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Congress: The Medicare squeeze

Roll Call sets the table on what’s at stake for Republicans in the coming Senate vote on the Paul Ryan budget: “After seeing GOP presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich get pummeled for calling the House Budget chairman's plan to overhaul Medicare ‘right-wing social engineering,’ Republicans have begun to realize that opposing Ryan does not come without a cost from the party's base. But changing Medicare into a subsidy for private insurance is a big loser in general election polls, and Ryan's plan is giving Democrats new hope that they will take back the House and retain the Senate in 2012.”

Another “pivot” to jobs? “House Republicans are trying again to focus their efforts on a job creation agenda, with leaders acknowledging they want to boost the GOP’s political standing with voters,” Roll Call says, adding, “The majority has struggled to promote a clear vision on how its economic priorities will boost job growth in the private sector. Instead, party leaders have focused most on cutting spending. They instructed Republican committee chairmen to strip away extraneous government regulations that they argue stifle job growth — an effort that is more difficult to translate into a messaging strategy than the catchier Democratic plan dubbed ‘Make It in America.’”

Zing. Roll Call has this headline: “Issa Promised Tough, but So Far Oversight Isn’t.”