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The GOP hopes to get to a deal in the next few weeks.Democrats have long viewed the Medicare plan as an albatross for the GOP, and are all but daring the party to make it part of their 2016 message.“Plain and simple, the House Republican budget makes it harder to retire, particularly through plans to privatize Medicare.And by ramming this reckless, irresponsible and destructive budget through, every Republican on the ballot will have to answer for it in November,” said Meredith Kelly, press secretary for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

Democrats had similarly predicted that Medicare would be election poison for Republicans in 2014, only to see their party lose control of the Senate in a disastrous showing that gave Republicans a historic House majority.

In 2012, Democrats used Ryan’s Medicare plan for campaign ammunition, but picked up only eight seats in the House, far short of the 25 they had targeted.“When it comes to Medicare, one thing has been abundantly clear over the past several elections — seniors aren’t buying the deceptive scare tactics that Democrats have been peddling,” said Ian Prior, press secretary for the National Republican Campaign Committee.

“They know that it was Democrats who voted to cut $700 billion from Medicare when they passed Obama Care.

Paul Ryan Court rules against FEC in ad case Overnight Finance: Senators near funding deal | Ryan bullish on tax reform | Sanders presses feds on Wells Fargo probe The Trail 2016: Terrorism and the race for the White House MORE (R-Wis.).

The House budget includes Ryan’s proposal to convert Medicare into a premium support system in 2024, giving new beneficiaries the option of enrolling in private insurance.

Republicans have long seen Medicare reform as a key ingredient in getting Washington’s spending under control, and are under pressure now that they control both chambers of Congress to put their beliefs to the test. C.) insisted he’s “up for” reforming Medicare, but said Senate Republicans are unlikely to embrace the House’s plan.“I think that might be difficult to get through our conference,” said Graham, a possible presidential candidate next year.

The problem is that Senate Republicans must defend 24 seats in 2016 to keep their majority, and they are not excited about jumping into a battle with Democrats over a sensitive entitlement program ahead of the election, particularly when President Obama might veto the proposal in the first place. “Probably some people disagree with the concept [and] some people are up for reelection.”Sen.

(R-Ohio), who could face a difficult re-election race against former Gov.

Ted Strickland (D-Ohio) next year, also deferred on the Ryan plan.

He said he wants to stick with the Senate’s budget proposal, which would find 0 billion in Medicare savings requested by Obama, but leave the traditional program intact.“My sense is the Senate approach — which takes the president’s number on Medicare and then provides flexibility to the authorizing committees of jurisdiction — is the way the Senate would like to go,” Portman said.“That’s the way I would prefer to go because I think that enables the committees to be able to do their work, hopefully on a bipartisan basis.”Republicans are going to have to make a decision at some point in the budget process, but it’s unlikely to happen when House and Senate GOP negotiators merge their two blueprints this month.

A final budget adopted by both chambers would trigger a budget procedure that would leave major policy decisions up to committees this summer.

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