Romney owns the Ryan plan

Mitt embraces his VP's Medicare changes; Ryan's post office bill; first gay general; and other top Monday stories

Topics: Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, 2012 Elections, Medicare,

Romney owns the Ryan plan (Credit: AP/Steven Senne)

Romney owns Ryan’s plan: Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan sat down for their first joint interview last night on CBS’s “60 Minutes,” in which Romney defended Ryan’s controversial Medicare plan. “What Paul Ryan and I have talked about is saving Medicare, is providing people greater choice in Medicare, making sure it’s there for current seniors,” Romney said. Ryan’s plan would fundamentally change Medicare by moving it away from a guaranteed benefit program to a voucherized “premium support” model in which seniors are given subsidies to pay for care. But those subsidies wouldn’t keep up with medical costs over time.

Ryan’s bills: Romney’s campaign advisers said the candidate picked Ryan in part for his D.C. and legislative experience, but the congressman has passed only two bills during 13 years in Congress — and neither are very consequential. Ryan sucessfully got a bill signed into law in 2000 that renamed a post office in his district. The other bill was a 2008 piece of legislation that tweaked the excise tax on archery arrows — instead of a 12.4 percent sales tax, arrows now get a flat rate. Ryan is an avid bow hunter and likely benefited from the change.

Another military milestone:  Brig. Gen. Tammy S. Smith became the military’s first openly gay flag officer (a general or admiral) Friday when she had her wife pin her new star on her uniform in a promotion ceremony. The couple married in March 2011 in D.C. Sue Fulton, a spokeswoman for OutServe, an organization of lesbians and gay men in the military, said there are likely other gay flag officers serving less openly and that Smith’s public acknowledgment is a significant milestone.



Sarah Palin skipping convention: The former Alaska governor will not be speaking at the Republican National Convention, though it’s unclear whose choice that was. “This year is a good opportunity for other voices to speak at the convention, and I’m excited to hear them … I intend to focus on grassroots efforts to rally Independents and the GOP base to elect Senate and House members so a wise Congress is ready to work with our new President to get our country back on the right path,” she said in a statement.

Holding the fire on Holder: Rep. Darrell Issa is suing Attorney General Eric Holder over the Fast and Furious gun walking scandal, demanding documents that Holder has said he can’t hand over. The case likely won’t be decided before January, when a new Congress gets sworn in, and thus is largely meaningless, but it allows Republicans to keep up the pressure on Holder to score political points. Issa’s committee said they would file a civil contempt suit today.

Alex Seitz-Wald

Alex Seitz-Wald is Salon's political reporter. Email him at aseitz-wald@salon.com, and follow him on Twitter @aseitzwald.

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