Paul Ryan, Defense Hawk

During his 17 years in Congress, it wasn’t always clear whether Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) was allied more closely with fiscal conservatives or advocates of a robust military.

But now that he has risen to become speaker of the House, Ryan has revealed his true identity.

“As you know, I’m a defense hawk,” Ryan said this week. “I very much believe we need a bigger Navy. Big time.” He pointed to the contested waters in Southeast Asia as a reason for expanding the nation’s fleet, reported CQ.

Ryan also praised last week’s budget deal for benefitting the Pentagon.

“Like this budget deal or not, it did give us relief on defense. And what matters more for defense than one or two billion is predictability and certainty over a two-year cycle,” Ryan said.

And perhaps the DOD budget could be bolstered even further. “So they’ve got some predictability to get us through the Obama days, but we’re going to have to rebuild this budget after Obama,” he added.

The story noted that Wisconsin has its share of defense industry. Oshkosh Defense recently was awarded the contract to build the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle, the planned replacement for the Humvee. And some littoral combat ships are being built in part by Marinette Marine near the state’s northern border with Michigan.

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