Rep. Paul Ryan, House Budget Committee chairman and potential 2016 presidential nominee, stood Monday evening in an unfamiliar place: a briefing room near the Senate chamber. As he did, he did something unfamiliar for establishment Republicans: He called out the tea party.
Ryan and Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray, D-Wash., appeared Tuesday evening to finally unveil a compromise budget resolution that, if adopted by both chambers, would provide $63 billion in sequestration relief in 2014 and 2015. For the Pentagon, the 2014 relief would total about $22.5 billion, to be followed by $9 billion in 2015.
But final passage is not a done deal. The House, which is leaving for the holidays on Friday morning, is expected to take up the resolution Thursday or Friday. But if enough conservative Republicans join with Democrats irked by its exclusion of unemployment benefits, the Ryan-Murray deal could die.
And that would be a blow to the defense sector, which is slated to take on most of the remaining 2014 sequestration cuts. That’s why a few subtle — but sharp — messages Ryan delivered Tuesday loom so large. More