Rep. Paul Ryan: Obama Just Ignores Budget Quagmire

Thursday, 17 Mar 2011 02:59 PM

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Both Republicans and Democrats have complained about President Barack Obama’s lack of leadership on the budget issue. And Wisconsin GOP Rep. Paul Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee, gave strong voice to those concerns Thursday, Politico reports.

Paul Ryan, Obama, budget,
Rep. Paul Ryan, in a 2010 photo citing documents, said Thursday that President Obama is "punting" on the budget. (Getty Images)
“I think actions matter, and I think his actions suggest that he’s punting,” Ryan said at a breakfast gathering. “He is ignoring the problem, and his people know better.”

Ryan has “never discussed” budgetary issues with Obama, he said. The last time they had a one-on-one conversation was when the president called Ryan after the November elections to congratulate him for Republicans’ resounding victory. Ryan said he has expressed interest to the White House in speaking with Obama about the budget.

Ryan also said at the breakfast that Republicans are putting themselves at political risk by taking the lead on entitlement reforms that will include benefit cuts, The Hill reports.

“Is this a political weapon we are handing our adversaries? Of course it is,” he said. “I think everybody knows that we are walking into I guess what you would call a political trap that arguably we are setting for ourselves . . . but we can't wait. This needs leadership.”

Congress must rise above politics, Ryan says. “If you just follow the polls, you are nothing but a follower.”

He said it "just boggles my mind" that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid Wednesday expressed a desire to address Social Security in 20 years. That indicates “we don't have any partners” among Democrats on the issue, Ryan said.


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