Ryan: 'Pleasantly Surprised' by Landslide Budget Vote

Image: Ryan: 'Pleasantly Surprised' by Landslide Budget Vote

Thursday, 12 Dec 2013 10:52 PM

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House budget boss Rep. Paul Ryan says he was "surprised” at the landslide passage Thursday night of the two-year deal he helped craft.

“It was much higher than I expected, I was pleasantly surprised,” the Wisconsin Republican remarked afterward, The Hill reported. "I think people are hungry to get things done around here."

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The 332-94 win is an undisputed victory for Ryan, as House Budget Committee chairman, who negotiated the deal with Washington Democratic Sen. Patty Murray.

It could also figure in his deliberations on whether to join the 2016 GOP chase for the White House.

And he did it all with notable calm, The Hill noted.

“That's the key: try to understand each other, get to know each other and talk things out,” he said of the deal that came together and got passed in the House a day before the Friday deadline.

“We always kept things calm, kept things professional, just talked a lot," Ryan said. “I think my colleagues are going home excited to come back in 2014 because they can start afresh to do the things that they came here to do in the first place."

But Ryan is heading home with a laudable career victory as well, USA Today noted.

"I think he has unquestionably been our intellectual leader, not just in the House of Representatives on our side of the aisle but in the Republican Party on these types of issues," Republican Oklahoma Rep. Tom Cole told the newspaper Wednesday, after announcement of the bipartisan budget deal.

"So he really is the smartest guy we have who has shaped our thinking, and he's come back and said, 'This is a good deal.'"

Even conservative groups, which are openly battling with House Speaker John Boehner,
found it hard to find fault with Ryan, Republican Louisiana Rep. John Fleming told the newspaper.

"I do think there is a high regard for Paul," added Tennessee's Republican Rep. Diane Black. "He is the budget guru and I think he does bring a lot of credibility with it."

Ryan is mentioned as a potential future contender for House speaker, the National Journal noted.  And, according to USA Today, he also has his sights on the chairmanship of the House Ways and Means Committee, whose current chairman, Republican Michigan Rep. Dave Camp, is term-limited at the end of this Congress.

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