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Parties Pivot Quickly to Recess Messages

Bill Clark/Roll Call

Similarly, House Democrats are proud they managed to protect Medicare and Social Security in the initial round of spending cuts, as well as the $1.2 trillion in automatic cuts that go into effect in 2013 if the special committee created by the deal deadlocks or Congress fails to act on the panel’s recommendations.

The Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction is charged with finding up to $1.5 trillion in savings over 10 years before the end of the year. House Democrats attribute their win in New York’s 26th district special election in May to their opposition to the House GOP budget resolution, which would overhaul Medicare.

“House Democrats lived up to their promise to protect Medicare and social benefits in the debt deal, guaranteeing that the House GOP votes to end Medicare will remain front and center,” a senior Democratic aide said.

House Democrats were also told to stress their “Make It in America” agenda, which includes legislation that party lawmakers have proposed in recent years, some of which has drawn bipartisan support and the endorsement of the Obama administration.

“Republicans have been in charge for more than 200 days, passed zero bills, voted to destroy 2 million jobs, and voted against 10 Democratic jobs initiatives,” according to Democratic messaging materials.

“Now that the debt deal is behind us, going into August, House Democrats will focus on American’s top priority: putting people back to work, contrasting it with the Republicans’ top priority of ending Medicare,” the senior Democratic aide said. “That is a unifying message for Democrats.”

House Republican aides declined to share Conference messaging materials with Roll Call for this story. But multiple releases issued Tuesday by the National Republican Congressional Committee suggested House Republicans would push a jobs message similar to that of their Senate colleagues — one that focuses on private-sector job creation while blaming Democratic policies for the struggling economy.

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