Wisconsin Republican Rep. Paul Ryan defended his budget deal from a skeptical Sean Hannity Wednesday night, echoing President Barack Obama mantra by saying that “elections have consequences” and Republicans have lost too many of them.
Ryan tried to convince the Fox host the deal was a “step in the right direction,” despite the return to pre-sequester spending levels and the removal of nearly one third of sequester cuts themselves:
HANNITY: The budget deal, though, would spend $63 billion over the next two years. The savings come at the back-end of the ten-year period, and you and I both know that future Congresses are not going to be beholden to this deal, and it’s probably going to change many times in-between. And this is a big criticism of Washington in general. You get the tax increases now, you get this now and then all the good stuff will come later.
RYAN: Well, there’s no tax increases here, but I understand your point. This is the nature of what we call mandatory spending, or entitlement spending or autopilot spending. When you change the law — which we’re changing the law immediately — that accrues savings over time. And it does take time to accumulate those savings. It’s not backloaded. It just compounds.
But Hannity continued to press Ryan, asking why $23 billion in savings over a long period of time is worth anything when a $17 trillion debt is rapidly approaching $25 trillion.
RYAN: You’re right on the money. This is not an agreement to balance the budget — that’s what our budget does. Guess what, Sean? Elections have consequences. We’re going to have to win a couple of elections to actually pass the kind of budgets that you and I are in favor of, the one I passed in the House just last spring. The House Republicans have passed three budgets in a row that actually balance the federal budget –
HANNITY: So this is not your ideal budget.
RYAN: No! It’s not even close to my ideal budget.
Ryan claimed that the deal will block government shutdowns and keep the focus on Obamacare, key components to a Republican victory in the Senate next year. He pushed back against Hannity’s suggestion that Republicans continue to push for a comprehensive debt reform plan despite Democratic opposition.
“For each of the last five years, I have passed or pushed budgets that do just what you said,” Ryan claimed. “Here’s the problem Sean: Barack Obama is the President of the United States and Harry Reid is the Senate Majority Leader. Sean, we’re gonna have to win some elections to do what you just said… Sincerely, I don’t think President Obama is gonna be our solution to our fiscal crisis. So the question is, what can we do in the meantime to buy the country time?”
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