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Rep. Paul Ryan strokes his chin. Chip Somodevilla, Getty Images. Rep. Paul Ryan strokes his chin. Chip Somodevilla, Getty Images.  

Paul Ryan mum on fiscal cliff legislation

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Alex Pappas
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      Alex Pappas

      Alex Pappas is a Washington D.C.-based political reporter for The Daily Caller. He has also written for The Washington Examiner and the Mobile Press-Register. Pappas is a graduate of The University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., where he was editor-in-chief of The Sewanee Purple. While in college, he did internships at NBC's Meet the Press and the White House. He grew up in Mobile, Ala., where he graduated from St. Paul's Episcopal School. He and his wife live on Capitol Hill.

WASHINGTON — Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan is staying mum so far about the fiscal cliff legislation before Congress that would raise taxes on people making more than $400,000 per year.

Walking out of a meeting of the House Republican Conference on Tuesday evening, the 2012 Republican vice presidential nominee deflected several questions from The Daily Caller about whether he’d vote for the legislation.

When TheDC — attempting to get a response from Ryan – argued he should give an answer because many people care about his opinion of the legislation, Ryan replied, “I realize that. But I’ll tell my colleagues first.”

Earlier in the day as he left a separate meeting, he avoided questions from the press on the legislation, even as many of his House Republican colleagues blasted the bill for not including enough spending cuts.

“Give me a break,” Ryan said, smiling, when a reporter asked him if Marco Rubio – the Florida senator thought to be harboring national ambitions like Ryan – is influencing his thoughts on the bill. Rubio voted against the legislation during the middle-of-the-night vote in the Senate on Tuesday.

To another reporter, Ryan simply responded, “Happy New Year,” when asked about the bill.

A Ryan spokesman didn’t immediately return a request for comment from TheDC for the congressman’s position.

Over in the Senate, Rubio and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul – two potential candidates for the Republican nomination for president – voted against the legislation.

UPDATE: Ryan voted for the bill on Tuesday night, explaining in a statement, “Will the American people be better off if this law passes relative to the alternative? In the final analysis, the answer is undoubtedly yes. I came to Congress to make tough decisions – not to run away from them.”