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Paul Ryan's record: huge role in debt debate but few legislative wins

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Ryan’s budgets, passed by the House in both 2011 and 2012, came to define the House GOP position on spending, entitlement reform, and deficit reduction.  

In addition, they've given Republicans license to rip the Democratic-controlled Senate for failing to pass a budget in three years. That, in turn, has allowed Republicans to counter Democratic attacks of an obstructionist, tea-party-controlled Congress with the simple rejoinder: What’s your solution?

That’s a theme picked up by the Romney-Ryan presidential campaign.

“I believe my record of getting things done in Congress will be a very helpful complement to Governor Romney’s executive and private-sector success outside Washington,” Ryan said in Norfolk, Va., on Saturday. “I have worked closely with Republicans as well as Democrats to advance an agenda of economic growth, fiscal discipline, and job creation.”

In fact, the actual record of accomplishment is less robust than the debate it has inspired. 

In a few instances, Ryan has crossed the aisle to work with Democrats. Among his bipartisan moves is an as-yet-unsuccessful effort with the Budget Committee’s top Democrat, Rep. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, to give the president a line-item veto.

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