House Democrats vow to make Ryan budget a ‘central focus’ of 2014 campaigns

Chris Moody
Political Reporter
The Ticket

During the 2012 campaign, Democrats hammered House Republicans for their support of Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan's budget proposal. With the 2014 elections around the corner, they plan to do it again.

Although Democrats did not regain control of the House last year, the party increased its numbers in part through a sustained attack on incumbent Republicans and candidates who focused on Ryan's budget plan. That success has inspired strategists at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee to stick to the same formula, with plans for a massive messaging campaign that will last until November 2014.

"This issue helped win President Obama’s re-election and Democratic gains in the House and Senate," DCCC spokesman Jesse Ferguson told Yahoo News. "But 2012 was about the presidential race. In 2014, the election is about the tea party Congress and their budget will be a central focus."

The early shelling of the DCCC's 20-month-long bombardment began early this week, before Ryan even unveiled his plan. Similar to 2012, Democrats are emphasizing the Republicans' proposed changes to Medicare, which would have people born after 1959 choose between the current program and an option to purchase health insurance on a private market with help from federal subsidies.

In the new iteration, Democrats also criticized Ryan's plan to strip the federal health care law out of the budget, a program that President Barack Obama signed in 2010 and was upheld as constitutional by the Supreme Court last year.

The DCCC plans to release a video on Wednesday, seen first on Yahoo News, which calls the budget "Paul Ryan's Fantasy." It shows media outlets and some conservatives criticizing the decision.

The video will appear only online, but the DCCC is planning a wide-scale media buy closer to the election.

The National Republican Congressional Committee responded Wednesday by highlighting the Democrats' proposed budget, which keeps the health care law but does not balance the federal budget in the foreseeable future.

Their message to Democrats? Bring it on.

“If Democrats believe they are going to win Republican House districts on a platform of touting ObamaCare and a budget plan that never ever balances, then please – hit the campaign trail," NRCC spokesman Daniel Scarpinato told Yahoo News. "In 2012, Republicans won our second-largest House majority since World War II precisely because Democrats are in denial about our nation’s spending problem and ObamaCare’s job destroying taxes.”