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Dana Balter supporters in TV ad: John Katko 'sold out' Medicare and Social Security

Dana Balter supporters in TV ad: John Katko 'sold out' Medicare and Social Security

Balter Katko

U.S. Rep. John Katko, a Republican, is running for reelection in the 24th Congressional District. Dana Balter, right, is the Democratic nominee. 

Democratic candidate Dana Balter is renewing her criticism of Republican U.S. Rep. John Katko's support for the 2017 tax in a new television commercial released Tuesday. 

The 30-second ad, which is airing on broadcast and cable stations in the Syracuse market, features older central New York voters who are supporting Balter, D-Syracuse, in the 24th Congressional District. 

In the ad, the group pans Katko's vote for the 2017 tax law, which studies have shown will add nearly $2 trillion to the national debt. But the main focus of the ad was the claim that Katko "sold out" Medicare and Social Security. 

Balter's supporters point to Katko's support of the Balanced Budget Amendment in 2018. Records confirm that Katko voted for the amendment in the House. Critics of the amendment say that it would harm Medicare and Social Security because it would require significant cuts to both programs. 

In past interviews and statements, Katko has said he opposes cuts to Medicare and Social Security. He recently spoke out against a payroll tax cut for that reason — that it would adversely impact Medicare and Social Security. 

The ad also repeats a claim made in another ad — that Katko sided with President Donald Trump by voting to "block Medicare from negotiating low drug prices." 

Katko voted against a House Democrats' prescription drug price reform proposal that included, among other provisions, the ability for Medicare to negotiate drug prices with pharmaceutical companies. The negotiated prices would then be offered to Americans. 

After the vote, Katko told The Citizen that while he supports prescription drug price reform, he opposed the House Democrats' bill because it was "highly partisan." He also expressed concern that it would "stifle innovation and growth" — one of the complaints from the pharmaceutical industry about the Democratic plan. 

The ad released by Balter is her fourth of the general election campaign. Two years ago, she didn't release her first general election ad until late August. 

Politics reporter Robert Harding can be reached at (315) 282-2220 or Follow him on Twitter @robertharding.


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Online producer and politics reporter

I have been The Citizen's online producer and politics reporter since December 2009. I'm the author of the Eye on NY blog and write the weekly Eye on NY column that appears every Sunday in the print edition of The Citizen and online at

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