Opinion Columns & Blogs

Ryan and Brownback go way back

Ryan AP

As Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., rose Thursday to the third-highest office in the land, many noted that Ryan was on Sam Brownback’s staff from 1995 to 1997, spanning Brownback’s transition from U.S. representative to senator. Ryan became a congressman himself in 1998 at age 28. And Ryan made a fundraising visit to Wichita on behalf of Brownback in 2013 in which he offered his former boss praise for his fiscal discipline and pro-growth agenda. “This is the kind of example that we could use in Washington,” Ryan said then. On Ryan’s rise to House speaker, Brownback commented to Associated Press: “He is a great team builder, consensus builder, even though he has very clear ideas of his own. He works very well with others, and I think that is going to serve him very well in a tough job.” Not surprisingly, Brownback was at the Capitol Thursday as Ryan became the 54th speaker of the House. – Rhonda Holman