By Brendan Sasso - 09/26/11 11:05 PM EDT
The lawmakers said communicating through Facebook, Twitter and other websites allows them to bypass the mainstream media and discuss the issues that they believe really matter. Social media also allows constituents to more quickly communicate their thoughts and concerns to their representatives, they said.
Ryan said that when he first came to Congress in 1999, 90 percent of his communication with constituents was paper and 10 percent was electronic. He said that statistic is reversed today and that constituent communication is up tenfold.
Cantor pointed to the YouCut website as an example of Republicans using a social media tool to interact with the public. The website allows users to vote for which federal programs they would eliminate.
In the discussion, the lawmakers discussed how cutting government regulations and reducing the federal debt can spur economic growth.
Ryan argued for an overhaul of the tax code to eliminate loopholes, including tax breaks to oil companies. The government needs to "stop picking winners and losers," he said.
The lawmakers are the authors of last year's "Young Guns: A New Generation of Conservative Leaders," a manifesto for the party heading into the midterm elections at which they made major gains in both chambers.