By Erik Wasson - 12/20/12 10:06 PM EST
House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) delivered a strong defense of Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) fiscal Plan B on the floor of the House on Thursday.
The bill extends most tax rates but allows them to rise on incomes of more than $1 million next year. Many conservatives are balking, and The Hill has identified at least 25 “no” or “lean no” votes. Boehner can only afford 24 defections to pass the bill with only Republican votes.
Ryan's backing of the bill is seen as crucial to any chance it has of passing.
Ryan, who ran as the GOP’s vice presidential candidate this year on the Mitt Romney ticket, indicated that Republicans need to play a defensive game in the wake of President Obama’s reelection and try to prevent as many tax increases set to hit in January as they can.
“Look, elections have consequences,” he said. “I, of all people, understand that.”
“What we are trying to do here is limit the damage to the taxpayers. There is not a single tax increase in here,” he said.
Ryan noted that Obama is only offering deficit proposals with much greater tax increases and stimulus spending.
“That is what got us in trouble in the first place,” he said.
Ryan touted his own House-passed budgets, which would cut trillions in spending without raising taxes. He said the spending cut bill on the floor just before Plan B is his vision of “what Congress is supposed to do.”
That bill cuts more than $200 billion over 10 years while turning off most of the automatic spending sequester for next year.