Pelosi urges colleagues to link Republican tax overhaul to Medicare cuts

Nancy Pelosi
The Democratic leader is hoping colleagues connect the GOP tax cuts with potential cuts to Medicare. (Gage Skidmore-CC BY-SA 2.0)

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is trying to whip her colleagues into linking the Republicans' massive tax cuts with future slashes to Medicare ahead of a competitive midterm election.

"We must continue to amplify the truth about the GOP Tax Scam and the threat to Medicare," Pelosi said in a letter.

The House Democratic leader and former whip is hoping her colleagues drive the talking point home during their district work period, which ends April 6.

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The tax law, which was passed late last year, increased the federal deficit by $1.5 trillion and received no support from Democrats. Lawmakers will likely attempt to find offsets for increases in cuts to federal programs, and entitlement reform has long been a goal for Republicans. 

Pelosi's pleas come ahead of the 2018 midterm elections, where she might get another term as Speaker of the House should her party pick up at least 25 seats. Recent polling puts Democrats ahead by about 7% on the generic congressional ballot according to RealClearPolitics, a poll aggregator. 

RELATED: Trump budget calls for ACA repeal, cuts to Medicare and Medicaid

Pelosi also noted that the president's budget cuts nearly $5 billion from Medicare intended to "improve drug pricing and payment, address opioids, reform payment and delivery systems, and simplify government-imposed provider burdens, address fraud waste and abuse, and reform the Medicare appeals process," according to the administration.

The proposal also included large cuts to Medicaid.

House Speaker Paul Ryan has also signaled that entitlement reform, including Medicare refinements, is a major target for Republicans.

RELATED: Paul Ryan says GOP aiming to cut Medicare, Medicaid spending

“We’re going to get back … at entitlement reform, which is how you tackle the debt and the deficit,” Ryan said last year during an interview with conservative talk show host Ross Kaminsky.

However, there has been little discussion from Republican leadership since then. Ryan, along with other Republican party leaders, has been aggressively promoting the recent tax overhaul as major savings for middle-class families. 

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