Paul Ryan: Will 'Sleep Really Well' After Budget Deal

Image: Paul Ryan: Will 'Sleep Really Well' After Budget Deal

Wednesday, 11 Dec 2013 09:36 PM

By Greg Richter

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Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., says the compromises he made to arrive at the budget deal between himself and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., were worth it, and he doesn't worry about their hurting his political future.

"Look, if I think like that, then we're going to get nothing done," Ryan told CNN's "The Lead with Jake Tapper" on Wednesday. "In respect to the future, I'll just let the chips fall where they may, and I'll sleep really well."

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Ryan, the House Budget Committee chairman, and Murray, his Senate counterpart, decided from the outset to get to know each other and keep their emotions in check during the negotiations, Ryan said.

Also, he said, "we wanted to make sure that we didn't demand or insist that the other person had to violate a core principle, that we would instead look for where common ground exists."

They took the three budgets presented by the House, Senate, and President Barack Obama and overlapped them to see where they were the same, then solicited other ideas from colleagues, he told Tapper.

That allowed them to come up with $85 billion of savings from mandatory spending to pay for $63 billion of relief from the across-the-board spending cuts known as the sequester.

Though several conservative groups and Republican senators have expressed disappointment with the deal, saying it doesn't go far enough and raises taxes, Ryan said members of the conservative Republican Study Committee and the House Republican Conference were pleased with it when he talked to them about it earlier Wednesday.

"I'm not going to begrudge anybody who for one reason or another chooses not to vote for it," Ryan told Tapper. "These things aren't perfect, but we think this is a step in the right direction."

Ryan acknowledged he'd like something that went farther as well, but it is impossible to pass such a deal with a Democrat in the White House and with Democrats controlling the Senate.

Former Reagan Economic Advisory Board member Art Laffer agreed, telling Fox News Channel's "Your World with Neil Cavuto" on Wednesday that while the tea party is on the right track, it should wait to get Republican control of the presidency and the Senate before pushing for everything it wants.

Ryan was reluctant to discuss future deals about the deficit and other issues.

"The reason I hesitate to even speculate is because the president and the Senate Democrats have never once ever proposed to balance the budget, let alone reduce the debt," he told Tapper.

Ryan did address the bill's provision for a doubled fee for airline travelers to fund the Transportation Security Agency.

Before 9/11, he said, people paid for all of the security through their plane tickets because security was funded by the airlines. Today, they pay for less than 40 percent of it, and the "nonflying taxpayer" is subsidizing the rest of it.

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The bill would charge everyone the same $5.60 that was once reserved for people making direct flights. People on connecting flights paid half.

Even with the change, he noted, the nonflying public still supports part of the cost.

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