WASHINGTON - Representative Paul Ryan said Sunday that he has apologized in a telephone call to the Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman for accusing the military of not giving its “true advice’’ on President Obama’s budget plan.
Military generals are required under oath to provide lawmakers their personal views on security matters, even if those views conflict with the White House.
In this case, General Martin Dempsey had testified that he thought Obama’s $614 billion plan for defense spending next year was adequate. Dempsey said he stood by his testimony, despite Ryan’s remarks.
On Sunday, the Wisconsin Republican said he was wrong for suggesting the generals were not on the up and up. Ryan said he “really misspoke.’’ Ryan appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union’’ and ABC’s “This Week.’’
In his ABC interview, Ryan also defended his budget proposal, saying it would create a “better, simpler, more competitive tax system.’’
“With respect to the wealthy, we’re saying, ‘Stop subsidizing the wealthy,’ ’’ said Ryan, the chairman of the House Budget Committee. We believe there is an emerging Democrat-Republican bipartisan consensus on doing that, and so we reflect that emerging consensus.’’
The House on Thursday passed Ryan’s plan on a vote of 228 to 191, but it is expected to die in the Democrat-controlled Senate.