Ryan Returns to Congress As A Leader

Monday, 19 Nov 2012 01:44 PM

By Stephen Feller

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Though he is not in the upper echelons of Republican leadership in the House, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., returns to his seat in Congress as a leader on fiscal issues and for the overall party, despite losing his bid for the vice presidency.

The expectation is that Ryan will play a key role in any legislative deal that is struck between Congress and the White House to avoid the fiscal cliff expected to hit the economy on Jan. 1, reported the New York Times.

Ryan has spent the last six months campaigning with Mitt Romney for the White House, and spent much of it defined by his budget proposal last year that significantly trims the budget.

Many in Washington expect some of those ideas — which include a voucher system being installed in Medicare, and other big plans for the government to save huge sums of money — to find their way into any grand bargain President Barack Obama and House Republicans reach on the looming fiscal cliff.

Some already were caught off guard by his support for what Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, said about believing that some kind of agreement between Democrats and Republicans can get done.

“Speaker Boehner has outlined a bipartisan way forward to avoid the ‘fiscal cliff’ and get our economy growing,” said Conor Sweeney, Ryan’s spokesman, “with common-sense entitlement reform coupled with pro-growth tax reform. We can find common ground on responsible spending restraint and greater revenue through economic growth, but we have yet to see either a serious plan or leadership from President Obama.”

In addition to continuing to run the House Budget Committee, The Hill reports that there is talk that he will be offered the chairmanship of the House Ways-And-Means Committee, which is responsible for writing tax policy.

Ryan is expected to consider several options about his career in politics during the next several months.

“He has to think about what he wants his role to be,” said Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla. “Is he going to run in 2016, or run for something else in Wisconsin, or play a bigger role in the House? He’s going to play an outsize role here because of the national profile he now has, but on the other hand, this conference is quite happy to act independently.”


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