Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said on the Senate floor that the GOP plan would break a promise to the nation's sick and elderly and ask seniors to pay more for care in exchange for fewer benefits. “So it's easy to understand why the American people won't support it,” Reid said in his prepared remarks. “I won't support it, either.”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) appeared to acknowledge that the House budget was doomed in the Senate when he told “Fox News Sunday” that “all of these budgets are interesting to discuss and debate, but none of them are going to pass.” Changes to Medicare would come, McConnell said, only when Congress votes to raise the federal government's borrowing authority by an Aug. 2 deadline.
“What is going to pass at some point is something, Chris, related to Medicare and Medicaid, in connection with raising the debt ceiling this summer,” McConnell said, according to a transcript.
The Senate will vote on the House-passed budget this week, according to a spokesman for the Senate Democratic leadership, but it remains possible that the body also will vote on alternative budget proposals—the most recent of which was introduced May 19 by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Tenn.). Senate Democrats will not offer their own budget, according to Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), until at least late summer.
At a Monday news conference, Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) also announced his plans to vote against the House budget plan, in part, because it supports changing Medicare into an insurance premium subsidy system. “I was against the Ryan budget the minute I saw it, folks, because I saw that it was a budget that would destroy this country,” Kerry said.