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Speeches and Floor Statements

Ryan Gives Update on IRS Investigation

Fox News' Fox & Friends

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June 20, 2013 | comments

WASHINGTON—Congressman Paul Ryan appeared on Fox and Friends to give an update on the Ways and Means Committee’s ongoing investigation into the IRS scandal. He also discussed efforts in the House of Representatives to reform our broken immigration system. Excerpts of the interview follow.

Seeing the Arrogance of Big Government:

“What we’re seeing is the arrogance and abuse of big government. We are seeing big government in practice. We know from our IRS investigation already from the Ways and Means Committee that this wasn’t a few rogue agents in Cincinnati. This was a systemic pattern of abuse of power—directed from Washington by the IRS, targeting people based upon their political and religious beliefs. And now they are going to get $70 million in bonuses at a time when government agencies are getting cuts—at a time when we are doing furloughs at the Pentagon and other places. It’s outrageous. Hardworking taxpayers deserve better than this. Unfortunately, as I mentioned, this is what big government looks like in practice.”

Getting Answers from the IRS:

“I do think we will get the answer to that. I’m part of that investigation as a member of the Ways and Means Committee. It’s going to take months to get through all this. We’re getting lots of data that we have required that the IRS send to us. Our investigators are in the midst of interviewing IRS employees up and down the food chain. We have a hearing next Thursday in the Ways and Means Committee where we have the acting deputy commissioner—and he’s not the acting commissioner anymore because they have not had a full-time commissioner there for such a long time. And we’re also getting lots of data that we’re going to pour through. This will take us months to figure this out and to see just how systemic it is and who ordered all of this targeting.”

Securing the Border:

“The House is working on legislation as well. The House is not going to bring up the Senate legislation. We’re taking a different approach. What we want to make sure in the House is that we have real border security, real triggers to make sure that we actually secure the border, that we know who’s coming and going in this country. We have a broken legal immigration system that we have to fix. We want people who are coming into this country to come and contribute to our economy, contribute to society. And so we think we can get this right. Having a system that honors the rule of law. Having a system that rewards people who obey the law and holds people accountable who don’t—that’s the kind of immigration system we need to have. . . . We want efficient, effective immigration reform that’s actually lasting, so ten years from now we don’t have the same problem again. That’s why we’re going to do this slow and methodically in the House—to try and get this right.”

Striking a Balance between Civil Liberties and National Security:

“In this 21st century, Gretchen, we’re going to see some tension between our civil liberties and national security. And when that tension arises, in my opinion, you always have to err on the side of civil liberties. That’s what the NSA surveillance debate is all about. That’s what the PATRIOT Act debate is all about, which is we believe in limited, effective government and equality before the law. The IRS is a good example of people not being treated equally before the law. And we want to make sure that with limited government, you have equality before the law. And with big government and the arrogance that comes with it, we’re not seeing that these days.”

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