House Speaker John Boehner's decision not to appoint the Republican Party's financial wizard, Rep. Paul Ryan, to a 12-member super committee tasked with finding more than $1 trillion in savings came as a surprise to almost everyone but Ryan, who said he asked not to be a member of the panel despite earlier indications that he would serve if asked.
Several Republicans had rooted for Ryan to be part of the 12-member panel.
"I definitely would have Chairman Paul Ryan, just because he lives and breathes these numbers, he knows them inside and out. He understands what needs to be done," Rep. Michael Grimm, R-N.Y., told CNBC before Boehner's announcement. "I think Paul Ryan definitely has to be at that."
Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee, said Wednesday that he asked Boehner not to consider him because of his plan to overhaul the budget process this fall. Aides to Boehner confirmed that to Fox News.
"This past year has shown that the federal budget process is more broken than ever and needs to be reformed," the Wisconsin congressman said in a written statement, showering praise on the three Republicans that Boehner chose -- Rep. Jeb Hensarling of Texas and Reps. Dave Camp and Fred Upton, both of Michigan.
"If we are truly going to put the country's fiscal house in order, it will not be enough to temporarily reduce what Washington spends," he said. "We must permanently reform the process by which working American’s hard-earned tax dollars are spent."
But on "Fox News Sunday," Ryan said he would serve on the committee if asked.
He added, however, that he doesn't put much stock in the bipartisan committee, which will have until the end of the year to draw up a deficit-reduction plan to avoid automatic, sweeping cuts to parts of the budget that both sides cherish.
"I think people are overemphasizing what this committee is going to achieve," he said on Sunday. "I don't think this committee is going to achieve a full fix to our problems because Democrats have never wanted to put their health care bill on the table.
"We haven't seen a budget passed in the Senate in two years," he continued. "The president hasn't put out a specific plan to fix this problem, and they don't even want to go with structural entitlement reform which is what you have to do to fix this problem, prevent this downgrade and get this economy growing."
Ryan authored a budget plan earlier this year that he said would have slashed government spending by $5.8 trillion over the next decade. It called for transforming Medicare into a voucher-style program that critics said would require the elderly to pay much more for their health care.
Ryan was also a member of the Bowles-Simpson commission that President Obama formed last year to address the nation's debt problems. The commission released a 67-page plan to stabilize the national debt but still left a deficit of $421 billion in 2015. Only 11 of the 18-member commission voted to approve it, falling short of the 14 needed to send it to Congress. Ryan voted against the plan.