Democrats target Rep. Blake Farenthold for supporting GOP House budget

April 21, 2011

A new Democratic “Super PAC” began targeting freshman Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Corpus Christi, on Thursday for supporting the House GOP budget it claims “ends Medicare as we know it and cuts taxes by trillions for the wealthiest Americans.”

“Rep. Blake Farenthold is breaking the trust our country has with its seniors by ending Medicare as we know it, making them pay more for prescriptions drugs, and by forcing them to turn to the private health insurance market,” said Alixandria Lapp, Executive Director of House Majority PAC.

The proposed plan would replace the current Medicare system with tax-payer subsidized private insurance plans, where the beneficiary would be allotted a certain amount based on income then shop around for coverage.

However, Farenthold told Texas on the Potomac that the attacks on the FY 12 budget are “blatantly false,” saying people over 55 won’t see a change in their benefits. Rather, he said, it protects Medicare for future generations. The new plan, effective in 2022, will allow beneficiaries to choose their plan from a list of Medicare options.

“I am appalled that I am being accused of trying to end Medicare. I’m trying to save it. We must preserve and protect Medicare for our seniors,” Farenthold said. “Medicare will go bankrupt in 2021 unless we do something. Burying our heads in the sand and doing nothing is a nightmare scenario for the economy and for future generations.”

The budget authored by House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan, R-Wis., also cuts Medicaid spending, farm subsidies, the federal workforce, puts a pay freeze on federal employees and makes them pay more for their pensions. House Majority complains that it cuts programs, but extends all the tax cuts for the rich.

“House Republicans like Blake Farenthold have no problem asking Texas seniors, middle class families and veterans to make sacrifices, yet refuse to do the same for big corporations and millionaires who would receive trillions in new tax breaks,” Lapp said.

The House Majority PAC, a third-party group run by former Democratic Congressional campaign Committee operatives, launched similar attack ads against nine other GOP lawmakers individually and will air them in their home districts until next week.

The targeted lawmakers include Reps. Paul Gosar (Ariz.), Rick Crawford (Ark.), Allen West (Fla.), Chip Cravaack (Minn.), Charles Bass (N.H.), Ann Marie Buerkle (N.Y.), Joe Heck (Nev.), Francisco Canseco (Texas), and Sean Duffy (Wis.). All won Democratic-held districts last cycle.

Farenthold’s stunning upset victory over long-time incumbent Democrat Solomon Ortiz shocked the Texas political establishment. The Corpus Christi lawyer had received little financial support from national Republican groups but was strongly backed by grassroots Tea Party activists.