Paul Ryan: No comment on fiscal cliff bill

January 1, 2013

Where does House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) stand on the bipartisan Senate-passed fiscal cliff deal?

As of late Tuesday, it remained a mystery.

Ryan, the former vice-presidential nominee, declined to answer questions earlier in the day from reporters at the Capitol who asked his position on the measure, according to The Post's Rosalind S. Helderman.

To one reporter who asked whether Sen. Marco Rubio's (R-Fla.) "no" vote might influence his own decision, Ryan replied, "Give me a break," according to The Daily Caller. He told a reporter for the publication that he would first reveal his position to his colleagues before making it known to the press.

The fiscal cliff debate could put Ryan in a tough spot politically: On the one hand, he's one of the highest-profile House Republicans and has voted in the past along with House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on matters such as the 2011 debt-ceiling deal. He's also been among the members present at Boehner's regular management meetings related to the fiscal cliff.

On the other hand, the 2016 presidential race is already looming. Two other top congressional Republicans thought to have national ambitions -- Rubio and Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.) -- voted "no" on the fiscal cliff deal, a move that could ramp up pressure on Ryan in a heated GOP primary battle.

A Ryan spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday night.

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