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Paul Ryan Poised to Seize Ways and Means Prize

U.S. Representative Paul Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican, speaks after a Bloomberg Television interview in New York, U.S., on Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014.

U.S. Representative Paul Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican, speaks after a Bloomberg Television interview in New York, U.S., on Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014.

Photographer: Scott Eells/Bloomberg

For most members of Congress, the chairmanship of the House Ways and Means Committee is the ultimate prize, a treasure trove of power and campaign cash cracked open after decades in the trenches.

Paul Ryan is about to get all that and more before he turns 45. The 2012 Republican vice presidential candidate is poised to take charge of the committee in January, giving him a chance to put his limited-government philosophy into practice and test his ability to forge compromises.