Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 9, 2016

Paul Ryan’s ‘No’ Vote Concerns Pelosi, Hoyer

Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., left, walks to the House Republican Conference meeting in the Capitol on the Senate Wednesday. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Ryan, left, walks to Wednesday’s House Republican Conference meeting in the Capitol. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

On Thursday morning, the four leading budget conferees ate breakfast together and told reporters afterward that they were committed to engaging in good-faith negotiations on a whole host of pressing fiscal concerns between now and mid-December.

The House’s two top Democrats, however, are already concerned that those crucial talks could be tainted by the fallout over the government shutdown and the near-missed deadline to raise the debt ceiling.

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md., both expressed consternation Thursday about the overwhelming House GOP opposition to the Senate’s compromise legislation to reopen government extend the debt ceiling until early next year: 144 Republicans voted “no.”

“Everyone described it as, ‘Oh, it’s just a few, it’s 30-some,'” Pelosi said at her Thursday press briefing, referring to the number of House Republicans who wanted to tie government funding to defunding Obamacare. “But 62 percent of their caucus voted to default on the full faith and credit of the United States.”

“The significant majority of Republicans voted to keep government shut down and bypass [Oct.] 17th without fully paying our debts. I thought, ‘That’s not a good sign,'” Hoyer told CQ Roll Call in an interview.

But the center of their worries is House Budget Chairman Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., a leader of the bicameral, bipartisan budget conference who also voted “no” on the Senate deal.
Pelosi and Hoyer fear that Ryan’s unwillingness to vote for the Senate-negotiated fiscal package on Wednesday could portend an unwillingness to engage in the kind of frank, bipartisan compromise necessary to finalize a fiscal 2014 budget by the Dec. 13 deadline.

“I was very disappointed that Paul Ryan voted against keeping the government open and paying our bills. It was a tough vote, but this time he took a hard-line path,” Hoyer said. “I hope after he goes into negotiations with [Senate Budget Chairwoman] Patty Murray and others in the conference, he will take a more constructive, positive solution.”

Pelosi agreed, adding that she was also bothered by the “no” vote of Senate Budget Committee ranking member Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., a leader on the budget conference as well.

“They did not vote for this bill that takes us to the table,” Pelosi said. “So, [it will be] interesting to see what that means, what is to be inferred.”

In a statement following the Wednesday night vote, Ryan called the bill “a missed opportunity.”

“To pay our bills today — and to make sure we can pay our bills tomorrow — we must make a down payment on the debt. Today’s legislation won’t help us reduce our fast-growing debt,” he continued. “In my judgment, this isn’t a breakthrough. We’re just kicking the can down the road.”

On Thursday, at the budget conference’s post-breakfast news conference, Ryan was asked to explain his reason for voting against the legislation, hashed out by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, R-Nev., and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

“Look, we want to have smart deficit reduction. We want to grow the economy. We think the budget process is the way to do that,” Ryan said. “I put a statement out last night explaining exactly my concerns. That speaks for itself.”

He added, “I want to have a budget agreement that gets this debt and deficit under control. … And we’re going to try and figure out if we can find an agreement to do that.”

Of the four House Republicans who were appointed to serve on the budget conference, Ryan was not the only one to vote against the bill, despite GOP leadership’s encouragement to vote in favor. Conferees Diane Black of Tennessee and Tom Price of Georgia both voted “no,” while Rep. Tom Cole of Oklahoma, an ally of Speaker John A. Boehner, backed the measure.

In an interview with CNN on Thursday morning, Cole appeared hopeful that a budget agreement was within reach.

“I actually think from a Republican standpoint, we’re on very strong ground here with the sequester being something honestly that both sides want to get rid of and with the president having put some entitlement reform in his budget. I can see the elements of a deal here and I hope we can keep working and find that deal,” he said.

  • HelpSaveMaryland

    Frankly, Pelosi and Hoyer are a truly frightening dynamic duo. Debt reduction and balanced bugets are of no interest to them. Taxing and spending middle class Americans is what makes their day.

    • ivan

      interesting..I guess corporate subsides on farms are ok but feeding kids is bad. Taking care of our own is bad but handing millions to big business is fine. Causing this nation to default with the rest of the world is ok as long as politicians like Ryan and Cruz get their political way. And as your Ryan would have it..women would have no say over their own bodies..Medicaid woul;d most likely end as would medicare….as for social security..if they want to stop that one then they can stop taking that money out of all pay checks. And while we are at it lets stop all of congress from giving themselves a pay raise whenever they want one..or any increases to what they already charge to the tax payers which is way to much to begin with.

    • Eric S.

      The rate of debt increase has only been lowered on the democrats watch. It increased under Bush #1, Bush #2, and Reagan.

  • Froggy

    Oh come off it you two. This was going to pass, and if it was close I’m sure that there were many Republicans (including Ryan) who were available to switch their votes if need be. This was grandstanding, similar to the way that Obama voted against a debt ceiling increase when he was a senator.

    • Eric S.

      It probably is in his case, but that is yet to be determined and that doesn’t make it right either way. Not paying our bills is a position none of our politicians should be taking regardless of trying to create political currency. In fact, there should not be cross-issue compromises. You should not trade tax cuts for immigration reform for instance. Mixing unrelated issues in laws should have been deemed illegal long ago.

  • HongryHawg

    You can expect the democrats’ version to stay in the news right up until the midterm elections. That’s what it was all about anyway; a rhetorical club to bang the GOP with every time they get an opportunity. With the “press” telling nothing but their version, that’s all that will be heard up to election time.

    • Eric S.

      I’m sure, but people are genuinely p***ed about this in both parties. We may be tired of hearing about it, but it is better then hearing about the government actually shutting down or hearing about us not paying our bills. The GOP could have prevented this by not attempting a default. The proper time for budget negotiations is when you are spending the money.

      • imwithstuoopid

        Our fearless leaders are not leaders but reactionaries.
        Shoot first then ask.
        Say no before you know the question.
        Don’t listen to the constituents, just ram it down their throats, then tell them how good it is and how you’re always right and it’s for their own good.
        This is about both sides of the house.

    • Steve Vandenberg

      Yes. When the real default comes the media should be killed first.

  • jdelaney3

    Comrade Pelosi’s and Comrade Hoyer’s comments underscore the painfully obvious: Progressives expect and demand abject humiliation and complete surrender on the right. Nothing less will be acceptable in their authoritarian 1984 world. The very idea of Republicans voting against Obamacare is, for them, inexcusably reckless, unpatriotic, obstructionist, and anti-authoritarian. The unmitigated gall of these unwashed Republican free-market, small government, republican apostates! How bloody dare they obstruct or oppose the Progressive march toward Utopia. Indeed!

    • Eric S.

      You can say the same of the right. The fact is, the only way for a private insurance system to work properly is to do similar to the Affordable Care Act. There is no other way (other then a single payer system) to deal with issues like pre-existing condition and the moral imperative to help anyone who seeks medical help for a life threatening condition.

      • Steve Vandenberg

        You’re FOS. Open up the insurance market to competition. Allow insurance to be purchased out of state. Tort Reform, Apply a tuff out of pocket co-pay for abuse like taking kids to ER for runny noses. I’ve worked I’m medicine 36 years & there’s still huge $ to be saved by eliminating fraud and encouraging competition. Walmart’s $4.00 generic meds for example. All the other Pharms said they wouldn’t be able to compete but guess what, they are. That 1 change brought the price of a medication I take from $60 to $11 on average. Go to a non-competing store it’ll still be $60.00. The savings in drugs alone would be huge. Who are you to say who has a right to protest. When someone tells me that they are taking what’s mine to give it to someone else (stealing) I have the right to protest and my reps damn well better protest.

        • Eric S.

          I agree you have a right to protest if you have an alternative. You can’t just protest that you don’t like something without providing an alternative. The Tea Party is not providing an alternative. It sounds like you have some good ideas, but they do not conflict with ObamaCare.

          • hairyputter

            How about protesting the basic surmise of ObamaCare … that the Federal Government has the authority to force me to buy health care insurance, whether I want it or not. That, Eric, is un-American and unconstitutional.

          • Eric S.

            What is the alternative? You get free healthcare subsidized by those who pay for insurance? Obama-care allows you to buy insurance equivalent to what you get for free now. The alternative sounds much more un-american. This is no different then complaining that you are required to pay taxes.

          • imwithstuoopid

            Really, you mean that the protested item is perfect, how about we / they sit down with proposed changes. Why is a complete alternative your only way out?

  • Eric S.

    Paul Ryan should know better. He is supposedly the financial guy for the Republican party. Personally, I think his status as a financial guy comes from re-iterating things he read in Atlas Shrugged. I don’t think he actually knows what he is doing. As for Atlas Shrugged, the Tea Party fits the role of the “bad guys” in the book better then anyone else. It was disruptive behavior, not wealth distribution that caused the downfall of the United States in the book.

    • Steve Vandenberg

      Dude you are delusional! Obama is a Marxist plain and simple. The progressive libs are all socialists. I would say the extremist libs but that’s all there are now. The last moderate liberal in the democrat party was Gabby Giffords & that was only after she was shot in the grape!

      • Eric S.

        Not really. There are three types of liberals: moderate pragmatic liberals, european socialism liberals, and hippies. I’ll ignore the last group, but none of them are commies. There are many liberals that like ObamaCare (at least when all the bugs are worked out) which is a free market based system for insurance companies. There are also many that think we should have a single payer system like most european countries. I would not call any of these ideas Marxist (particularly Obama’s ideas). I also don’t think there is anything wrong with european style socialism. It just doesn’t generally work in this country with the way we need to compromise between the conservative and progressive parties. Both parties are generally in favor of smaller government (i.e. as little as possible to fulfill the goals of governments role), the republicans (particularly tea party) think the balancing point is at a different place. Democrats tend to believe in a more technocratic system where as republicans are more democratic (not to be confused with the democratic party). Which is actually ironic, considering republicans are pushing to make voting more difficult in some states. Democrats also tend to be for labor unions although many don’t think they are regulated properly. Republicans are more likely to be against Unions even though Tea Party idol capitalist Ayn Rand supported them. I could go on, but my previous point was that we should be close enough philosophically to compromise on many issues. I wish this all or nothing attitude would end.

  • truthseeker53

    I sure hope you idiots who wanted obamacare are happy with it. It’s gonna eat your lunch too.

  • Steve Vandenberg

    It’s amazing that the republicans do nothing to challenge these lying motherfu*kers! Nobody voted to default and the treasury has plenty enough income to pay interest on debt! Any comment by libs & RINOS is a bald faced lie! We need to expose the lies and challenge their bullshit or we’ll never win!

  • Steve Vandenberg

    It’s amazing that the republicans do nothing to challenge these lying motherfu*kers! Nobody voted to default and the treasury has plenty enough income to pay interest on debt! Any comment by libs & RINOS is a bald faced lie! We need to expose the lies and challenge their bullshit or we’ll never win!

  • Chaz22

    There are only two reasons the majority of House Republicans voted “Yes” and that is because they were so scared of default and thought they’d be blamed if it happened, and because they don’t understand how the budget and fiscal strategy works. Maybe Ryan doesn’t know as much as he should, or could , but he knows more about it than most of them do . And most anyone who comments here do . Is there any reason why his judgement shouldn’t be good ?
    People like Pelosi and Hoyer are just afraid he won’t be compromising enough when it comes to budget conferences . I think his budget definately needs altering though, and according to what I’ve read, he’s willing to make some good changes if he gets something in return .
    Patty Murray and him get along great, though, and that’s helps . Patty has been a dedicated politician and amazingly enough , has managed to get herself that powerful posistion as Chair of the Senate Budget Committee . I am impressed, but what bothers me is that she got it even though she admitted she “doesn’t really know anything about it ” * just before she took the job . That’s a quote *.

  • Socialism is Organized Evil

    In many ways, liberty is an adaptation to our own individual ignorance and the uncertainty associated with future events & circumstances.

  • Socialism is Organized Evil

    Just like its marxist, socialist, and communist ancestors, today’s liberalism is a death cult.

Sign In

Forgot password?



Receive daily coverage of the people, politics and personality of Capitol Hill.

Subscription | Free Trial

Logging you in. One moment, please...