Politics

Paul Ryan Really Wants Everyone to Know The Budget Deal Is Conservative

Jerry Hagstrom
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Jerry Hagstrom
Dec. 11, 2013, 6:52 a.m.

Now that House and Sen­ate ne­go­ti­at­ors have agreed on a two-year budget deal, it’s time for them to sell it to their col­leagues in both cham­bers. The com­prom­ise is far from a grand bar­gain, so the law­makers who penned it must now face Re­pub­lic­ans and Demo­crats skep­tic­al about the bit­ter pills of the agree­ment.

Re­pub­lic­an Paul Ry­an, the chief House ne­go­ti­at­or, tried to throw wa­ter on the con­ser­vat­ive fire early, stress­ing the fisc­al con­ser­vat­ism of the deal dur­ing Tues­day night’s press con­fer­ence and sev­er­al me­dia ap­pear­ances after. “I think con­ser­vat­ives should vote for it,” Ry­an told a re­port­er who asked about Re­pub­lic­ans op­pos­i­tion to the deal. “That’s fisc­al re­spons­ib­il­ity. That’s fisc­al con­ser­vat­ism.”

Dur­ing the an­nounce­ment, Ry­an ex­plained his thoughts on the budget deal “as a con­ser­vat­ive” three times. Later that night, he told Fox’s Greta Van Suster­en Tues­day night, “Whatever we did, I wanted to make sure it was a step in the right dir­ec­tion to­wards fisc­al con­ser­vat­ism,” He later ad­ded, “As far as a con­ser­vat­ive Re­pub­lic­an prin­ciple is con­cerned, we are lower­ing the de­fi­cit without rais­ing taxes by cut­ting spend­ing in smarter ways.”

Con­ser­vat­ives, Ry­an wants to make sure you don’t for­get that he, along with his budget deal, is one of you.

But the Wis­con­sin con­gress­man’s as­sur­ances to his party also fore­shad­owed something oth­er than Re­pub­lic­an push­back. In nearly every ap­pear­ance, Ry­an re­peated that the budget deal was “a step in the right dir­ec­tion” and spe­cific­ally, “to­ward fisc­al con­ser­vat­ism.” Per­haps for the former vice pres­id­en­tial can­did­ate, it’s also a step to­ward the cam­paign trail for 2016.

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