Collins is first GOP senator to oppose Ryan budget proposal

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine.) said Friday that she will not support the 2012 budget passed by the House last week.

"I don't happen to support Congressman Ryan's plan but at least he had the courage to put forth a plan to significantly reduce the debt," Collins said on "In the Arena" a program on WCSH 6, a local NBC affiliate in Portland, Maine.

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Collins is the first Republican senator to state publicly that she will not support the Ryan budget.

The plan, crafted by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), would cut $5.8 trillion in spending over 10 years and transform Medicare into a sort of voucher system, among other measures, to balance the budget by 2040 without raising taxes.

The budget proposal passed the House last Friday but is expected to fail in the Senate. The House voted 235-193 to pass the proposal, with only four Republicans voting aginst it. No Democrat voted for the plan.

President Obama, in his radio address last Saturday, criticized the Ryan budget, saying it would "end Medicare as we know it and make cuts to Medicaid that would leave millions … without the care they need."

Collins, who is one of several centrists in the Senate Republican Caucus, did not say specifically what she opposed in the House GOP plan, but she did say that she would like to begin moving the government towards solvency by eliminating ethanol and farm subsidies as well as funding for an extra engine for the F-35 fighter jet.

"There are lots of opportunities to consolidate and save money," Collins said.

Collins also took a jab at President Obama for the budget he presented.

"The president has yet to come up with a detailed plan," Collins said. "At least Ryan had the courage to come out with a detailed plan."

Obama presented his 2012 budget proposal in February, which would cut $400 billion in spending over the next 10 years.