Several top Democrats continued to rail against the budget proposal unveiled this week by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), declaring that instituting the policies proposed by the Republicans would stall the economy and hurt the middle class.
"The Republican budget unveiled by chairman Ryan is an attack on our seniors, our workers, our students, our middle class and our future," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said during her weekly news conference Thursday.
"The Republican plan will cost our economy three million jobs in just two years," she added.
The Ryan plan released this week closely resembles the House GOP budget requests proposed and passed in recent years. The plan would cut federal spending by $5 trillion over the next decade by effectively repealing the Affordable Care Act, making deep cuts to Medicare and cutting taxes significantly for the nation’s wealthiest earners.
Congressional Democrats said Wednesday that the new Republican proposal would play a central role in their midterm election strategy, with Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY), who leads the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said the Ryan budget will be the “defining issue in the midterm elections," while Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) said the proposal was “nothing more than a blueprint” for implementing policies sought Republican mega-donors David and Charles Koch.
Those criticisms were echoed by Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md), the ranking Democrat on the budget committee, who said that the broad cuts to social services included in the Ryan budget would undermine economic recovery.
"Budgets are about choices and if you look at the Republican budget it chooses to rig the rules of the game in the favor of the very wealthy," Van Hollen said.
The harsh criticism of the Ryan budget, which has been a major Democratic talking point since the budget plan was rolled out on Wednesday, comes as the Democrats -- faced with the prospect of potentially losing control of the Senate -- have worked to paint themselves as the the party that is better for the middle class.
"This Republican budget ... is very important, it's important because it tells the American public exactly what the Republicans in Congress would impose on the country if they had the ability."