Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, the former Republican vice-presidential nominee, has kept a lower-than-usual profile during the latest talks about defunding Obamacare. But during this morning’s GOP conference meeting, Ryan made his position clear, according to a source in the room. “We have to stay on the right side of public opinion,” he told his colleagues. “Shutting down the government puts us on the wrong side. The fight is on the debt limit.”
Ryan’s allies tell me they expect him to support Boehner’s plan, but he’s also going to work behind the scenes, as an unofficial ambassador for the leadership, to convince House Republicans to move away from a CR fight, should the Senate, as expected, kill the House’s stopgap bill that defunds Obamacare.
Ryan reportedly believes the House Republicans can wring concessions out of the Senate and White House on spending and entitlement reform as the debt limit nears, but only if they focus on that battleground.