Washington (CNN) – The battle over the budget came down to the wire in Congress this week, but the fight is far from over for House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan.
Ryan, R-Wisconsin, is the man behind "The Path to Prosperity" – a drastic budget plan that has been criticized by Democrats as barely touching the pockets of the nation's wealthiest citizens or national defense spending, while placing a disproportionate burden on seniors, the middle class, would-be college students and the economically disadvantaged.
White House senior adviser David Plouffe - who made his rounds Sunday appearing on four morning news shows including CNN's "State of the Union" - said the "Path to Prosperity" had no chance of being passed into law in the next year.
In the Republican weekly web and TV address posted on YouTube Saturday and again Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press," Ryan defended his budget that he said advances cuts from the billions, to the trillions, a move he said is necessary to curb debt and prevent health care costs from ultimately taking up the whole of government spending.
"The problem," Ryan said in the video post, "is that Washington spends too much, not that Americans are taxed too little."
Late Friday, Congress avoided a complete government shutdown with a last-minute agreement, settling the 2011 budget that failed to be completed last year in the Democratically controlled Congress. The agreement formed the framework for a $38.5 billion spending cut package that will come to a vote on Friday.
The near stalemate highlighted significant social disagreements between the two parties and a battle is expected to wage on as the politically divided government seeks to form a 2012 budget and raise the debt ceiling before the nation reaches its legal debt limit of $14.29 trillion. As the fight goes on, Ryan faces more than partisan opposition, and may find himself defending his cuts to Tea Party conservatives, like Indiana Rep. Mike Pence, who have come out saying Ryan's plan doesn't go far enough and Republican presidential candidates hoping to appeal to right-leaning voters, independents and even Democrats.
Ryan declined to speak to CNN Sunday following his appearance on "Meet the Press," except to answer one question. When asked how he would have spent his day off had the government shut down, he responded, "I'd have stayed working."