Questions for Martha McSally: How will you vote on the Paul Ryan 4.0 Budget?

CD2 Candidate Martha McSally
CD2 Candidate Martha McSally

Martha McSally spent the 2014 campaign trying to disown and distance herself from the Tea Party version of Martha McSally in 2012 on social security, Medicare and the draconian Paul Ryan Budget.

“Did I say that? Pshaw! I didn’t mean to say that!” Our feckless GOP-friendly media let her get away with it.

Now it appears that Martha McSally may be headed to Congress. McSally is going to have to take recorded votes on controversial issues, there will be C-Span video and a Congressional Record, and she is going to have to explain her votes to both her constituents and the media. Life just got real.

The draconian Paul Ryan Budget was just an aspirational Tea Party dream of gutting the federal government as long as Democrats controlled the Senate. But now that Tea-Publicans control both houses of Congress, the Paul Ryan 4.0 Budget may very well become the operating budget document of the new Tea-Publican controlled Congress. And Martha McSally is going to have to cast votes on it.

Greg Sargent of the Washington Post writes, The Paul Ryan blueprint is back!:

For House Republicans, their guiding fiscal and economic lodestar remains — and will forever remain — the hallowed Paul Ryan budget. In its various iterations, it would repeal Obamacare, radically restructure Medicare to the detriment of beneficiaries, block-grant Medicaid, and aim most of its draconian budget cuts at programs benefiting people with lower incomes. Robert Greenstein of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has said earlier versions would result in “the largest redistribution of income from bottom to top in modern U.S. history.”

So it’s not surprising that House Republicans appear to be reading their big victory in the 2014 elections as a mandate to bring it back once again. The New York Times reports this morning that they plan to try to pass something akin to Ryan Budget 4.0, and leave it to the new GOP Senate majority to deal with it:

Next year, House Republicans will try again to transform Medicare and Medicaid repeal the Affordable Care Act, shrink domestic spending and substantially cut the highest tax rates through the budget process. Then they will leave it to the new Senate Republican majority to decide how far to press the party’s small anti-government vision, senior House aides said this week.

House Republican officials said the first budget blueprint of the 114th Congress will not stray far from the plans drafted by Representative Paul D. RyanCongressional Republicans intend to present a plan to overhaul Medicare, calling for voucherlike “premium supports” to steer people 65 and over into buying commercial health insurance, and to transform Medicaid, which would be cut and turned into block grants to state governments

Interestingly, though, the new Senate GOP budget chair, Jeff Sessions, is sounding a cautionary note about whether Senate Republicans will go along. As the Times notes, this poses a “test” for incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who will have to balance the demands of conservatives who want fealty to the Ryan vision with moderate Senators facing reelection who might be reluctant to go that far.

* * *

if Republicans do claim an electoral mandate to revive the Ryan blueprint, a bit of context is in order. For one thing, while it is true that Republicans just won a big election, they lost another very big election only two years ago that was very much about the Ryan budget. Indeed, the author of the Paul Ryan blueprint — Paul Ryan — happened to find his way to the top of the ticket. And Democrats made the Ryan budget an issue in multiple Senate races they won that year.

For another, in the 2014 elections, some Republicans actually resorted to attacking Democrats from the left on entitlements, even in red states. As conservative writer Philip Klein has noted, this was actually a departure from a “limited government” vision based on the need to reform entitlements. Meanwhile, Republican post-election polling strongly suggested Obamacare — whose repeal is central to the Ryan vision — was not a major factor in the election’s outcome.

Will our local GOP-friendly media hold Martha McSally’s feet to the fire on her votes? Riiiight. They are bought and paid for. But the bloggers here at Blog for Arizona will be watching you, Ms. McSally:

Every breath you take
Every move you make
Every bond you break
Every step you take
I’ll be watching you.


Every single day
Every word you say
Every game you play
Every night you stay
I’ll be watching you.


Every move you make
Every vow you break
Every smile you fake
Every claim you stake
I’ll be watching you.

Every Breath You Take, by The Police


  1. I am certain she is quivering in fear at the thought that you will be watching her. After all, you and this blog were such great supporters for her.

  2. if she votes on a budget that will be more than any democratic Senator did in 2010, 2010, 2011, and 2012.

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