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Ryan's budget plan: A bridge over the divide?
Ryan budget agreement with Democrats caps year of bridging divided Republican Party
By KEN THOMAS and LAURIE KELLMAN
Associated Press
2013-12-15 03:01 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Rep. Paul Ryan says his 2-year budget agreement with Democrats is the equivalent of taking a few steps in the right direction.

For Republicans lacking a clear national leader, the deal also may be a way to span the divide within Republican ranks.

And it could put Ryan -- his party's 2012 vice presidential nominee -- in the role of bridge-builder before next year's congressional elections.

The budget plan approved by the House capped a year in which Ryan pushed his fellow conservatives to recognize the realities of divided government.

Ryan could eventually try to succeed House Speaker John Boehner or jump into the 2016 White House race.

Some conservatives oppose the deal but it could help Ryan make the case that he can get things done in divided government.

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