Republicans Not Yet Calling for the Head of Paul Ryan

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Dec. 11 2013 12:59 PM

Republicans Not Yet Calling for the Head of Paul Ryan

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Neck still fully intact.

Photo by T.J. Kirkpatrick/Getty Images

Every conservative pressure group with an acronym worth repeating is against the budget deal. Like I wrote below, the lack of impact this is having on Republicans is impressive—even those who stand with Heritage Action don't want to say their votes are being influenced by it. Personality matters more than scorecards, and the fact that Paul Ryan is behind half this deal is winning over conservatives—more than enough to pass the thing.

"The only reason I'm undecided is my complete respect for Paul Ryan," said Wyoming Rep. Cynthia Lummis. She was inclined to oppose the deal, as it traded away plenty of her state's land-rights priorities. But she wanted to believe in Ryan.

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When prodded by reporters, who wondered whether Ryan had lost "conservatives" with this deal, several House Republicans pushed back. "Would we rather spend money on the military than pay dead people?" asked South Carolina Rep. Mick Mulvaney, who planned to oppose the deal. "Yes. Paul won't suffer for that. I worry that Paul is being overly optimistic about how the Senate will act going forward."

"I'm a lean-no on the plan," said Maryland Rep. Andy Harris. "But Mr. Ryan, as chairman of the Budget Committee, has done, I think, the best job he could do, given the liberal makeup of the Senate."

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. You can reach him at daveweigel@gmail.com, or tweet at him @daveweigel.