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A Rocky—But Successful—Road for the Ryan Budget Through the House

How many defections will there be?

11:00 AM, Mar 23, 2012 • By JOHN MCCORMACK and MICHAEL WARREN
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One of the stranger complaints about the Ryan budget came from Rep. Huelskamp, who objected that the budget outlines tax reform but doesn’t propose a specific plan to implement the reform (just as it did last year). But a budget can’t write tax law—that falls under the jurisdiction of the Ways and Means Committee. Huelskamp did not respond to multiple interview requests Thursday.

As for outside conservative groups, the Club for Growth, which was neutral on the Ryan budget last year, came out against the Ryan budget this year. The organization is now insisting on the “Cut, Cap, and Balance” plan, but it will not be scoring votes on the Ryan budget. Other conservative organizations, such as Heritage Action and Americans for Tax Reform, continue to support the Ryan budget.

In the end, it’s unlikely that conservative Republicans would want to sink Ryan’s budget—not only because they’d be seen as flip-floppers but because they genuinely admire Ryan and the work he’s done. “Paul Ryan is a man of his word,” says Gohmert of Texas. Both Amash of Michigan and Huelskamp of Kansas praised Ryan in their statements explaining their votes against the Ryan budget. "I think he's done a great job,” says Labrador of Idaho. “I mean he listens to the members. He's very knowledgeable, and he's very helpful in the ways he works with us." 

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