Senate Democrats will hold a vote on the budget written by Rep. Paul Ryan and passed by that House GOP that would overhaul Medicare--and at least four Republican senators will vote against it. Maine's Olympia Snowe is the latest to say she won't support the plan, because "I have deep and abiding concerns about the approach on Medicare, which is essentially to privatize it," she told the Portland Press Herald's Jonathan Riskind. Snowe joins Susan Collins and Scott Brown in opposing her party's proposal because of the changes to entitlements. (Kentucky's Rand Paul says he'll vote against the measure because it doesn't cut enough.)
Many blame the plan for the Democratic victory in New York's special election Tuesday, including Ryan himself. Ryan said on MSNBC Wednesday that "the president and his party have decided to shamelessly distort and demagogue Medicare," and that Medicare was "a big part" of the vote's outcome. Snowe said she'd vote against the Ryan plan Tuesday afternoon, before the special election results were in.
The Hill says Brown had excellent timing in coming out against the Ryan plan earlier this week, while Snowe's move could cost her, because she faces greater electoral danger in the Republican primary. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says he's holding the budget vote this week to highlight the "Medicare-killing" plan, which he said is "quickly becoming the defining principle for the Republican Party." Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said the vote was just a sideshow.