Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidWeek ahead: House to revive Yucca Mountain fight Warren builds her brand with 2020 down the road 'Tuesday Group' turncoats must use recess to regroup on ObamaCare MORE (D-Nev.) harshly criticized Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) on Monday for shifting his rhetoric on the House-passed Republican budget, which Democrats contend would "kill Medicare."

"Though the Republican House passed the Medicare-killing plan almost unanimously, sometimes it’s difficult to tell where the Republican Party stands generally," said Reid.

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"Look how quickly one prominent Republican candidate spun himself in circles last week," said Reid. "First he called the plan for what it was — radical. He said it was right-wing social engineering, that's a quote. Hours later, after Republicans jumped all over him, he reversed course and said he supports the plan to kill Medicare."

"And remember he said it’s radical, it’s right-wing social engineering and suddenly he said it’s OK," concluded Reid. "That is some real interesting gymnastics."

Gingrich said last week he had apologized to Rep. Paul RyanPaul RyanOvernight Tech: Dem wants to see FCC chief's net neutrality plans | New agency panel on telecom diversity | Trump calls NASA astronaut Poll: Disapproval growing of Paul Ryan, GOP Congress Overnight Finance: Trump to impose tariffs on Canadian softwood lumber | Trump wants 15 percent corporate tax rate | Fight over border wall funding | Deal clears way for vote on trade pick MORE (R-Wis.), the budget plan's author, for his criticism of its Medicare reforms. Gingrich's spokesman said his boss's previous comments had included "inartful terms."

The GOP plan would cut $5.8 trillion in spending over 10 years and transform Medicare into a sort of voucher system. It would balance the budget by 2040 without raising taxes. 
 
The budget proposal passed the House in March in a 235-193 with no Democratic support. Four Republicans opposed it.