By Eric Katz; October 29, 2015
Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., was elected speaker on Thursday. Andrew Harnik/AP
The House on Thursday elected Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., to be its next speaker, elevating one of the country’s elected officials who has most consistently targeted federal employees to cut spending.
Ryan rose to prominence in part when he put forward budget plans in several consecutive Congresses that aimed to eliminate annual deficits within 10 years. To accomplish that goal, Ryan proposed draconian cuts to federal agencies’ spending levels.
Part of those cuts went directly after the federal workforce: Ryan’s blueprints would have slashed the number of federal employees by 10 percent through attrition. Agencies would have been required to replace just one worker for every three that left federal service. He also pitched higher pension contribution levels, suggesting feds contribute 6.35 percent of their paychecks toward their defined benefit.