McCain, Ryan have head to head with Cao

Two high-profile Republicans paid special attention Wednesday to Rep. Joseph Cao (La.), the lone Republican who might buck his party and support the Democratic budget.

Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), the GOP presidential nominee last year, and Budget Committee ranking member Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) appeared to be engaged in a friendly conversation with Cao. It took place as a procession of over 100 GOP lawmakers paraded before TV cameras and photographers en route to the House floor for a rare joint conference meeting Wednesday morning.

As they walked by reporters, Cao said, "I have no idea" on how he will vote.

The Hill reported Tuesday that Cao may vote with Democrats when the House considers the Democratic budget proposal this week. Cao, who defeated indicted Rep. William Jefferson (D-La.) in a run-off election, was noticeably absent when his colleagues left the hour-long meeting and filed out to the East front steps of the Capitol for the post-conference press availability.

If he votes yes, Cao would be the first Republican in recent history to support a Democratic budget resolution. Every House Republican voted against the 2007 and 2008 budget resolutions.

- Molly Hooper

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