Where Has Paul Ryan Been During the Latest Shutdown Debate?
With Congress locked in near-continuous budget and debt limit battles, one influential lawmaker has been noticeably quiet this year.
Rep. Paul D. Ryan, the House Budget chairman and the GOP’s 2012 vice presidential candidate, has been a trusted, go-to source on budget and fiscal issues in the party for years. Yet the Wisconsin Republican has not, seemingly, been at the forefront of the most recent fight over a stopgap spending bill, nor has he been a loud voice on the debt limit.
And that has some Republicans scratching their heads.
“It’s a legitimate question. I have no idea,” Rep. Rob Bishop of Utah said in response to a question about why Ryan hasn’t been more vocal.
“I don’t know that I can really answer that question,” said House Agriculture Chairman Frank D. Lucas of Oklahoma. “Maybe he’s got a lot of things going on. I just don’t know.”
Republican after Republican spoke highly of the GOP star, saying Ryan remains a thought-leader in the conference.
“He is certainly someone that all of us look to for his ability as a budgetary technician,” said Rep. Trent Franks of Arizona. “His advice, I think, is always not only insightful, but has a compelling impact on most of the members of the conference.”
But even aides who note that Ryan has been vocal behind closed doors say he could be more active.
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