House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan will deliver a “major address” Wednesday “aimed at combating the politics of division,” the Wisconsin Republican’s office announced Monday.
In the address, titled “Saving the American Idea: Rejecting Fear, Envy and the Politics of Division,” Ryan is expected to outline “a principled, pro-growth alternative to this path of debt, doubt and decline,” according to a release from the congressman’s office.
Here’s more from the conservative Heritage Foundation, where Ryan will deliver the address:
The American commitment to equality of opportunity, economic liberty, and upward mobility, is not tried in days of prosperity. Instead, it is tested when times are tough – when fear and envy are used to divide Americans and further the interests of politicians and their cronies. In this major address at The Heritage Foundation, Congressman Paul Ryan will dissect the real class warfare – a class of governing elites, exploiting the politics of division to pick winners and losers in our economy and determine our destinies for us.
The speech comes as Senate Democrats are pushing forward with elements of President Obama’s jobs plan after Republicans blocked a motion this month to proceed on the package as a whole. Democrats have repeatedly proposed that parts of the jobs package be paid for via a surtax on the very wealthy, a move that Republicans have criticized as tantamount to “class warfare” but that Democrats argue is backed by recent public opinion polls.
Ryan’s address also comes as the Occupy Wall Street protests enter their second month. The movement has gained traction in demonstrations across the globe, and in the United States what was once an unstructured collection of activists now has garnered the organizational support of some of the country’s major labor unions.
Earlier this month, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) chided some Democratic lawmakers for engaging in the “politics of division” by boosting the Occupy Wall Street protesters.
“We’re in an elected position and trying to lead, to solve problems,” Cantor told reporters at his weekly pen-and-pad briefing. “I don’t believe that our role is to inflame a division between different parts and sectors of American society.”
Ryan, too, has accused Obama of “sowing class envy and social unrest” by expressing support for the Occupy Wall Street movement.
It’s a theme to which Ryan is likely to return in his Wednesday remarks, which will mark one of the budget committee chairman’s most high-profile events in recent months.
A GOP rising star and the architect of House Republicans’ 2012 budget blueprint, Ryan is considered one of his party’s leading minds on budgetary issues. But he has taken a lower profile after Democrats began hammering GOP candidates on the campaign trail over Ryan’s plan to overhaul federal entitlement programs; earlier this fall, he declined to be considered for one of the three House GOP spots on the bipartisan debt “supercommittee.”