Former GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan says the biggest challenge for his party over the near future will be to buy time and remain united to promote their conservative agenda.
The Wisconsin congressman said at the National Review Institute 2013 Summit that Republicans will continue advance modernization of entitlements (Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security), implement tax reforms and propose a balanced budget that pays down the nation’s more than $16 trillion debt.
“Unfortunately, the Democrats are unlikely to accept our proposals,” said Ryan, who serves as chairman of the House Budget Committee. “They refuse to consider real reform. But we will lay the groundwork for future endeavors. So when reform is possible, we will be ready.”
He cited recent worthwhile, yet imperfect, gains such as avoiding a devastating tax-and-spending hike on Jan. 1 and forcing the Senate to pass a budget in exchange for a temporary increase in the nation’s borrowing limit. He said the debates demonstrate how the GOP can make incremental gains in its ongoing battle with the liberal agenda if it sticks together.
“In the next four years, opportunity won’t come easily,” he said. “The latest comes with a challenge. We have to pay our bills today. And we have to make sure that we can pay our bills tomorrow. To do that, we need to cut spending and to budget responsibly. Our job—as we see it—is to help prevent a debt crisis.”
He said that conservatives cannot succumb to Obama’s well-practiced tactics of dividing Republicans: Fight a straw man, avoid honest debate and win the argument by default.
“We can’t get rattled,” Ryan continued. “We won’t play the villain in his morality plays. We have to stay united. We have to show that — if given the chance — we can govern. We have better ideas.”
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