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Magazine / CONGRESSIONAL INSIDERS POLL

Congressional Insiders Poll

March 22, 2012

Do you think that Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget blueprint will help or hurt your party politically?

Democrats (25 votes)

Help a lot: 64%
Help a little: 32%
No impact: 0%
Hurt a little: 0%
Hurt a lot: 0%
Other (volunteered): 4%

Help a lot

 

“It underscores our differences on issues people understand and agree with Democrats on. We should send Paul a thank-you note.”

“Ryan is a naive but true believer who is certain in his beliefs, notwithstanding their utter Darwinian nature.”

“Eliminating Medicare and Social Security so millionaires don’t have to pay more in taxes isn’t very popular.”

“Much focus will be on Medicare, but equally compelling is the fact, given the tax treatment of the wealthy, [his plan] is totally unserious about balancing the budget.”

“His budget is out of touch with the American people.”

Help a little

“It’s profoundly disturbing that such an extreme proposal that recklessly reduces domestic spending on the most vulnerable populations in this country, as well as being devoid of any implementable solutions to reduce the deficit and eliminate
the national debt, is the product of a compromise between rival factions of the Republican Party.”

“Ryan deserves credit for earnestly trying to tackle the challenge. His approach is way off, though. This year’s proposal didn’t seem to get the same traction as last year’s, but it still fuels the messaging fire.”

Other

“I honestly don’t know.”

 

Do you think that Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget blueprint will help or hurt your party politically?

Republicans (24 votes) 

Help a lot: 42%
Help a little: 46%
No impact: 8%
Hurt a little: 0%
Hurt a lot: 0%
Other (volunteered): 4%

Help a lot

“It will reinforce that it was the Republicans who were serious about spending cuts, especially when people need to be reminded in September, when Congress will have to vote on raising the debt ceiling once again.”

“Elections are about leadership and contrasts. Obama and the Democrats won’t lead. Ryan and House Republicans will. That will be what voters remember in November.”

“The benefits of a contrast help with our base and fiscal independents.”

“It will show how our party has meaningful solutions to solve our nation’s problems, especially financial ones.”

“It is the responsible thing to do. We cannot keep ignoring the deficits and pretending they will magically disappear. This budget is not as conservative as the [Republican Study Committee’s] budget. It is a sensible plan forward.”

“Senate Democrats haven’t put anything forward and rejected President Obama’s last budget, 97-0. If you can’t put together a budget, you can’t lead.”

Help a little

“It shows that the GOP is serious about making tough choices.”

“It would help a lot more if the media treated it as the political breakthrough that it is. It is time for the Democrats to put their ideas on the table as well.”

“To compare it to a poker game, we might only have a couple aces, but the president has nothing and the Senate has folded.”

No impact

“Good policy for GOP base, but budget-balancing so many decades out undermines the fiscal-responsibility message.”

Other

“Only time will tell, but this is as much a tax-reform plan as it is a budget. We still don’t have enough details about entitlement reform to make a strong public case for these kinds of cuts.”

 

In light of the difficulty moving a transportation bill through Congress, should the ban on earmarks be reconsidered?

Democrats (25 votes)

Yes: 56%
No: 40%
Other (volunteered): 4%

Yes

“I never thought all the power should be given to the executive branch, but it won’t happen for a while due to lack of political courage.”

“It is a silly ban that transfers power to the executive branch.”

“Congressionally directed spending is essential for the system to work in these highly partisan times.”

“The legislative branch needs to act like one by serving the needs of the districts, including local projects of merit.”

“It’s the earmarks, stupid!”

No

“Not sure if that’s the real problem here.”

“I believe the House should simply take up consideration of the Senate-passed bill and pass it if they can.”

“It’s a bad, bad bill. No earmarks can cure this legislation.”

Other

“Earmarks that are requested only by two or more local governments, and are prohibited if any contributor would benefit, would make sense.”

 

In light of the difficulty moving a transportation bill through Congress, should the ban on earmarks be reconsidered?

Republicans (23 votes) 

Yes: 4%
No: 96%

No

“Earmarks were a distraction, and we haven’t regained the public’s trust enough to show we can be trusted again.”

“The ban on earmarks is achieving exactly what Americans want—less spending in Washington.”

“We are finally debating transportation policy and reform rather than merely rubber-stamping a project-driven bill. Can’t go back to bad ol’ days.”

“The ban forces good bills to come to the House floor and makes for better laws for the American people.”

“The earmark ban is an important reform in the effort to restore the public’s trust in Congress.”

“Drive on.”

“The American people won’t stand for it.”

“Although it would be fun to see how pure the most self-righteous among us would be.”

“The public just doesn’t like earmarks, period. The House should just take the Senate bill, amend it, but vote on it. Our NO caucus is never going to vote for anything. We need to govern. This is a jobs issue.”

“Not this year. But it should not be renewed in the next Congress. Banning earmarks may be good politics, but it is bad policy and it inhibits a smooth legislative process.”

“Money should be block-granted to states for them to spend on local projects.”

“We do not need earmarks because Congress people abuse them. There needs to be a process where local needs can compete fairly against other local needs, as the legislative branch has the purse strings and the president should not be the only one to make those decisions.”

“Earmarks should not be brought back for political expediency; they should be brought back because it is the role of Congress to direct federal spending to the districts its members know best and work to represent.”

____

Democratic Congressional Insiders Sens. Sherrod Brown, Ben Cardin, Thomas Carper, Christopher A. Coons, Mark Pryor, Tom Udall; Reps. Jason Altmire, Robert Andrews, Tammy Baldwin, Karen Bass, Xavier Becerra, Howard Berman, Lois Capps, Michael Capuano, Dennis Cardoza, James Clyburn, Gerry Connolly, Joseph Crowley, Diana DeGette, Rosa DeLauro, Elliot Engel, Anna Eshoo, Sam Farr, Chaka Fattah, Bob Filner, Rush Holt, Mike Honda, Marcy Kaptur, Jim Langevin, John Lewis, Zoe Lofgren, Ed Markey, Jim McGovern, Jim Moran, Gary Peters, Collin Peterson, David Price, Linda Sanchez, Kurt Schrader, Allyson Schwartz, Jose Serrano, Bennie Thompson, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Henry Waxman, Peter Welch, and Frederica Wilson.

GOP Congressional Insiders Sens. Johnny Isakson, Richard Lugar, David Vitter; Reps. John Boehner, Charles Boustany, Kevin Brady, John Campbell, Eric Cantor, John Carter, Tom Cole, Mike Conaway, Jeff Denham, David Dreier, Sean Duffy, Jo Ann Emerson, Jeff Flake, Scott Garrett, Bob Goodlatte, Trey Gowdy, Kay Granger, Doc Hastings, Nan Hayworth, Tim Huelskamp, Mike Kelly, Peter King, Jack Kingston, Adam Kinzinger, John Kline, Dan Lungren, Kenny Marchant, Kevin McCarthy, Patrick McHenry, Candice Miller, Sue Myrick, Devin Nunes, Tom Price, Dave Reichert, Reed Ribble, Phil Roe, Paul Ryan, Aaron Schock, David Schweikert, Austin Scott, Adrian Smith, Steve Stivers, Lee Terry, Pat Tiberi, Fred Upton, Daniel Webster, and Joe Wilson.

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