Republican Rep. Paul Ryan, whose three-year stint as Speaker of the House ended with his retirement, said that failing to reign in the federal deficit and debt was the greatest disappointment of his tenure as Speaker.
However, it was under Ryan’s leadership that Trump's budget busting tax cuts were passed and signed, making his regrets ring rather hollow.
"On healthcare itself and debt and deficits, it's the one that got away," Ryan said at a Washington Post event.
As speaker, Ryan helped oversee a rise in spending that is already adding to the deficit. Under his tenure, the amount of outstanding federal debt grew by just over $2 trillion, and the federal deficit expanded from $438 billion in the 2015 fiscal year to $779 billion in the 2018 fiscal year.
And it's projected to get even more pronounced from here. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the deficit in the 2019 fiscal year — which began October 1 — will be $981 billion. For the 2020 fiscal year, the CBO projects that the deficit will eclipse $1 trillion for the first time since the depths of the financial crisis.