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

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There’s also Ryan’s work with Sen. Ron Wyden (D) of Oregon on what has come to be known as the Ryan-Wyden route to reforming Medicare: allowing seniors to opt into a system of “premium support,” where they would receive government checks to help them buy private health insurance, or stay in traditional Medicare. 

His personal connection with lawmakers doesn’t stop at the chamber doors. A bipartisan group of lawmakers including Rep. Jim Cooper (D) of Tennessee and Rep. Heath Shuler (D) of North Carolina are regulars at grueling morning workout sessions hosted by Ryan, an exercise buff and former personal trainer.

But that personal connection with lawmakers stands in contrast to what even a colleague who has worked most with him, Representative Van Hollen, sees as an unwillingness to cut a deal on big issues.

"I like Paul Ryan personally and have enjoyed the very sharp, but always civil, debates we have had in the House Budget Committee on the future direction of our country,” said Van Hollen, in a statement after news of Ryan’s addition to the Republican presidential ticket.

"It’s important not to mistake civility with a willingness to compromise,” he added, in an interview Monday morning on MSNBC’s "Daily Rundown."

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