New York Republicans prepare to defend Paul Ryan’s budget plan, or not

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Bob Turner. (Azi Paybarah, via flickr)
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Republican congressman Paul Ryan's revised budget plan passed the House yesterday, on a mostly party-line vote of 228 to 191.

The plan would drastically reduce federal spending levels and rearrange the tax code. It's the conservative-Republican budget road map, in black and white.

No Democrats voted for it, but ten Republicans voted against it, in defiance of a fierce whipping effort by House leadership.

The only New Yorker to break ranks was Representative Chris Gibson of Kinderhook, a military veteran of 25 years who opposed some of the bill's defense spending.

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That means New York's other seven Republican House members will get to spend the next six months defending the theoretical budget document, which has no chance of passing the Senate anyway.

Democrats have already begun hammering Republicans for supporting it, hoping to re-create the magic from Kathy Hochul's upset victory in Western New York last year, when they successfully ran against Ryan's proposal in a heavily Republican district.

And there's early evidence that it's already confounding some Republican hopefuls in Hochul's backyard.

Erie County Executive Chris Collins declined to tell the Buffalo News whether he supports the plan, and his opponent in the primary, Iraq War veteran David Bellavia, initially told the reporter he supported it, before calling back a half hour later to oppose it.

Democrats seem to have their talking points down; Hochul reprised her 2011 attacks, saying it "reduces taxes for millionaires and billionaires while at the same time cutting Medicare and ending Medicare as we know it," and Representative Louise Slaughter said it was "morally bankrupt." (Ryan's latest plan is an amended version of the one Hochul ran against, with the most significant change being that the new plan wouldn't entirely privatize Medicare.)

Representative Bob Turner, who helped neutralize the Democrats' momentum on the issue by winning a special election in a heavily Democratic district shortly after Hochul's victory, voted in favor of the plan yesterday, despite some reservations.

Turner had taken the issue off the table in his House race by saying he'd vote against the Ryan plan and protect entitlements. He's currently vying for the Republican nomination to face Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.

Turner, like other Republican Senate candidates, seems to be hoping that the mere fact that the House passed a plan will provide a contrast with Senate Democrats, who haven't passed one in about three years. 

Or perhaps he simply doesn't feel he has much to lose.

Ryan plan

Collins said asking him about the revised Medicare provisions in Ryan's proposal is "just an attempt by the left to grab some cheap sound bite.” [Jerry Zremski]

Gibson explains his opposition to the plan. [Casey Seiler]

Politicker sees a Turner flip-flop. [David Freedlander]

Here's the House vote, with abstentions from Gregory Meeks, Maurice Hinchey and Charlie Rangel. [House]

The plan could get more controversial, as committee chairs are tasked with finding the spending cuts called for in the plan. [David Rogers]

The House also voted down President Obama's budget 414-0. [Associated Press]

Non-Ryan 2012

A longtime columnist says Adriano Espaillat's run against Rangel "could roil the city’s ethnic and racial politics more than any election in the past quarter-century," and Bill Perkins fears the old "switcheroo." [Juan Gonzalez]

Espaillat and Hakeem Jeffries wouldn't rule out running for their old seats if they don't win the congressional primaries. [Chris Bragg]

Michael Grimm is robo-calling all over the place. [Celeste Katz]

Dartmouth students analyze a potential Senate race between two alumni, Kirsten Gillibrand ('88) and Wendy Long ('82). [Blaze Joel]

The Post picks up on Gawker's Matt Doheny "makeout mystery" and says it has obtained video. [Carl Campanile]

Local Republicans are standing by him, and House Speaker John Boehner will chip in $5,000. [Brian Amaral]

Meanwhile, voters are "pleading" and "yearning" to see some emotion from Mitt Romney. [Ashley Parker]

What they'll get is more foreign policy attacks on Obama. [Scott Wilson]

2013

Christine Quinn plans to ask the Council to exempt Hudson Yards from the prevailing wage requirements. [Kate Taylor]

John Liu was only able to provide a memo from his general counsel clearing campaign aide Chung Seto to work on some comptroller's office operations, not the letter from ethics officials that he originally claimed. [Josh Margolin]

Publisher-candidate Tom Allon might switch parties, but Republicans would rather have John Catsimatidis. [Michael Howard Saul]

Albany

The Journal finds some pork buried in Andrew Cuomo's budget. [Jacob Gershman and Lisa Fleisher]

"The War of 1812 is finally getting some respect," in the state budget at least. [Thomas Kaplan]

Page Six's disputed Miami sighting of Governor Andrew Cuomo has "handed Cuomo spokesman Josh Vlasto a cudgel to beat up the Post for every story they don’t like for years to come." [City and State]

Assemblyman Jack McEneny gives his farewell speech. [Jimmy Vielkind]

Lew Fidler leads by three in a fierce counting process for a State Senate seat that's being eliminated. [Colin Campbell

Media

It's the last day in Washington for the Watertown Daily Times, which had been the smallest paper with a D.C. bureau. [Bob Gorman]