Did Chairman Ryan sit on the sidelines over the past two years? On April 15, 2011, the House passed the FY 2012 budget resolution. On March 29, 2012,the House passed the FY 2013 budget resolution. Both were written by Mr. Ryan, passed by him out of his Budget Committee, and he managed the floor debate for each.
It is true that Mr. Ryan never reached a bipartisan conference agreement on either of his two budget resolutions, but that’s because the Senate never did its work. Mr. Ryan’s Senate counterpart, Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D), did not pass a Senate budget resolution for any of the last three years. It is unfair to criticize Mr. Ryan for failing to reach a bipartisan compromise when his Democratic counterpart didn’t even show up or do his job.
More importantly, Mr. Ryan acted. His job as Budget Committee Chairman is to pass a budget resolution, and he did his job both years. Ms. Montgomery criticizes Mr. Ryan for failing to cut bipartisan deals in ad hoc negotiating forums. Yet he was not a member of two of the three, and she fails to give him credit for doing his job by passing legislation. As Budget Committee Chairman Mr. Ryan produced more concrete legislative progress than the Bowles-Simpson Commission and the super committee combined.