Paul Ryan Claims He Didn’t Vote For Fiscal Cliff Bill

Jan 02, 2013

paul-ryan-today-showFormer Vice-Presidential candidate Paul Ryan denied today that he voted for the fiscal cliff compromise bill which raised taxes significantly on the top 2% of American households.

Although the official tally from the House Clerk's Office shows that Ryan voted to pass the legislation, the representative from Wisconsin went on The Today Show this morning to claim that his vote was miscounted.

"I don't know how that happened," an exasperated Ryan told NBC's Matt Lauer,"There must have been some sort of malfunction with the electronic vote recorder. I clearly remember pressing 'Nay' but apparently it showed up as 'Aye'. Its a real mystery."

The bill lowered taxes on nearly 98% of Americans by permanently extending the Bush-era tax cuts first enacted in 2001. However, it also raised tax rates on a small number of very wealthy earners at the top of the income distribution scale.

Because of this tax increase nearly every member of Congress with presidential aspirations in 2016 - including Sen. Marco Rubio, Sen. Rand Paul, and Rep. Louie Gohmert - voted against the law. So when Paul Ryan's name was read as a supporter, political observers were shocked.

Pretty Little Liar

According to the Ryan, he was surprised to hear his named called as well. The impressively toned budget wonk says he couldn't believe his ears:

"When I heard my name with an 'Aye' after it I was like 'wait a minute, what?' I mean how is it possible in this day and age to miscast a vote on the House floor? But apparently its more common than I thought. And if it can happen to me it can happen to anybody."

Setting aside the question of his vote's legitimacy, Lauer questioned Ryan on a what message a 'yes' vote sends to the American people:

"You were your one of your party's standard-bearers this past year as its Vice-Presidential nominee. What does your vote yesterday to raise taxes on the rich say about the Republican Party's commitment to tax relief for all Americans?"

"Matt, I'll say this again, its not fair to say I voted for a tax increase," retorted Ryan,"No one should say that. Its just not accurate. I voted against this terrible bill. And I'm not an engineer. You can't blame me for bad electronics."

"So you're denying you voted for this bill?" Lauer asked, "Despite the fact your name is attached to it?"

"I categorically deny all association with this bill. And I just want to make one thing very clear to conservatives everywhere, particularly those in Iowa and New Hampshire:  I have never knowingly voted for a tax increase."