No “Real Difference” between R’s & D’s

The Paul Ryan Compromise

The new speaker’s first big deal is just like all of the ones that infuriated conservatives under Boehner.

Paul Ryan budget deal.
House Speaker Paul Ryan talks to reporters following the weekly House GOP Conference meeting at the Capitol on Dec. 16, 2015, in Washington.

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

When Paul Ryan was handed the speaker’s gavel in late October, he pledged to restore normal order to the People’s House and eliminate the sort of backroom deals that rank-and-file members complain are shoved down their throats at the 11th hour. So, late Tuesday night, Ryan unveiled a few thousand pages of consequential tax, spending, and regulatory legislation costing roughly $2 trillion and gave Congress and the public two whole days to review everything.

Jim NewellJIM NEWELL

Jim Newell is a Slate staff writer.

To be fair to Ryan, the buzzer-beating legislating has more to do with the workload and deadlines John Boehner left him than anything he did wrong. The agreement Ryan reached with fellow congressional negotiators also looks much like one Boehner would have reached: Each side scores some points, but Republican congressional majorities again will fail to deliver a high-profile, base-pumping, ideological victory over some nefarious aspect of the “Obama agenda” on which conservatives had drawn a red line. Will this land Ryan in the same hot water that eventually cooked Boehner? He’ll get a pass, for now.

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