Kline (R-Minn.) and Mary Bono Mack (R-Calif.) and other Republicans in Congress over the Medicare plan, which would transform the entitlement program into a voucher-based system for Americans under the age of 55.
The spot is part of a broader effort by the DCCC to use the Ryan plan against Republicans during this week's recess, during which time lawmakers will return home to their districts, often for public opportunities to meet with voters. The last recess in May turned raucous at times after some Republicans faced vociferous complaints about the Ryan plan.
Democrats capitalized on that frustration toward the Medicare reforms with a special-election victory last month in an upstate New York district that has historically trended Republican. Ryan himself acknowledged that Medicare played a role in the GOP's loss in that race.
"Throughout this week, the DCCC will continue both paid and grassroots campaigns in the Drive to 25 effort to hold House Republicans accountable for voting to end Medicare while protecting taxpayer giveaways for Big Oil companies and tax breaks for millionaires," DCCC spokesman Jesse Ferguson said of this week's effort. "Just last week, House Republicans doubled down on ending Medicare and voted again to pass this controversial plan."