Rep. Paul Ryan, chairman of the Budget Committee, will deliver the Republican response to next week's State of the Union address.
In some ways, the response to the SOTU is always a losing proposition, as the the speaker doesn't get to deliver the speech with all the applause and ceremony surrounding the president's address. The most recent example of a response falling flat was Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal's disasterous performance in 2009, which dampened his rising star status (though I don't think it will do long-term damage).
That said, somebody has to do it, and I think Ryan is a savvy choice by Republicans. Ryan has emerged as the GOP's most articulate and reasonable spokesman for spending restraint and is the only politician in either party who has proposed a specific, comprehensive, proposal to get our nation's fiscal crisis under control. During the health care debate, he was the most effective Republican at combating President Obama, alaways armed with facts. (See his remarks to Obama during last year's White House health care summit exposing the accounting gimmicks in ObamaCare, in which Ryan explained that, "hiding spending does not reduce spending.") I think it's wise for Republicans to introduce him to a broader national audience and make him the face of a new Republican party that (hopefully) is ready to get spending under control.
GOP statement announcing the decision to have Ryan give response.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced today that House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) will deliver the Republican address following the President’s State of the Union address to Congress on January 25, 2011. Last year – in an unprecedented failure – Congressional Democrats chose not to pass, or even propose a budget, punting on a duty that represents the most basic responsibility of governing. Chairman Ryan will deliver the Republican address Tuesday night from the House Budget Committee hearing room, where the Democrats’ spending spree will end and the Republicans’ push for a fiscally responsible budget that cuts spending will begin.
In making the announcement, the GOP leaders noted that Chairman Ryan is a leading voice for fiscal discipline and common-sense solutions to cut spending and create jobs. Known for his thoughtful and detailed critiques of big-government policies, Ryan has helped put to rest the Democrats’ argument that more government spending and higher taxes is the answer to most of our nation’s ills. His commitment to free enterprise and limited government make him the right choice to outline a vision for how a smaller, less costly government will help create the right conditions for the creation of good, private sector jobs.
“Paul Ryan is uniquely qualified to address the state of our economy and the fiscal challenges that face our country,” said Speaker Boehner. “We’re broke, and decisive action is needed to help our economy get back to creating jobs and end the spending binge in Washington that threatens our children’s future. I’m pleased that Paul will be outlining a common-sense vision for moving our country forward.”
Leader McConnell said, “Paul Ryan has spent the better part of the last two years explaining exactly why the Democrat agenda has been so bad for jobs and the economy, and why we need to ditch the government-driven approach in favor of creative, common-sense solutions that put the American people back in charge. Chairman Ryan’s unique understanding of the fiscal problems we face, his command of policy, and his adherence to the principles of our nation’s founding make him an excellent spokesman for the path that Americans want Washington to take.”
“Delivering an address to the nation is a unique opportunity, and I am grateful to my party’s leaders for entrusting me with this responsibility,” said Ryan. “I am hopeful that the President will work with the new House Majority to cut spending, reform government, and restore the foundations for growth and job creation. More than rhetoric, we need results. I look forward to outlining a vision for a future that fulfills the uniquely American legacy of leaving the next generation with a stronger, more prosperous nation.”
NOTE: Born and raised in the community of Janesville, Paul Ryan is a fifth-generation Wisconsin native. Currently serving his seventh term as a Member of Congress, Paul works to address the many important issues affecting Wisconsin residents and serve as an effective advocate for the 1st Congressional District. He is the Chairman of the House Budget Committee, where he works to bring fiscal discipline and accountability to the federal government. He is a senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee, which has jurisdiction over tax policy, Social Security, health care and trade laws. Paul is a graduate of Joseph A. Craig High School in Janesville and earned a degree in economics and political science from Miami University (OH). Paul and his wife Janna live in Janesville with their children, daughter Liza and sons Charlie and Sam.
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