Democratic state legislators who have fled Madison lack respect for the rule of law, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said in a speech Thursday.

"I find this episode in Madison and Indiana really curious," said Ryan who was speaking back in his district. "I didn't like the legislation moving through Washington during the last few years. I didn't like cap-and-trade. I didn't like ObamaCare, I didn't like the stimulus. But I didn't walk out."

Fourteen Wisconsin senators have fled the state to neighboring Illinois in order to deprive the legislature of the quorum needed to produce legislation. The senators who fled say they want to prevent newly elected Republicans, including Gov. Scott Walker, from eliminating state employees of their right to collectively bargain for issues other than wages.

Ryan contrasted that to Republicans' action when Democrats controlled the House.

"We stayed and did our jobs," Ryan said to applause. "We voted. We tried to amend. We made out debates and elections have consequences they won we lost. I just don't understand this lack for respect for the rule of law."