Wisconsin Republican Rep. Paul Ryan tried to calm the burgeoning feud between Republican Party leadership and its conservative critics over the budget deal passed in the House this week, requesting that the tea party “keep these conversations within our family.”
Ryan appeared on “Fox News Sunday” with Chris Wallace to discuss the budget deal he brokered with Washington Democratic Sen. Patty Murray. The agreement, which passed the House on Thursday, scraps nearly one third of sequester cuts and replaces them with promised future reductions. Conservative groups largely came out against the deal, prompting an angry tirade from Speaker of the House John Boehner this week against the tea party. Wallace asked Ryan about the split:
WALLACE: Are you getting fed up with these outside groups who talk tough from the sidelines?
RYAN: Look, I think John just got his Irish up there. I think these groups are valuable. They way I look at it is this: they’re part of our conservative family. I’d prefer to keep these conversations within our family. John was frustrated because they came out against our agreement before we even reached an agreement.
I was frustrated about that as well, but I see the tea party as indispensable and valuable in helping keep the taxpayer in the game, keep Washington accountable. When we lost our majority in ’06 we deserved to lose it then, and they helped us get our ship righted again by being fiscally conservative. I think what we’re doing here today — we’ve two thirds of the house conservatives voting for this — i think this is a step in the right direction. It’s not as far as I want to go, but it’s a step in the right direction.
Ryan later added he’d “love to talk to” Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, who claims the deal will add to spending now without reducing the debt in the future. “Marco’s a good friend of mine. I disagree with him respectfully.”
The congressman repeated his claim that the deal will maintain 92 percent of the sequester while avoiding government shutdowns, which have been political poison to Republicans in the past. He also cautioned that this deal didn’t mean serious disagreements between Democrats and Republicans were a thing of the past.
“Look, one step at a time Chris,” he said. “Patty Murray and I knew we weren’t going to solve every problem — like the debt limit problem — so we sought to find common ground to solve this problem, this problem being a shutdown possibly in January and then another shutdown possibly in October. And [Republicans] have got our principles established here.”