House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., returned to the chamber Thursday for the first time since he became the GOP vice presidential candidate, casting his vote for a measure that raised spending above the levels in his own budget. Republicans hailed him, while Democrats released a video highlighting his proposal to overhaul Medicare as a fixed subsidy program.
The Wall Street Journal: Spending Package Passes In House
The legislation was necessary because Congress hasn't passed any of the 12 spending bills required each year to fund the federal government. The six-month bill covers around a third of the federal spending. The remainder-;including big-ticket programs like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security-;are renewed automatically without congressional action. House lawmakers separately on Thursday approved legislation aimed at forcing the president into coming up with a plan to avoid $110 billion in spending cuts, half to come from defense spending, that are set to be implemented early in 2013 under current law. That measure is almost certain not to be taken up by the Democratic-controlled Senate. The administration is expected to release a spending-cut outline as early as Friday (Boles, 9/13).
The New York Times: House Republicans Welcome Back Ryan, And His Vote, On A Spending Measure
Representative Paul D. Ryan, the Republican vice-presidential nominee, returned to the House on Thursday for a hero's welcome from adoring Republicans, jeers from opposition Democrats and a mission that was as painful as it was politically necessary: to give his blessing to legislation financing the government into next year at a level higher than the one set in his own budget. Democrats joined in the Ryan welcome in another way as well. Representative Steve Israel of New York, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, thanked him for making his Medicare overhaul a centerpiece of the election. The House Democratic leadership released a mocking "Welcome Back, Mr. Ryan" video rapping him for boasting about securing automatic spending cuts that he now denounces and pressing for an overhaul that would offer future retirees a fixed subsidy to buy health insurance rather than a guaranteed government program (Weisman, 9/13).
The Washington Post: GOP Vice Presidential Candidate Paul Ryan Makes Low-Key Return To Capitol Hill
Ryan's return should have been a moment of celebration. By selecting the House Budget Committee chairman as his running mate, Romney affirmed the House Republicans as keepers of the GOP idea. But, in the risk-averse environment of a campaign, there were also good reasons for Ryan and his colleagues to avoid one another. A close association with Ryan could make trouble for some members in tight reelection campaigns. The cornerstone of Ryan's budget proposals, a plan to restructure Medicare for future recipients, is widely unpopular. And a close association with congressional Republicans might not be helpful for Ryan, either. In one late August poll, two-thirds of respondents disapproved of their job performance (Sonmez and Fahrenthold, 9/13).
The Associated Press/Washington Post: Ryan Votes For Spending Bill That Is $19 Billion Higher than Budget Outline He Authored
The House chamber later erupted in a loud cheer -; mostly from the Republican side -; when Ryan entered the hall. Ryan held court in the rear of the chamber as back-slapping colleagues surrounded him. … Democrats, meanwhile, worked to highlight components of Ryan's budget proposals that would fundamentally change seniors' health care and young voters' education options. Democrats, including Obama's re-election campaign, have constantly linked Romney's presidential campaign with the Ryan-proposed cuts (9/13).