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Ryan backs debt ceiling hike

‚??We recognize the realities of divided government.”

WILLIAMSBURG, Va.‚??After weeks of having many of his fellow House Republicans wonder why he has kept such a low profile since the loss of the November presidential election, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has re-emerged as a key Republican spokesman.

That was the consensus of both lawmakers and media at the House Republican Retreat Thursday. According to several GOP Members who were attending closed door sessions at the Kingsmill Resort, the House Budget Committee chairman and 2012 vice presidential nominee was a leader in discussions on how to deal with the debt ceiling and sequestration.

‚??We talked about the deadlines that are coming and the best way to achieve progress on the deficit and the debt,‚?Ě Ryan told reporters, after emerging from the meeting. Without going into specifics on strategy that was discussed, the Wisconsin congressman said: ‚??We recognize the realities of divided government. We are trying to achieve consensus on a plan [to deal with] spending and what it will take to vote to raise the debt ceiling.‚?Ě

Ryan added that he and other more senior Republicans have spent time explaining the deadlines for the debt ceiling and sequestration to ‚??the new members, most of whom have never experienced anything like this.‚?Ě

‚??We are discussing things such as a short term debt ceiling extension and what it will take to get the White House involved in a two-way discussion [on concessions for votes to raise the debt ceiling],‚?Ě he said.

Human Events cited our interview with freshman Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) this week and his view that not raising the debt ceiling would not mean a shutdown of government functions but only that the federal government could not borrow anymore.

‚??I would have to see that interview before I commented,‚?Ě Ryan told us. ‚??Not raising the debt ceiling will present some cashflow problems‚??we have obligations one day, a cash-flow problem the next. So we need to prioritize.‚?Ě But he underscored that, ‚??clearly, the authority is the president‚??s on prioritizing.‚?Ě

Ryan also made it clear that a long-term solution rather than ‚??kicking the can‚?Ě on spending and the debt must emerge in this session of Congress. As he put it, ‚??we cannot allow our country to borrow as we are and we cannot continue the status quo. We have to make progress.‚?Ě

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John Gizzi has come to be known as ‚??the man who knows everyone in Washington‚?Ě and, indeed, many of those who hold elected positions and in party leadership roles throughout the United States. With his daily access to the White House as a correspondent, Mr. Gizzi offers readers the inside scoop on what‚??s going on in the nation‚??s capital. He is the author of a number of popular Human Events features, such as ‚??Gizzi on Politics‚?Ě and spotlights of key political races around the country. Gizzi also is the host of ‚??Gizzi‚??s America,‚?Ě video interviews that appear on Gizzi got his start at Human Events in 1979 after graduating from Fairfield University in Connecticut and then working for the Travis County (Tex.) Tax Assessor. He has appeared on hundreds of radio and TV shows, including Fox News Channel, C-SPAN, America's Voice,The Jim Bohannon Show, Fox 5, WUSA 9, America's Radio News Network and is also a frequent contributor to the BBC -- and has appeared on France24 TV and German Radio. He is a past president of the Georgetown Kiwanis Club, past member of the St. Matthew's Cathedral's Parish Council, and secretary of the West End Friends of the Library. He is a recipient of the William A. Rusher Award for Journalistic Excellence and was named Journalist of the Year by the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2002. John Gizzi is also a credentialed correspondent at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. He has questioned two IMF managing directors, Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Christine LaGarde, and has become friends with international correspondents worldwide. John‚??s email is JGizzi@EaglePub.Com