Republican Rep. Paul Ryan is finally speaking out about the government shutdown stalemate. But there’s one major problem, according to his fellow GOPers: There’s no mention of Obamacare.
In a Wall Street Journal op-ed, the chairman of the House Budget Committee and failed vice presidential nominee says in order to put the political drama to rest Democrats and Republicans should focus on “modest reforms to entitlement programs and the tax code.”
Ryan primarily proposes trading entitlement reforms for a repeal of the sequester cuts.
“For my Democratic colleagues, the discretionary spending levels in the Budget Control Act are a major concern. And the truth is, there’s a better way to cut spending. We could provide relief from the discretionary spending levels in the Budget Control Act in exchange for structural reforms to entitlement programs,” the Wisconsin lawmaker writes.
Conservative critics immediately jumped over the fact that Ryan failed to even mention Obama’s health care act, a major sticking point for many House Republicans who are quixotically rallying around a plan to delay or defund Obamacare. Ryan, whose name has been floated as a possible 2016 contender for the Republican presidential nomination, has been largely silent throughout the shutdown battle despite making a name for himself as the brains behind the GOP budget platform.
Dan Holler, the communications director for the Heritage Foundation, tweeted “Much like White House press, Paul Ryan doesn’t mention Obamacare in WSJ oped”
Amanda Carpenter, the spokeswoman for GOP Sen. Ted Cruz — who has spearheaded the effort to defund Obamacare – tweeted “There is one big word missing from this op-ed. [It starts] with an O and ends with BAMACARE”
The National Review’s Andrew Stiles wrote “Conservative aides I talk to are flummoxed as to why Ryan, et al, want to shift focus from Obamacare (unpopular) to Medicare/SS (v. popular).”
Red State’s Erick Erickson retweeted a tweet saying “It seems like Paul Ryan has successfully pissed off the right.”
The criticism comes on day nine of the shutdown and eight days from the country entering into default unless Congress can agree to a debt ceiling increase. The president has said that he was willing to negotiate with the GOP, but that the government must reopen first. Obama has called for a debt-limit increase without any conditions, but GOP leaders have refused to budge unless specific spending reductions are put in play in exchange for a debt-limit hike.