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House Budget Committee head Ryan to speak for GOP

WASHINGTON (AP) - Republicans have selected House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan to deliver the party's speech after President Barack Obama's State of the Union address Tuesday night.

A Wisconsin Republican, Ryan will play a key role in the GOP drive to cut federal spending this year. Party leaders say his selection was intended to emphasize that objective.

Ryan's selection was announced by Speaker John Boehner and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell.

Obama will deliver the State of the Union address Tuesday night before a joint session of Congress and a national television audience.

Ryan became chairman of the Budget Committee earlier this month. In a dozen years in Congress, he has consistently sought to reduce federal spending and rein in the cost of benefit programs such as Social Security and Medicare.

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