House budget chairman puts emphasis on spending cuts

Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis. Freddie Lee/AP

Democrats are not taking the country’s fiscal instability seriously, according to House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., who appeared on ABC’s This Week Sunday to discuss President Obama’s coming budget request, to be released Monday, and the payroll tax cut fight currently stalling the extension of several key tax provisions set to expire at the end of the month.

Ryan responded to White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew’s assertion on the show that Congress “needs to get its work done.”

“I think we will, but what we're trying to do is simply cut spending to pay for it,” Ryan told host George Stephanopolous.  “This payroll tax holiday loses money to the Social Security Trust Fund.  And if you just extend this without paying for it by cutting spending, then you're accelerating the bankruptcy of Social Security.”

“The president’s party leaders are more or less not engaging in these conversations,” Ryan added.

Ryan also anticipated that Obama’s budget would not adequately address the unsustainable growth of entitlement obligations.

Asked if he was worried about Republicans losing the House this November because of controversial Medicare proposals included his budget last year, Ryan said he was not concerned even as he attempted to turn the charge of cutting care back on Obama.

“We're taking responsibility for dealing with the drivers of our debt,” Ryan said. “You have to remember, George, that Medicare is going bankrupt, that the president's health care law puts a board of 15 unaccountable bureaucrats in charge of cutting Medicare, which will lead to denied care for seniors.”

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