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Paul Ryan's constituents react to his role in budget deal

Wis. congressional delegation also comment on newest budget deal

JANESVILLE, Wis. - Paul Ryan's voters react to his role in budget deal

The new budget deal has once again thrust Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., into the spotlight.

People at the Hedberg Library in Janesville are reacting to news of a budget deal that was hashed out by their representative.

"That's the most important thing that people have been concerned about is Washington hasn't gotten anything done. So now that's getting taken care of, now we can start working on other bills," Janesville resident Allen Jeannette said.

Jennifer Costello is also pleased to hear about the compromise.

"You're going to find that you're not going to get what you want with one particular person so I'm happy he's working on this to get something done," Costello said.

Beloit College political science professor Georgia Duerst-Lahti described the deal as the most forward-thinking initiative to come out of Washington in years.

"We have a year's worth of stability now, maybe because they need to raise the debt limit, perhaps in March, but for the economy to not have so much uncertainty is really just a bottom line," Duerst-Lahti said.

She said Ryan's role in facilitating this compromise will help him connect with voters.

"It probably will raise his stature and play well with the general public especially with his district," Duerst-Lahti said.

She said some on the far right may see Ryan as a sellout for compromising, but by getting his colleagues to work with Democrats, Duerst-Lahti said that makes him a stronger candidate for the White House.

"This really puts him in the public eye and is good for his presidential ambitions in 2016. Because he was seen as someone who could actually deal with the other side because the president has to deal with both parties," Duerst-Lahti said.

Clinton resident Ketelyn Jacobsen agrees.

"It's a good trait to have as a political leader to work with both sides together. I was impressed," Jacobsen said. "The bickering on both sides has many folks politically fatigued and they're hoping this is a sign that Washington can work."

"It's progress. I think it's important for them to move forward and make decisions together," Costello said.

The House of Representatives is expected to vote on the bipartisan budget deal Thursday.

Ryan said the deal is no grand compromise but is a start.

News 3 contacted members of Wisconsin's delegation for their perspective on the budget deal.

A spokesman for Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Wis., said he is reviewing the legislation, but said he is disappointed it does "nothing to prevent 1.3 million Americans, including almost 28,000 Wisconsinites, from losing vital unemployment insurance benefits just days after Christmas."

Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., said in a statement, "It is not perfect, but is a fair bargain for middle class families, reduces the deficit and rolls back the arbitrary cuts of sequestration that have slowed economic growth."

Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., praised the budget deal for the most part, but said there are "elements of the bill, however, that give me serious concern. I will look hard at the details of the bill when it comes to the Senate floor and vote for what I think is right for Wisconsin and the nation."

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