Who Is GOP VP Hopeful Paul Ryan?

How much do you know about the man who's potentially the next vice president of the United States? On the day that he comes to Pittsburgh, Patch is outlining Ryan's views on major issues from the federal budget to immigration to social issues and more.


Age: 42

Hometown: Janesville, Wisconsin

Education: Bachelor's in Economics and Social Science from Miami University in Ohio

Entry into politics: 1998, Wisconsin's District 1. Currently a seven-term Congressman. 

Religion: Catholic

Family: Married to Janna, two sons (Charlie and Sam), one daughter (Liza)

Major achievementsAccording to the Washington Post, he became known for "unveiling budget blueprints that, among other things, would revamp Medicare by transforming it into a voucher program for those currently under 55 years of age."  

He is Chairman of the House Budget Committee and a member of the House Ways Committee.  

In 2011, he was voted as Time's Person of the Year runner-up.  

Ryan was selected by the GOP to give the official party response to President Obama's 2011 State of the Union address. (You can watch that video in the sidebar.)

Ryan & The Economy: As the author of the “The Path to Prosperity,” which ultimately became the blueprint for Romney’s economic vision for America’s future, Ryan is widely respected by members of both parties as a federal budget expert and a fiscal hawk of the highest order. He supports amending the Constitution to include a balanced budget requirement. He recently joined Democrats as well as three House Republicans in denying passage of a watered-down version of the balanced budget amendment that did not include spending limits, promised higher income taxes down the road and had little chance of passing the Senate.

Ryan & Medicare: Ryan supports maintaining the existing Medicare program for current seniors as well as those who are near retirement. “Younger workers” would receive a voucher that would offer, in Ryan’s words, greater choice through the creation of a Medicare Exchange that would put insurers in competition with each other, which Ryan believes will drive down costs. The voucher plan, born from the Clinton health care commission, is a bipartisan solution, Ryan says.

Ryan & Social Security: Ryan believes that Social Security is in deep financial trouble. He believes that there is a bipartisan path forward and points to the progress made by President Obama’s Fiscal Commission, which supports revising Social Security to include a progressive payment structure and providing additional financial help to those who fall below the poverty line.

Ryan & Immigration: Ryan does not support amnesty for illegal aliens. Instead, he “hopes” to solve the problem through better border security procedures and an updated worker registration system. He sympathizes with the DREAM Act but does not support its “piecemeal”, “symptom”-treating efforts. He supports a temporary guest worker program. 

Ryan & Health Care: Ryan supports repealing the Affordable Care Act.

Ryan & Environmental Issues: Ryan, by all accounts, is an “avid outdoorsman” and he has focused his environmental legislative efforts in the Wisconsin region. He vigorously supports Congress’s Asian Carp effort as well as the Great Lakes Interagency Task Force. He supported removing the gray wolf from the endangered species list; the gray wolf population has been increasing in numbers, and many Wisconsin farmers have reported losing livestock to gray wolf attacks.  He is a member of the Congressional Sportsman’s Caucus.

Ryan & Foreign Policy: Ryan supports maintaining a military presence in Afghanistan. He is staunch supporter of Israel’s “right to exist” and believes that America should not pressure it to agree to deals that won’t maintain regional peace with known terrorists and terrorist-sympathizers such as Hamas. He supports maintaining a strong, well-supplied military.

Ryan & Social Issues: Although Ryan’s own website does not highlight his views on social issues, he opposes abortion and has voted to eliminate funding to Planned Parenthood. He also opposes same sex marriage and supports the rights of gun owners, saying that he believes gun control legislation won’t result in improved crime control. 


None of the information contained in this article should be viewed as an endorsement of any candidate. Portions of this article were originally published on and 

(Editor's note: Basic information provided by Paul Ryan's official website.)

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