Boehner Taps Ryan As 'Point Man' In Fiscal Negotiations


Lil' Luke Russert explains to Martin Bashir why Boehner is putting Ryan in a leadership position on debt negotiations after voters rejected his policies.

It seems John Boehner is hoping to avoid having the same experience he did the last time around, where his caucus revolted on him while trying to negotiate a deal on the deficit.

Ryan's New Catbird Seat:

It’s fascinating (if somewhat predictable) to watch the rapidly diverging post-election prospects of the two members of the Republican presidential ticket. Mitt Romney is going to disappear from public view approximately ten minutes after his usefulness expires as a scapegoat for his party’s sins. But Paul Ryan is back in Washington, and back in the saddle again. This sentence from the New York Times’ Jennifer Steinhauer nicely describes his pivotal position with his party colleagues:

When Mr. Ryan returned to Capitol Hill last week, he was met with a standing ovation from his Republican colleagues, a bear hug from Mr. Boehner and the hope from conservatives that he would hold the line on taxes and other spending.

Yeah, Boehner’s hugging Ryan, all right, making it clear the Budget Committee Chairman is a key, and maybe the key, figure in the fiscal negotiations with the Obama administration and congressional Democrats. Whatever Boehner decides to do, he wants Ryan’s finger-prints all over it. And the more feral of House Republicans want Ryan very close to Boehner’s side to keep the Speaker from selling out America’s priceless heritage of freedom and low top marginal tax rates. Presumably Ryan will seek to reprise his role in earlier fiscal negotiations, re-establishing his MSM reputation as a “thoughtful” conservative “reformer” who always manages to be heavily involved in bipartisan discussions until the crucial point, when he invariably opposes compromise on one pretext or another.

Go read the rest of Ed's post for what this might mean for Ryan's future, but as Paul Krugman wrote about Ryan returning to his role as "Washington’s favorite Serious, Honest Conservative" -- A Public Service Reminder: Paul Ryan is a Con Man.

And TPM's Sahil Kapur reminded us what we can expect from these negotiations -- GOP’s Opposition To New Taxes: Same As It Ever Was:

Having run and lost on their central anti-tax stance, and with an austerity bomb nearing detonation, Republicans are softening their tone on the issue. But what may appear to be a meaningful shift on taxes among GOP leaders is belied by the unchanged policy specifics within the rhetoric.

“For the purposes of forging a bipartisan agreement that begins to solve the problem, we’re willing to accept new revenue under the right conditions,” said House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) in a post-election press conference.

That leaves the impression that Republicans are willing to raise revenue by limiting deductions and loopholes. Correct, but they’ve always been open to that — if and only if the new revenue is used to lower tax rates rather than reduce the deficit. Look closer and it’s apparent that that stance is still the same. Read on...


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