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Paul Ryan is the U.S. Representative for Wisconsin's 1st congressional district, serving since 1999, and was a candidate for vice president on the 2012 Republican ticket with Mitt Romney. He is a member of the Republican Party and has been ranked among the party's most influential voices on conservative economic policy. Ryan is the chairman of the House Budget Committee, where he played a prominent public role in drafting and promoting the Republican Party's long-term budget proposal. He introduced the plan "The Path to Prosperity" in April 2011 to counter the budget proposal of President Barack Obama. Ryan is one of the three co-founders of the Young Guns Program, an electoral recruitment and campaign effort by House Republicans. Ryan is a practicing Catholic and a graduate of Miami University in Ohio, with degrees in economics and political science.