Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., came down hard on the budget plan offered by President Obama Wednesday, saying that the request can be considered nothing more than “a down payment” when it comes to reducing the deficit, the Hill reports.
Speaking to reporters Wednesday afternoon, Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee, said the budget presented by Obama basically destroyed any hopes of attaining some grand bipartisan deal.
“I think we should rationalize our expectations to getting a down payment on that problem,” Ryan said.
“Fixing the [deficit] problem requires fundamental entitlement reform, and the president and Senate Democrats have shown absolutely no indication of being willing to do so.”
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Ryan suggested the House and Senate create a conference committee formed from their respective budget panels, which would come together in an attempt to cut the deficit by finding areas of agreement within the different budgets approved by the two chambers last month.
That move would make Ryan a pivotal player in deficit talks.
Obama has been holding dinner meetings and phoning Republicans over the last month in a push for his version of deficit reduction, which some see as a move to avoid Republican leaders, including Ryan.
Ryan called Obama’s plan for a “chained CPI” formula, which would alter the way benefits are adjusted for inflation, a “symbolic step.”
“I don’t see it so much as fundamental entitlement reform as clarification of a statistic,” he said.
Ryan did express optimism regarding some overlaps on entitlement savings that exist between the House GOP budget and Obama’s budget
He said the strongest area of agreement in terms of overlaps are proposals for greater means testing on Medicare, something Obama has included in previous budgets.
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