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Dublin: 8 °C Thursday 27 November, 2014

Paul Ryan to remain as chair of House Budget committee

The defeated vice-presidential nominee intends to stay on as the Republicans’ leading fiscal spokesman.

Paul Ryan (right) embraces MItt Romney after the latter conceded defeat in last night's Presidential election.
Paul Ryan (right) embraces MItt Romney after the latter conceded defeat in last night's Presidential election.
Image: David Goldman/AP

DEFEATED VICE-PRESIDENTIAL candidate Paul Ryan plans to return to his Congress – and hopes to keep his status as the Republican Party’s main spokesman on government spending.

The Wisconsin congressman, who retained his seat in the House of Representatives last night while separately running as Mitt Romney’s vice-presidential nominee, has confirmed he intends to remain in active politics.

It had been thought that a defeat for Romney – particularly a heavy one – could see Ryan give up his House seat and focus on other pursuits, but Ryan today said he would take up his congressional seat and serve out his new two-year term.

He told AP, however, that he would first enjoy spending some time with his family.

Observers had speculated that Ryan – if he had planned to run for the Republican nomination in 2016 – could be better served by pursuing higher-profile work, such as becoming a full-time media commentator.

It would be seen as relatively unusual for a member of the House of Representatives to secure a Presidential nomination for either of the two major parties; ordinarily candidates tend to be either current or former Senators or state Governors.

Ryan, who will now be serving his eighth two-year term representing Wisconsin’s first district, had risen to public prominence for his role as the chairman of the House’s Budget committee.

That status, given the Democrats’ control of the Senate, meant Ryan was the main Republican voice in the recent negotiations on raising the US’s national ‘debt ceiling’ – the legal limit on the national debt that the federal government is allowed to build up.

More: Wisconsin Democrat to become first openly gay member of Senate

Previously: Ryan launches “scathing attack” on Obama’s economic record

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