This week, an off-year special election in Buffalo and a purely symbolic vote in the Senate might tell Republicans all they need to know about the mercurial politics of Medicare reform.
First up is New York’s 26th District in a special election Tuesday. If Democrat Kathy Hochul wins — she is leading by 4 to 6 points in the latest polls — it not only would be a setback for House Republicans but would send a message to Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and his key lieutenants that their Medicare overhaul plan could become a serious political liability.
And on the Senate floor later this week, Democrats are planning to force a vote on the 2012 budget proposal offered by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.). Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and other top Democrats want to put Senate Republicans on the
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