Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., isn’t outright rejecting the Senate’s Gang of Six plan that purports to cut the deficit by up to $4 trillion over 10 years — but he is calling it a “backroom bill” whose numbers, he says, “don’t add up.”
In a Fox News appearance on the top-rated “Hannity” program Tuesday evening, Ryan, the chairman of the House Budget Committee, said he welcomed the Senate’s effort to offer alternative solutions to the debt-ceiling impasse.
He also pointedly observed: “There's one person who is pretty important to all of this that hasn't put a plan on the table yet, that's President Obama.”
Fox host Sean Hannity interviewed Ryan shortly after the House passed its “cut, cap, and balance plan,” which most observers see as a nonstarter in the Senate.
Ryan told Hannity the Gang of Six proposal is actually a framework or outline, rather than a specific plan that could be scored by the Congressional Budget Office.
The details of the plan would be filled in over the course of coming weeks and months. Observers expect Congress still would need to approve an interim increase in the debt ceiling.
Host Sean Hannity asked Ryan how the Senate plan differs from the plan passed by the House.
Ryan called the Senate proposal “A backroom bill, a bill that has numbers that don't add up. I won't get in all the budget nomenclature. But it is very difficult to add up all the claims that are being made with this bill, based upon what they've put out.
“So, I don't know if it is real spending cuts. We don't know how they make their revenues add up the way they claim. And more to the point, the reason they are doing all of this because the Senate hasn't passed a budget for over 810 days.
“So … I understand why senators are frustrated,” Ryan said. “They haven't budgeted for two years. We passed our budget. This deal that we passed today, cut and cap, reflects our budget.”
When it comes to budgets, Ryan said, the Democratic-controlled Senate had failed to take action for the past two years.
“And so, I guess that's why the six people are frustrated,” he said. “But the plan they put out there, it is difficult to see how old our numbers add up quite honestly.”
Ryan called the Senate’s effort constructive, however, adding: “You know, let's just say, at least they are putting something on the table. The president hasn't once put a proposal on the table to fix our fiscal problems. He talks about these ideas but no actions.”
Ryan added that he “can’t imagine” the House would approve any debt ceiling increase without spending cuts.
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