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Tea Party Congressman Denny Rehberg (R) was one of a very few Republicans to vote against the Paul Ryan Budget which ends Medicare as we know it. Sure, his decision to vote against it ruffled some feathers with the Montana Tea Party but in retrospect, a good move to make in order to make himself look sane and rational. Well there's evidence that's coming out that though Rehberg didn't vote for the Paul Ryan Budget to save his ass, he's always been in favor of privatizing medicare and Social Security. Read on:
U.S. Senate candidate Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-MT) denied supporting a Republican proposal to transform Medicare into a voucher program during a debate with Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) on Saturday, despite voting in favor of such a measure in April of 2009.You can watch Rehberg's opponent, Senator Jon Tester (D) put Rehberg in a gotcha position:
The Republican Congressman has sought to distance himself from Paul Ryan’s budget throughout the campaign, highlighting his independence from the GOP. And although he voted against Ryan’s blueprint in 2011 and 2012, Rehberg seemed caught off guard when Tester reminded the Republican of his vote to weaken the popular health care program. - Think Progress, 10/22/12
Here's a little more info on the 2009 budget amendment Rehberg voted for:
But the 2009 budget amendment Rehberg supported would have closed off traditional Medicare for Americans 54 and younger. They would have had to purchase private coverage using “a premium support payment” that depreciates over time and pay significantly more for their health care.Also, here's the list of the votes for the 2009 budget amendment that Rehberg voted for:
Ryan’s amendment also proposed to as much as $1 trillion from Medicaid, transforming the existing funding structure (which keeps up with health costs) into a block grant for the states. - Think Progress, 10/22/12
Now here's Rehberg's pathetic rebuttal:
I have never voted to harm Medicare or Social Security. I’ll do everything I can, and as a promise to the seniors that I will always vote to preserve and protect Social Security and Medicare…. One of the reasons I voted against the Ryan budget, because it had changes in Medicare that I didn’t believe was in the best interest of Montana seniors. I promise to Montana’s seniors that I will always vote, I will never vote to privatize Social Security, I will never vote to privatize Medicare. - Intelligent Discontent, 10/22/12Rehberg is also lying about never being in favor of harming Social Security. Well that's just a flat out lie. Here's Rehberg in 1996 in his failed attempt to unseat Senator Max Baucus (D. MT):
Now in Rehberg's defense, he claims that his statement was meant to end Social Security as we know it for those who don't need it. Well Denny boy, there are a lot of people who will need Social Security, especially the baby boomers. Or do you not think they need it? If Rehberg's views towards earned benefits isn't enough to convince you not to vote for him, Intelligent Discontent, a progressive blog based in Big Sky, has 40 reasons why you wouldn't want Rehberg in the Senate:
This has been one of the most expensive and closest races in the country right now. here you have a rich Tea Party congressman trying to distance himself from Paul Ryan yet his views are in lock step with Paul Ryan. Tester has and will always be a defender of Social Security and Medicare. He's a proven fighter for Montana's senior citizens, middle-class and ranchers. The Billings Gazette recently endorsed Senator Tester's for a second term and they have a great list of reasons why Tester deserves to be re-elected:
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- Tester made Montana veterans his top priority: He worked for a law that provides employer incentives for hiring veterans, authored legislation to triple the paltry VA mileage reimbursement for veterans, pushed VA to replace the inadequate clinic in Billings and to expand it as need is growing. Tester worked with VA to designate the Yellowstone County Veterans Cemetery as a national veterans cemetery.This part of the article hits it right out of the park for Tester and nails Rehberg hard:
- When proposed new federal food inspection rules threatened to overwhelm Montana producers, Tester created an exemption for small producers.
- When Montana biotech companies sought Tester’s help in overcoming obstacles to raising startup capital, he helped write key provisions of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act that was signed into law earlier this year.
- When Montana bankers told him a new Federal Reserve regulation would hurt small banks, he stuck his neck out for them.
- The 2009 stimulus law Tester supported put Montanans to work building roads all across the state, including Shiloh Road. The Montana Legislature appropriated $45 million in stimulus money to fund city and county projects statewide. Billings would not have repaired its public schools without the stimulus law, which authorized the two bond issues that local voters approved.
- Tester teamed up with a Republican congressman from Idaho to put Montana and Idaho officials in charge of wolf management.
- Tester brought Montanans together to figure out better ways to manage federal forests. The result was that many Montana lumber businesses, sportsmen and conservationists supported the Forest Jobs and Recreation Act. Rehberg prevailed on the GOP-controlled House to kill it, thus stymieing an effort that his former boss (Marc Racicot) has called “a careful balance of interests and imperatives. - Billings Gazette, 10/21/12
A hard-working moderate, Sen. Jon Tester has accomplished more for Montana in his first term than Rep. Denny Rehberg has in twice that time. - Billings Gazette, 10/21/12We need to protect the safety net from extremists like Denny Rehberg and Paul Ryan and we do that by keeping the Senate in the Democrats control. We are on the verge of having 57 seats in the Senate and Tester's re-election secures that 57 seat majority. Safe Social Security and Medicare, contribute to Tester's campaign:
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