Behind the Scenes: Budget Listening Session with Paul Ryan
March 18, 2011
Washington (CNN) -- In a small conference room deep inside the Capitol, House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan could be mistaken for a traveling salesman at a business meeting.
Using a PowerPoint presentation with alarming charts and frightening graphs, the Wisconsin Republican is trying to sell the need to tackle the politically explosive parts of the budget that have driven America's deep debt -- entitlements.
Ryan's audience? Fellow House Republicans.
CNN was given exclusive access to Ryan's session, one of about 15 closed-door meetings he and House Republican Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-California, have organized this year, with more sessions to come after the GOP budget for 2012 is released early next month.
"Every year we delay fixing the debt problem, we go about $10 trillion deeper in the hole and adding to unfunded promises that we are making to Americans," Ryan says emphatically.
"We've got to break the cycle of politicians making empty promises to people and this is why we have to. We've got to go and explain to our constituents the seriousness of the situation and need to address these problems."