Democrats picked up a heavily-Republican upstate New York congressional seat Tuesday in a special election that became a referendum on Medicare. Erie County Clerk Kathy Hochul edged past Republican assemblywoman Jane Corwin to win the seat in the 26th district. Corwin saw her lead dissolve after coming out in favor of a GOP budget plan that calls for heavily cutting Medicare. U.S. Senator Mike Lee, R-Utah, who supports a balanced budget amendment says cutting Medicare is a necessity. “I think anyone who is being honest about the issues presented by Medicare will have to acknowledge that Medicare, in its current form, cannot continue in perpetuity,” Lee said in a teleconference with reporters Tuesday. “The Medicare trustees themselves acknowledge that it’s going bankrupt. “It’s moving in a direction that will ultimately result in our not being able to fund it adequately.” Lee says Congressman Paul Ryan’s budget pan is a good first step but does not cut Medicare enough. Also during the teleconference, Lee said he sides with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, a man he calls one of our greatest allies in the world. Lee said that he rejects President Obama’s suggestion that an Israeli-Palestinian peace process should start at the 1967 borders. The Republican senator says the prime minister is an example that democracy can succeed in the Middle East.
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