|Andrew W. Griffin|
U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) talks to reporters Monday evening at the Oklahoma Republican Party headquarters.
By Andrew W. Griffin
Red Dirt Report, editor
Posted: November 21, 2011
OKLAHOMA CITY – In town for a fundraiser for his Republican House colleague James Lankford, U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan of Janesville, Wisconsin, chairman of the House Budget Committee, spoke briefly with local reporters Monday evening about the failure of the congressional “Super Committee” to find at least $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction.
Ryan called the Super Committee’s failure “another missed, wasted opportunity.”
“The House passed a budget to fix this problem,” Ryan reminded the assembled media, adding, “We need to cut spending and we need to get the debt under control.”
The press conference was held at the Oklahoma Republican Party headquarters in Oklahoma City.
The Super Committee, officially known as the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction and made up of 12 members of Congress, failed in their duties and largely along partisan lines. As a result, automatic $1.2 trillion in “across-the-board” cuts, which includes cuts in defense, will take place on Jan. 1, 2013. Republicans are already vowing to “undo the defense sequester” and not allow for the “crippling of our military.”
Specifically, the Pentagon and defense contractors face the harsh prospect of up to $600 billion in cuts beginning in less than 14 months.
Ryan said that be replace the sequester, “national security”
would not have to take a big hit, while in the wake of the failure, it would. Regardless,
Ryan said, the Republicans have offered solutions while President Obama and the
Democrats have wanted tax hikes and wealth redistribution, as he reminded folks
this evening on Al Sharpton’s MSNBC show Politics
“The Republicans put together some unified plans,” Ryan said. And the Democrats? Ryan said they never made any substantive counter offers to the several plans offered by Republicans.
As for the current Republican Party presidential candidates,
Ryan said due to his role as chairman of the Republican National Committee’s
Presidential Trust, which is tasked with raising the resources needed to
finance the GOP’s “ground game” in the election process and partner with the inevitable
nominee, he cannot endorse a particular candidate at this time. One leading GOP presidential candidate, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, made headlines in May when he publicly criticized Ryan's proposal to reform Medicare, calling Ryan's plan "right-wing social engineering." Gingrich later apologized to Ryan.
Ryan, an avid bow hunter and outdoorsman, was engaging and relaxed as reporters and Republicans mingled in the OK GOP press room on a rainy evening. Ryan, a one-time driver of the famous Oscar Mayer Wienermobile,
Ryan’s wife, Janna, is a native of Madill, Okla. and he said that he and his wife intend to spend more time in the Sooner State in coming years because she did not care for the cold Wisconsin winters.
Lankford, who was with Ryan at the Oklahoma Republican Party headquarters, agreed that the failure of the Super Committee was disappointing and noted that President Obama should have been "engaged" in the debt fight process and that because he took a "hands-off" approach - "no fingerprints on it" - he can blame the Republicans for the failure and use it as he campaigns for re-election.
"With $15 trillion debt, we have to find ways to resolve it," Lankford said.
|Andrew W. Griffin|
U.S. Reps. James Lankford (R-Oklahoma City) and Paul Ryan R-Janesville, Wis.) talk to reporters at the OK GOP headquarters on Monday evening.