WASHINGTON – Conservatives in the House Republican conference pushed back on the budget proposal Wednesday while still praising the co-author of that plan, Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan.
A number of conservatives rejected the deal, which Ryan hammered out with Democratic Washington Sen. Patty Murray. Rep. Raul Labrador described it as “a terrible plan,” and outside conservative groups lambasted it. Some said it would hurt Ryan’s presumed presidential ambitions.
But even those House conservatives who said they would vote against the plan were unwilling to throw Ryan under the bus.
“The only reason that I am at this point undecided is out of my complete respect and regard for Paul Ryan,” said Wyoming Rep. Cynthia Lummis at an event Wednesday, after voicing a number of concerns about that agreement.
“This will not diminish his standing in any way,” she said. “He has been a marvelous soldier in coming to this agreement.”
Rep. Andy Harris of Maryland, who said he was leaning against voting for the plan, said Ryan “has done, I think, the best job you could do giving the overwhelming, overwhelming liberal nature of the Senate.”
“I don’t think this deal enhances or diminishes the stature of Paul Ryan. I think all of us respect Paul Ryan,” said Labrador.
South Carolina Rep. Mick Mulvaney said it the proposal would not in any way “undermine [Ryan’s] conservative credibility.”
The only knock he had against Ryan, Mulvaney said, was that: “I worry that Paul is being overly optimistic about how the Senate intends to act going forward,” saying that they had not abided by the spending caps in the past, and he did not expect they would do so later.
Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert said he had some serious reservations about the plan and the fact that it breaks the spending caps, but had nothing but kind words for Ryan.
“I really appreciate Paul’s hard work,” he said. “Paul Ryan’s done a great job.”