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Rep. Paul Ryan, Budget Committee chief, to give GOP's State of the Union response

The Wisconsin lawmaker is chosen as a signal to the party's commitment to deficit reduction, GOP officials say. Another Republican, Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, will also deliver a rebuttal, on behalf of the Tea Party Express.

January 22, 2011|By Michael A. Memoli, Washington Bureau
  • Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), the new chairman of the House Budget Committee, listens during a discussion at the National Press Club in Washington.
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), the new chairman of the House Budget Committee,… (Jay Mallin / Bloomberg )

Reporting from Washington — Wisconsin Rep. Paul D. Ryan will deliver the Republican Party's response to President Obama's State of the Union address next week, GOP officials said Friday.

The choice of Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee, is intended to signal the party's commitment to deficit reduction, party officials said. Ryan will deliver the GOP response Tuesday from the Budget Committee's hearing room.

"Paul Ryan is uniquely qualified to address the state of our economy and the fiscal challenges that face our country," House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) said in a statement. "We're broke, and decisive action is needed to help our economy get back to creating jobs and end the spending binge in Washington that threatens our children's future. I'm pleased that Paul will be outlining a common-sense vision for moving our country forward."

Ryan, 40, drew up a plan last year to overhaul entitlements. It involved partially privatizing Social Security and doing away with Medicare in its current form. His "Roadmap for America's Future" proposed personal retirement accounts for younger workers.

For Obama's first two addresses to a joint session of Congress, Republicans chose governors to deliver the response — Louisiana's Bobby Jindal in 2009 and Virginia's Bob McDonnell last year. The tradition of the opposition party delivering a formal response dates back to 1966.

Ryan has represented Wisconsin's 1st Congressional District since 1999. He was a member of Obama's bipartisan fiscal commission, but voted against the panel's final recommendations.

In addition, conservative firebrand Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) will deliver a rebuttal for the Tea Party Express, the organization announced. Her remarks will be streamed on the group's website after Obama's address to Congress. It was unclear whether she would speak at the same time as Ryan or afterward.

Obama is scheduled to travel to Wisconsin on Wednesday in a post-speech barnstorming trip.

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