Rep. Ryan: I Was ‘Caught Off Guard’ On Budget Deal Criticism From Conservatives

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WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) — The co-architect of a new budget deal in Congress concedes the political accommodation is modest, but says it moves a fiscally challenged government “in the right direction.”

Republican Rep. Paul Ryan tells “CBS This Morning” the deal he brokered with Democratic Sen. Patty Murray of Washington state was the best possible at a time of “divided government.”

“This is a broken government. It’s divided. And this is how we can make it work,” Ryan stated.

The Wisconsin congressman went on the air Thursday to tout the agreement that, among other things, restores $63 billion in mandatory spending cuts.

Asked about harsh criticism from conservative groups, Ryan acknowledges “we were a little caught off guard.”

“One would like to think that you’ll get criticized after people know what it is you’re doing, not before they know what you’re doing,” Ryan said, adding that the reaction was “a little frustrating.”

House Speaker John Boehner angrily denounced two conservative groups Wednesday, saying anybody who believes in deficit reduction should support the deal.

Ryan says “nobody got everything they wanted, but we advanced our principles.”

The budget deal eases $63 billion in scheduled spending cuts over the next two years and replaces them with longer-term savings measured over 10 years, many of which won’t accumulate until 2022-23. Deficits would increase by $23.2 billion in 2014 and by $18.2 billion the year after that.

But the deal would put a dysfunctional Washington on track to prevent unappealing cuts to military readiness and weapons, as well as continued cuts to programs cherished by Democrats and Republicans alike, including health research, school aid, FBI salaries and border security. The cuts would be replaced with money from – among other things – higher airline security fees, curbs on the pension benefits of new federal workers or working-age military retirees, and premium increases on companies whose pension plans are insured by the federal government.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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