Paul Ryan is AWOL in budget battle
Greg RobbOne key player is missing from the stare-down between Senate Democrats and House Republicans over a measure to fund the government: House Budget Committee chairman and former Republican vice-presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin.
But Ryan has stayed on the sidelines.
“Ryan has been completely AWOL and apparently has intentionally played no role whatsoever in the shutdown/debt ceiling debate. There’s no reason to expect him to step up now,” Collender noted in a blog post over the weekend.
Ryan supporters responded to the criticism a bit in Monday’s Wall Street Journal.
The newspaper said that Ryan was “quietly” telling Republicans to avoid a shutdown.
One Ryan ally, Steve Bell, a former top Republican Senate budget aide, was quoted as saying that Ryan “is thinking about all sorts of options, be he sees this as the kind of mess he’d rather not get into.”
There is also a leadership void among Senate Republicans, he said, as Republican leader Mitch McConnell has no room to bargain given that he faces a tough primary election against a Tea Party candidate.
“So for everyone who insists the president should be negotiating with congressional Republicans to avoid a shutdown, ask yourself one question: With whom should the president negotiate?” Collender said.
— Greg Robb