Fox News host Jon Scott suggested today that Democrats shouldn't criticize Medicare provisions in Paul Ryan's budget because “one of their own,” Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), was a “cosponsor” of Ryan's plan. But while Wyden did write a Medicare policy paper with Ryan, he ultimately voted against Ryan's budget and has criticized the idea that it has bipartisan support.
On today's broadcast of Fox's Happening Now, Scott asked his guest about the Ryan plan, saying: “The Democrats are saying, you know, 'Extremist position on Medicare.' They're saying it's Social Darwinism, that kind of thing. And yet, conveniently ignoring that one of their own, Ron Wyden of Oregon, is a cosponsor of the Ryan plan.”
But while Wyden did co-author a paper with Ryan in December 2011, he was not a “cosponsor” of Ryan's budget, nor did he support the Medicare changes the budget would have imposed. In fact, Wyden voted against Ryan's plan -- which called for “significant cuts for future Medicare benefits” -- when it was put forward in the Senate in May 2011. As Roll Call noted this week, Wyden “never signed on to support the House-adopted budget resolution written by Ryan that included plans for a premium support approach.”
Not only did Wyden vote against Ryan's plan, he has specifically rejected the idea that his work with Ryan suggests there is bipartisan support for Ryan's plan. As Roll Call reported, Wyden called such an idea “nonsense”:
At a Saturday campaign stop with his new vice presidential pick, Rep. Paul Ryan (Wis.), Romney praised the House Budget chairman's work with Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden (Ore.) to develop a Medicare overhaul plan.
“This man said, 'I'm going to find Democrats to work with.' He found a Democrat to co-lead a piece of legislation that makes sure we can save Medicare,” Romney said in Ashland, Va. “Republicans and Democrats coming together. He's a man who has great ideas and the capacity to lead to find people to cross the aisle - to work together.”
Wyden was quick to push back on Romney's version of events.
“Gov. Romney is talking nonsense. Bipartisanship requires that you not make up the facts. I did not 'co-lead a piece of legislation.'” Wyden said. “I wrote a policy paper on options for Medicare. Several months after the paper came out, I spoke and voted against the Medicare provisions in the Ryan budget.”