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.

"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.