This week, Representative Paul D. Ryan (R-Wi.) may have made himself a leading Republican presidential contender in 2016. By proposing an end to the budget impasse that did not include one word -- Obamacare -- Ryan may have outmaneuvered Senators Rand Paul (R- Ky.) and Ted Cruz (R- Texas).
Multiple proposals are under consideration in Washington. If Ryan's plan becomes the basis for a bipartisan budget agreement, it will boost his standing and be a body blow to the Tea Party.
Ryan is clearly trying to position himself as a fiscal conservative who is serious about addressing the country’s deficit problem -- without destroying the U.S. economy in the process. He is trying to win the support of the moderate Republicans and mainstream business leaders increasingly exasperated by the Tea Party’s flirtation with default.
Along with not insisting that Obamacare be part of any deal, Ryan dropped his controversial proposal to turn Medicare into a voucher program.
“Right now, we need to find common ground,” Ryan wrote in a Wednesday Wall Street Journal op-ed article that outlined his proposed deal. “We need to open the federal government.”