Washington — Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) stepped up to the plate on Tuesday night to deliver the official Republican response to President Barack Obama’s’ State of the Union speech.
Ryan will be the point man in the new House GOP majority’s drive to rein in spending and bring the budget closer to balance. Tuesday’s speech was the highest profile assignment yet for a wonky former congressional staff aide who has evolved into one of his party’s brightest stars.
Ryan is best known for a controversial budget plan brimming with politically unpopular ideas like gradually turning Medicare into a voucher program, curbing Social Security benefits and allowing younger workers to divert Social Security taxes into private accounts. He says such tough steps are needed, given intractable budget deficits that threaten America’s prosperity.
Below is the Republican response to the State of the Union by President Obama: