POLITICS: PennAve

Paul Ryan: Conservative outside groups part of 'our family'

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Paul Ryan,Republican Party,Tea Party,PennAve,Tim Mak,Budgets and Deficits

Following House Speaker John Boehner's chiding of conservative outside groups, Rep. Paul Ryan on Sunday praised the groups as "indispensable" and a "valuable ... part of our conservative family."

Ryan suggested that criticism of those groups be kept private, arguing that he prefers to keep "these conversations within our family."

"John [Boehner] was frustrated because they came out against our agreement before we even reached an agreement ... but I see the Tea Party as indispensable," Ryan said on "Fox News Sunday." "[They] keep Washington accountable and ... they helped us get our ship righted again by being fiscally conservative" after Republicans lost the House in 2006.

The groups -- including the Senate Conservatives Fund, Heritage Action and others -- pushed the effort to defund Obamacare that led to a 16-day government shutdown in October. Those same groups threatened to unseat any incumbent Republican who didn't side with them. The groups also opposed a budget deal Ryan struck with Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray, D-Wash., that prevented a second shutdown in January.

Ryan noted that despite the groups' opposition, two-thirds of House conservatives ultimately voted for the budget compromise even though it included more spending than they wanted and raised government user fees that some likened to tax increases.

"I wish I could go back and change the results of the election, but it is what it is," Ryan said on NBC's "Meet the Press." "But government has to function, and we saw the specter of two possible government shutdowns in 2014 ... I don't think that's good for anybody, that's not good for the country."

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