This is an excerpt from Keith Hennessey at Real Clear Politics. Click here to learn more.

Lori Montgomery from the Washington Post portrays Paul Ryan in her article “Amid debt crisis, Paul Ryan sat on the sidelines” as being both an idle legislature and one who is more content with touting conservatism than reaching bipartisan compromise.  While others on both sides of the aisle tried to solve the 16 trillion dollar debt crisis, “Ryan sat on the sidelines glumly predicting their efforts were doomed to fail because they strayed too far from his own low-tax, small-government vision”, said Montgomery. As evidence, Montgomery references Ryan’s vote against Bowles-Simpson recommendations and his request not to be named to the “congressional ‘supercommittee’ that took a final stab at bipartisan compromise last fall.” 

At face value these instances of alleged partisan behavior by Ryan may appear to be valid; however, when further examined, the flaws in the examples given by Montgomery become evident.   

Fact Check:

1. Ryan’s Idleness during debt crisis. Over the past two years Ryan had two pieces of legislature pass the House both written by him:  the FY 2012 budget resolution and the FY 2013 budget resolution.  Unfortunately, due to non-compliance and laziness on part of the Democrat-controlled Senate neither passed.  Ryan's success and efforts in passing both budgets were in stark contrast to Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad's (D), who has not passed a Senate budget resolution in the last three years. Montgomery can’t in good conscience paint Ryan as being idle when he has been more active in trying to resolve the debt crisis than his Senate counterpart.

2. The Bowles-Simpson recommendations. Montgomery neglects to mention that Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D) also voted no to the legislature, and that subsequent to voting no, Ryan gave his own long-term solution.  It should also be noted that Obama ignored the Bowles-Simpson recommendations making it impossible for Ryan, Camp, and Hensarling to support the legislature without having to compromise.

3. Congressional supercommittee. Montgomery omits the fact that although Ryan requested not to be on the congressional "supercommittee", he gave supercommittee member, Hensarling, his budget committee staff director to aid him. Ryan also assisted Boehner during the Grand Bargain negotiation by giving behind-the-scenes technical support to the Speaker.


In an attempt to tarnish Ryan’s credibility during his tenure as a legislature, Montgomery’s hit piece revealed the facade behind the Washington Post’s claim to nonpartisanship. The timing of Montgomery’s attacks on Ryan are an obvious example of the Washington Post’s bias against the Romney campaign. Like many in the mainstream media, the Washington Post has resorted to becoming a mouthpiece for Democrats.