'Alternative Budget' Splits GOP Leaders

Boehner, aiming for damage control, reins in Cantor, Ryan
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 27, 2009 10:31 AM CDT
Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., left, looks on as House Minority Whip Eric Cantor of Va. gestures during a news conference on Capitol Hill, March 25, 2009, to discuss the budget.   (AP Photo/Harry Hamburg)
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(Newser) – Eric Cantor and Paul Ryan argued against the alternative budget “blueprint” announced yesterday, but party leaders ordered them to back the plan as a way of refuting the Democratic charge that the GOP is the "party of no," Politico reports. Ryan, the top Republican on the budget committee, has been prepping a detailed alternative plan, but John Boehner and Mike Pence opted to speed things up and go with yesterday’s 19-page document.

“In his egocentric rush to get on camera, Mike Pence threw the rest of the Conference under the bus,” said one aide. “I hope his camera time was gratifying enough to justify erasing the weeks of hard work.” But Ryan says his back is free of tire marks. “Somewhere along the line, someone got the mistaken impression that we were going to roll out a budget alternative today,” but it was intended as a preview, he said.