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Paul Ryan releases new GOP budget plan: What's in it?

The Republican House budget, released by Rep. Paul Ryan, scales back Medicare reforms that hurt GOP candidates last year, but sharpens contrast with President Obama on debt.

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House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., center, holds up a copy of his budget plan, titled 'The Path to Prosperity,' Tuesday during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington.

Jacquelyn Martin/AP

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Rep. Paul Ryan, the Republican budget hawk who became a lightning rod last year over his plan to reform Medicare, introduced a Republican budget plan Tuesday that aims to "sharpen the contrast" with President Obama on debt. 

The proposal scales back the controversial Medicare reforms that drew such a strong response from Democrats a year ago. But it offers a Republican touchstone for spending, taxes, and debt likely to resonate in the national dialogue through November elections.

Moreover, it gives Republicans the ability to say they're promoting actual solutions to the nation's long-term financial problems and to remind voters that Senate Democrats haven't passed a budget in more than three years. 

“If we have a difference of opinion with the president and the direction he and the Senate leaders have taken the country, which we do, we feel morally bound to offer a choice,” said Mr. Ryan, who chairs the House Budget Committee, at a morning press conference on Tuesday. “And we had a legal obligation in our budget laws to produce a budget.”

One thing the two proposals have in common? Roughly the same enactment prospects (zero). But the Ryan budget's contrast with the White House offers a Republican touchstone for spending, taxes, and debt likely to resonate in the national dialogue through November elections. It gives Republicans the ability to say they’re promoting actual solutions to the nation’s long-term financial problems and remind Senate Democrats that they haven’t passed a budget in more than three years. 

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