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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Connie Mack disagrees with Ryan budget cuts to Medicare



Republican Senate candidate Connie Mack says he does not fully support the Ryan budget. “I frankly think that we need to balance the budget a lot quicker than 28 years," the Daily Caller quoted him saying in a conference call yesterday.

But it was still unclear where he stands on the burning issue of moment, Medicare. Mack spokesman David James told the Buzz this afternoon that Mack disagrees with the $700 billion in Medicare "cuts" the Ryan budget includes. Mack would like cuts from other areas of government, James said. (see more on the cuts in the jump)

James would not say whether Mack agrees with the Ryan plan's turning Medicare into a voucher-like program.

"Connie has a plan which would balance the budget in less time than the Ryan plan," James said. "And whether or not Medicare needs to be part of the solution depends on what Congress does in the future, and the ability to cut other area of the federal government instead of Medicare is addressed in Mack's Penny Plan."

He added, "What is more paramount her is that the only candidate in the Senate race who has eliminated $700 billion in Medicare benefits for current recipients is Bill Nelson. What the future holds is up to the Congress, and Connie has a plan to address the fiscal crisis Nelson has created and maintained."



Mack used yesterday's conference call to clarify remarks about the Ryan budget. He never called it a "joke," he said. From the Daily Caller: "What he really said, in his recounting, was that the “process” was a joke, since “the Senate hasn’t passed a budget in over three years.”

Mack missed a vote on the Ryan budget this spring due to campaigning. His office said then he would have voted for it. UPDATE: James says Mack supported parts of it but would have voted against the plan.

About those cuts ...

The $700 billion are "savings" or "cuts," depending on which side is asked. They originated in Obamacare, which uses money from slowed-down growth of Medicare to pay for the health care law. Democrats call that savings. Republicans call it cuts. Either way, the Ryan budget includes the same $700 billion.

PolitiFact explains it well here.


[Last modified: Friday, August 17, 2012 5:56pm]


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