The Chatter: Yarmuth not wild about entitlement reforms plus Sen. Paul gained respect from one Democratic Senator

03/13/2013 01:20 PM

House Republicans have come up with a plan for a balanced budget over ten years, but Kentucky Democratic U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth said cuts to health care are not the way to achieve that.

Republican congressman and former vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan rolled out his latest plan to balance the budget within a decade on Tuesday. His proposal pushes to reform entitlement programs and keep tight caps on annual spending.

Yarmuth, the Kentucky delegation’s lone Democrat, appeared on MSNBC Tuesday and was asked what if any compromise he would be willing to do on entitlements in a budget discussion.

While the president has discussed being open to changing how cost of living increases are calculated under Social Security, Yarmuth says he is still not sold on changes to the program.

“The most dramatic impact is on the people who can afford it least but we can talk about that. I am one that thinks ultimately we are going to need to means test medicare. And we can certainly tax the benefits under social security for higher income seniors as well,” Yarmuth said (in video below).

(video courtesy of MSNBC)

U.S. Sen. Baldwin says Paul gained respect through filibuster

New U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin, D- Wisconsin, was interviewed by Susan Page of USA TODAY and was asked about last week’s 13-hour filibuster by Kentucky U.S. Senator Rand Paul.

Page said she can not imagine two senators with more differences than Paul and the Wisconsin Democrat. But she asked how Baldwin felt about the question of whether the president has the ability to carry out drone strikes on American citizens on U.S. soil.

Baldwin said she would like to hear more about the guidance the president is given on the issue. But Baldwin said she identified with Paul’s civil liberties arguments during his filibuster because she has worked to protect civil liberties during her time in office.

And Baldwin said Paul garnered respect for voicing his opinion in the way that he did.

“There was a lot of respect for someone who didn’t just phone in a hold or an objection or even come to the floor and place that hold or objection and then walk out,” Baldwin said in the interview. “I think the fact that someone would stay and state their opinions on an issue was respected regardless of the context of the larger filibuster debate,” (at the 10:00 mark in the interview with USA Today).


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