Ryan refuses to rule out riders on spending bill

Ryan refuses to rule out riders on spending bill
© Greg Nash

New Speaker Paul RyanPaul RyanSenate heading for late night ahead of ObamaCare repeal showdown Live Coverage: Senate edges close to passing scaled-down ObamaCare repeal Demonstrators gather outside Capitol to protest GOP ObamaCare repeal MORE (R-Wis.) on Tuesday refused to rule out attaching legislative policy riders to an omnibus spending bill, foreshadowing a possible confrontation with President Obama next month.

“This is the legislative branch and the power of the purse rests within the legislative branch, and we fully expect that we're going to exercise that power,” Ryan told reporters at his first news conference since he was elected Speaker last week.

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Obama and congressional leaders struck a major deal last week that lifts sequester spending caps, sets spending levels and raises the debt ceiling for two years.

But House and Senate appropriators will need to pass an omnibus spending bill to prevent a government shutdown by Dec. 11. That’s when a stopgap measure, known as a continuing resolution, is set to expire.

Obama and Democrats are insisting on a clean spending bill, free of controversial policy riders or “poison pills.” But conservatives will be pressing their GOP leaders to attach a slew of amendments, including one to defund Planned Parenthood.

“So we have a tough deadline, December 11,” Ryan said. “We've got not a lot of time between now and then.”

Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (Md.) called the new Speaker’s refusal to rule out controversial riders “inconsistent with his duty to the responsible stewardship of the House.”

“That's their cul-de-sac strategy,” said Hoyer, who added that Republicans are fully aware they’re offering riders that the president will veto.

“Playing chicken with the president of the United States is not responsible. [It's] not good leadership, and I would hope that he would not pursue that,” Hoyer added. “I would hope that he lead, not follow, his more radical elements in the House."