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Graham: Ryan's 'Leadership' on Budget Shows He Can be President

Image: Graham: Ryan's 'Leadership' on Budget Shows He Can be President

By    |   Wednesday, 11 Dec 2013 09:56 AM

Rep. Paul Ryan's bipartisan budget proposal may anger some fiscal conservatives, but South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham said it may boost the Wisconsin Republican's chances at the presidency in 2016.

"From my point of view, he's showing leadership," Graham said Tuesday, according to The Huffington Post. "I mean, if you want to become president, maybe instead of trying to please every faction of your party, maybe you should show the country as a whole, 'I can actually work with the other side on something important.'"

Ryan, the House Budget Committee chairman, joined with Sen. Sen. Patty Murray, his counterpart in the Senate, in releasing their 2014 budget proposal that provides $63 billion in sequestration relief while increasing spending to $1.012 trillion. Fiscal conservatives immediately criticized the plan, saying they want to keep across-the-board sequestration cuts in place without trading off reductions in entitlement programs.

However, Ryan, the GOP vice presidential nominee in 2012 who has not yet announced his intentions for 2016, said he expects "great support" from his fellow Republicans. He called the plan "a step in the right direction."

Ryan acknowledged Tuesday evening on Fox News' "On the Record With Greta Van Susteren" that the new budget "isn't the greatest agreement of all time." But he insisted it holds to conservative principles, including deficit reduction and lower taxes.

The Wall Street Journal, in a review of the Ryan-Murray bill, called it the "least bad" of many budget options because it includes modest entitlement reforms and no new tax increases and possibly helps to avoid another government shutdown.

But the Journal noted that the two-year deal will break the 2011 Budget Control Act's discretionary spending caps that were set for fiscal years 2014 and 2015 by $63 billion over two years. The newspaper said spending would rise again in 2016 to the current $1.016 trillion, which the newspaper described as a victory for Senate Democrats in the budget negotiations.

Meanwhile, the new budget — and the controversy over it — is returning the spotlight to Ryan for the first time since his 2012 campaign with GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, CNN reports. Ryan was picked for the ticket last year because his ideas and work on curbing federal spending was well-known and widely applauded by his fellow Republicans. He had quickly become one of the most prominent GOP figures on the national stage.

But his budget proposal this time was not received as well as his previous proposals, especially by Republicans like Florida Sen. Marco Rubio who could end up challenging him for the party's presidential nomination in 2016. Rubio was quick to say on Tuesday that he does not support the Ryan-Murray proposal.

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Rep. Paul Ryan's bipartisan budget proposal may anger some fiscal conservatives, but South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham said it may boost the Wisconsin Republican's chances at the presidency in 2016.
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