Reid Ribble, a Wisconsin roofing contractor-turned-Republican lawmaker, has helped change the way Washington talks about the national debt. That’s not to say he has done much about the debt itself.
Nearly a year ago, Ribble and other newly elected House Republicans came to Capitol Hill on a single-minded mission to shove the federal debt to the top of the congressional agenda. They succeeded. At every opportunity, they demanded cuts in spending, forcing a series of white-knuckle showdowns that have kept the government in a state of perpetual crisis. Washington nudged close to a public conversation about the kind of government taxpayers want and what they are willing to pay for it.
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