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Term limit for Ryan is Republican dilemma


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House Republicans face a dilemma in keeping popular and influential conservative Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) as chairman of the House Budget Committee.

Under GOP rules, Ryan, who has been the committee’s lead Republican since the 2006 elections, is limited to six years as committee chairman or ranking member and would need a waiver to keep his post in the next Congress.

Ryan is a hero of the grassroots because of his budget expertise and conservative principles, and he’s frequently mentioned as a possible vice presidential pick for Mitt Romney. Many also believe he could run for the White House one day.

But if he doesn’t become Romney’s running mate this year — or join the Romney administration as a Cabinet member — Republicans will face a tough choice.

The stakes are high for the GOP, given the budgetary issues set to face the next Congress.

Many in Washington expect a lame-duck session of Congress to kick decisions to next year on expiring tax rates and spending cuts set in motion by last summer’s debt deal.

Tax and entitlement reform are both possible agenda items for the next Congress, and Ryan would be a key player as Budget Committee chairman, assuming the House remains in GOP control.

Ryan, whose office declined to comment for this story, has been preparing for this moment.

His most recent budget, released earlier this year, would cut spending by $5 trillion over 10 years and turn Medicare into a partially privatized system where future seniors would have the option to receive subsidies to buy private insurance.Scissors-32x32.png

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