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Political observers to keep close eye on former VP candidate Paul Ryan


WASHINGTON D.C. (WTAQ) - It’s clear that political observers will keep score on what Paul Ryan and the other possible 2016 presidential candidates do about the nation’s thorniest fiscal matters.

The New York Times says Ryan, the House Budget chairman from Janesville, and fellow Republican Senator Marco Rubio have already separated themselves with their opposing votes on the fiscal cliff bill.

Ryan voted for the package, a day after Rubio voted against it. It was the first of several major budget and deficit reduction votes planned in the next few months – and the Times says each one will have an impact on how the Republican White House field shakes out for 2016.

Rubio, of Florida, was 1 of just 8 senators to vote against the package – which included tax increases for the wealthy and steady income tax rates for everyone else.

Ryan said he was most interested in making the lower tax rates for most Americans permanent. But Rubio said the measure postpones the need to resolve the nation’s debt crisis, and create jobs for the 23 million unemployed Americans.

The Times said Ryan’s supporters believe he cares less about the 2016 election than getting the budget mess straightened out. And they also say Ryan wants to a closer bond with House Speaker John Boehner, as Congress decides on spending cuts and raising the government’s borrowing limit. Boehner voted for the fiscal cliff measure.