Ryan to return to Washington Thursday for spending vote

Republican vice presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan (Wis.) will take a break from campaigning and return to Washington on Thursday to vote on a bill that funds the government for the next six months, officials said.

The House returned to session on Monday after a five-week recess that included the two major party conventions. Ryan is expected to miss votes through Wednesday as he campaigns in Washington state, Ohio and his home state of Wisconsin. His appearance in Congress on Thursday will be his first since Mitt Romney named him as his running mate more than a month ago.

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House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) told reporters he expected Ryan to support the six-month stopgap government funding bill, even though it calls for spending at higher levels than the House Republican budget that Ryan authored.

The House is scheduled to be in session for less than three weeks before the November election, but McCarthy said he expected Ryan to come back from the trail “a couple more times.”

Along with Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), Ryan and McCarthy form the “Young Guns” trio that helped flip the House to Republican control in 2010. McCarthy said he spoke to Ryan by phone the day Romney selected him and a few times since then. The two could be seen chatting for several minutes shortly before Romney’s acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention last month in Tampa, Fla.

Ryan also spoke to House Republicans in a conference call during the August recess, McCarthy said.

“I see members are very excited about Paul,” he said. Ryan’s selection for the ticket “pushes a lot of the issues that the House has been working on for the last two years to the forefront as well. So members are more engaged.”

McCarthy said he’s spotted GOP lawmakers in photos during Ryan’s campaign stop around the country, saying he was encouraged by their participation and engagement with the campaign.