March 6, 2015 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Ryan Sees Budget Anxiety at Town Halls

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House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan acknowledged Sunday that his budget plan has drawn sharp reactions from constituents back home in Wisconsin, which the Republican said is a sign of the times.

The crowds are really getting bigger at the town halls he has been holding over Congress two-week recess, Ryan said during an extended interview on ABCs This Week. And people are getting much more anxious about just where the countrys headed.

Ryan, whose far-reaching budget plan was approved by the House along party lines last month, also shrugged off suggestions of defections from his own party. Specifically, he said he didnt take it personally when Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said last week that he was not wedded to the Ryan budget.

No, not at all. I didnt take it personally, Ryan said when asked whether he was offended by Boehners comments. Its not it wasnt meant to be personal. I dont take it that way.

He maintained that his plan, which would privatize Medicare, aims to help retirees, and he decried the TV, radio and phone calls that are running, trying to scare seniors.

Democrats have hammered the GOP on Ryans plan and used it as a messaging tool over the course of the spring recess. The budget proposal has sparked fireworks at town hall meetings throughout the country, and Ryan was even heckled by constituents who charged that his plan was too drastic.

Ryan, a rising star in the Republican Party, acknowledged that his plan is politically risky but that the issue cant be ignored.

I hear this all the time from the political people, from the pundits and the pollsters that this could be this could hurt us politically, Ryan said. I dont care about that. What I care about is fixing this country and getting this debt situation under control. ... If all we fear about is our political careers, then we have no business having these jobs. If you want to be good at these jobs, youve got to be willing to lose the job.

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