Ryan floats budget reconciliation

Greg Nash

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul RyanPaul RyanDemocrats plan 'day of action' to keep spotlight on guns Dem protest ignites debate about control of House cameras Gun-control supporters plan next steps versus NRA MORE (R-Wis.) said in a new interview that if Republicans win the Senate, it’ll be easier to pass legislation to reduce the deficit.

Ryan also broached the possibility of using the budget reconciliation process to cut spending or reduce taxes. Budget reconciliation instructions must only be approved by a majority vote, not the super-majority normally required to break a Senate filibuster.

Similarly, a budget reconciliation package following those instructions that includes spending and tax cuts only requires a majority vote, making it much easier to move through the Senate.

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Ryan made the comments as part of The Washington Examiner’s online video series “Dialogue.”

“The challenge is going to be how big is that majority and what can we pass with a filibuster and 60 votes,” he said. “On fiscal legislation, it’s easier with what we call reconciliation.”

“I want to make progress on getting this debt and deficit under control. I want to make progress on replacing ObamaCare. I want to make progress on tax reform even though we may not get these done with Obama in office,” Ryan added.

While budget reconciliation would make it easier to move legislation through Congress, it would still be subject to a veto from President Obama.

Ryan, however, suggested a GOP-dominated Congress could pressure Obama to pass more conservative measures.

“[We should] pass legislation defining who we are and what we’d really like to do even if we’re not going to get it signed by this president, and then put things on the president’s doorstep to make him make decisions. ... Maybe some of these things will get through,” Ryan said.

The 2012 vice presidential nominee and possible 2016 presidential contender, however, warned the GOP shouldn’t count on a wave election. 

For the next Congress, Ryan has had his mind set on becoming chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, which writes tax legislation.

Asked if he would introduce new tax reform, Ryan said “I think it depends on the circumstances ... getting the Senate matters a lot.”

Ryan also reiterated the need for Republicans to propose alternatives to ObamaCare, which he said GOP presidential candidates can run on in 2016.