Rep. Paul Ryan, the leading candidate to become the next House speaker, today criticized the massive budget deal negotiated by President Barack Obama and Speaker John Boehner.
“This is not the way to do the people’s business,” said Ryan, according to Politico. “And under new management we are not going to do the people’s business this way. We are up against a deadline—that’s unfortunate. But going forward we can’t do the people’s business. As a conference we should’ve been meeting months ago to discuss these things to have a unified strategy going forward.”
As Republican lawmakers met Monday to learn details of the budget plan, Ryan reportedly didn’t speak a word at the meeting. Politico reported that Ryan had not reviewed the contents of the deal as of Tuesday morning.
With a vote on the deal expected as early as Wednesday, conservatives turned their attention to the top candidate for speaker. Ryan will face an internal Republican conference vote Wednesday, then a public floor vote Thursday.
“Heritage Action and the Club for Growth call on Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., to stop this zombie budget deal,” said Club for Growth President David McIntosh and Heritage Action chief executive Mike Needham in a statement.
Ryan’s criticism of the process Boehner used to negotiate the deal reflects similar sentiments from House Freedom Caucus members.
“We’re not just here to take commands,” Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., told CNN. “People back home expect us to participate in the process.”
“We would want [Ryan] to change the process, to make it more transparent, to let the committees do their work early, and to make sure that all members have the opportunity to weigh in early rather than find out when it’s too late,” Rep. John Fleming, R-La., told Roll Call.
The Obama-Boehner deal would increase the $18.1-trillion debt limit by at least $1.5 trillion and add $80 billion in spending above the budget caps agreed to in 2011.