WASHINGTON DC — Congressman Paul Ryan will keep the limelight as budget negotiations continue following a vote Wednesday that staved off potential national default and ended the 16-day government shutdown.
Ryan, along with almost all of Wisconsin’s Republican congressmen, voted against that proposal, which raised the debt ceiling and set a Jan. 15 timeline to hash out a budget deal between the Republican-controlled House and Democrat-held Senate.
Racine County’s congressional representative and House Budget Committee Chair, Ryan is slated to play a lead role in those ongoing talks, serving as co-chair on the joint budget committee in charge.
Speaking after a bipartisan legislative breakfast Wednesday, Ryan said: “Our goal is to do good for the American people, to get the debt under control, to have smart deficit reduction, and to do things that will grow the economy and get people back to work. Those are our shared goals. We’re going to find how to reach common ground and create a budget process that achieves that.”
The remarks, passed along by email from Ryan’s congressional office, came following preliminary talks with fellow committee leaders, Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions, and Democrats Sen. Patty Murray and Rep. Chris Van Hollen, the ranking party leaders in both houses’ budget committees. Wisconsin Senators Tammy Baldwin, a Democrat, and Republican Ron Johnson were also selected to serve on the committee.
According to the email, Ryan said it was “premature” to discuss specific numbers since debate has only just begun, but said, “I want to have a budget agreement that works for the country. I want to have a budget agreement that gets this debt and deficit under control—that does right by future generations and helps us grow the economy.”
That comment follows his no-vote Wednesday night on the government shutdown bill, which Ryan said in a statement “kicks the can down the road” rather than solving pressing budget issues.
Congressman Reid Ribble, of Appleton, was Wisconsin’s only Republican congressman to vote in favor of the shutdown bill, stating that although he disliked parts of the legislation, he was willing to give Congress a chance to work on a proper budget without a looming threat of default.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.