Rep. Keith Ellison is rounding up Democrats to stage a “mini-filibuster” in the House today over the GOP's Medicare plan.
Continuing an offensive on the Republican's 2012 budget from Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan — which Republicans say saves Medicare but Democrats say destroys it (more on the debate here) — Ellison is asking Democrats to deliver five-minute speeches Tuesday afternoon to extend debate on a bill that would help reduce funding for graduate medical education.
“Mr. Ellison would like your boss’s help speaking out against the Republican Plan to End Medicare," an Ellison aide wrote to Democratic offices Monday, in an e-mail obtained by Hot Dish, which described the plan as a “mini-filibuster."
"Our goal is to use the HR 1216 the health care bill on the floor tomorrow as a proxy to again beat up on the R’s about their plan to end Medicare since that is getting so much traction.”
Democrats have hammered Republicans over the Ryan budget and Medicare, which is said to be playing a major role in an upstate New York special House election being held today, where Democrat Kathy Hochul is poised for an upset win in a Republican-leaning district.
Ellison, co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, has at least 25 Democrats on board, including his co-chair Arizona Rep. Raul Grijalva.
The health-care bill being considered Tuesday is limited to one-hour of debate, but Ellison intends to use a House procedural maneuver offering a “pro-forma amendment” that allows members to talk for an extra five minutes of debate.