House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said Wednesday that dire warnings of big Medicare cuts as a result of the GOP tax plan are scares tactic by Democrats.
The concern about reductions in Medicare and other federal programs stems from a Senate rule designed to prevent increases in the budget deficit.
The Republican tax package is expected to raise the deficit.
The Senate's so-called pay-go rule, as described in a congressional research report, requires any bill that's projected to increase spending or cut revenues to also include equal spending cuts, revenue increases or a combination of the two.
McCarthy said lawmakers shortly after the new year will prevent any Medicare cuts from going into effect. "That is more of a fear of what the Democrats are trying to spread out," the California Republican told CNBC's "Squawk Box." "Remember what [House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi] said: This is 'Armageddon,' this is 'the end of time.'"
Democrats put "a lot of different Pinocchios out there," McCarthy continued. Republicans have wanted to fix Medicare "for quite some time," he added.