Speeches and Floor Statements
Paul Ryan slams Obama Administration on Snowden hunt, IRS targeting
Wisconsin’s First District Congressman Paul Ryan appeared on CBS This Morning to discuss the ongoing investigation into targeting by the IRS and efforts to reform our broken immigration system. Video of Ryan’s interview is accessible here. A transcript of the interview follows.
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Charlie Rose: On Thursday, IRS Chief Danny Werfel will testify before the House Ways and Means Committee, Congressman Paul Ryan who sits on that committee joins us now. Congressman, welcome.
Paul Ryan: Morning. Good to be with you.
Charlie Rose: So with this new information, I mean, what is it you want to know from Werfel when you quiz him today?
Paul Ryan: Well, what we still don’t know is who ordered this targeting and why did it take so long for them to clean it up. We don’t know about the harassment that occurred after these groups were singled out, the harassment that occurred on the donors, the harassment and the intimidation that occurred with the kinds of questions that they asked of people. $70 million in bonuses to this kind of performance, now they’re asking for a billion more to clean the mess up, so there are lots of inefficiency questions.
Charlie Rose: But does it look less partisan with this new information?
Paul Ryan: I don’t know the answer to that. We’re going to let the facts take us where they take us. You know there’s “Be On the Look Out” lists right? So what they are saying is there are various different groups from the left and right and everything in between that were put aside, then the question is what kind of harassment occurred. All that we know so far is that the harassment and the intimidation occurred on religious groups, on conservative groups. We don’t know just how deep the harassment and the intimidation of these groups was after they were originally singled out. This is what the investigation is for. We’re not going to draw any conclusions beforehand.
Charlie Rose: Regardless of whether they were conservative or liberal?
Paul Ryan: That’s right, but we know that the IRS did target people based upon their political beliefs. Who cares whether they are right or left? The fact that they are targeting people for harassment based upon their political beliefs should be cause enough alone for outrage.
Norah O’Donnell: Let’s turn now to the issue of immigration. We saw of course the Senate move forward, including 15 Republicans, moving on these very tough border security measures. Do you think that makes it more likely it could come up in the House? Pass in the House?
Paul Ryan: We won’t bring the Senate bill up in the House. The House will do its own legislation. We are going to do our own plan which is going to be far more methodical. We’re going to take our time. The border security triggers are very important, and so that’s going to probably be the keystone of the House legislation which is first you have got to secure the border ---
Norah O’Donnell: But do you think the Senate bill is encouraging, what they did?
Paul Ryan: I do. I actually do. I think that that passing helps make this final passage even more likely.
Norah O’Donnell: You do?
Paul Ryan: I do. Yes, I do. I think making sure that emphasizing that the border is going to be secure and under control so that the rest of immigration reform can come along side it after the border is secured makes getting final law that much more likely. But the House will do its own legislation, it won’t do the Senate. What the Senate just did is they moved closer to the House’s position, which obviously makes final legislation more likely.
Norah O’Donnell: But we keep hearing that Boehner is not going to bring it up ---
Paul Ryan: Well, he’s not going to bring up the Senate legislation.
Norah O’Donnell: Until a majority of Republicans support it. When do you expect the House will move?
Paul Ryan: I think we’ll probably move in July is our plan.
Charlie Rose: But you’re saying, you think a majority of Republicans might very well support it now?
Paul Ryan: No, we’re not going to bring the Senate bill up but I think the majority of Republicans support a plan to secure the border---
Charlie Rose: Similar?
Paul Ryan: Similar, but we’re going to make sure we do it right. We’re going to make sure we secure the border. We’re going to make sure that we have the E-Verify system up and running. And fix legal immigration.
Norah O’Donnell: And how important do you think the Republican Party thinks it is to address immigration reform?
Paul Ryan: I think it’s very important. Look we tried to fix immigration laws in 1986, that didn’t work, then in 1996, we have been trying since 2006. We have a broken immigration system and it doesn’t work for anybody so it’s very important that we fix our immigration system. Legal immigration is good for America. We also want to make sure we know who is coming and going in this country.
Charlie Rose: I realize you’re a Congressional Republican and therefore you’ve had your moments of opposition to the President, this is from Politico this morning: ‘Six months into his second term, Barack Obama’s presidency is in a dead zone.’ Now, does what is happening with Edward Snowden even emphasize that as well?
Paul Ryan: It does because it just reveals an administration that seems more and more incompetent by the day. When you see scandals such as the IRS or intimidation such as the Department of Justice and journalists ---
Charlie Rose: What would you have done that the Administration has not done with respect to Edward Snowden?
Paul Ryan: Well first of all, I would reveal how is it that a 29 year-old contractor with one year at Booz Allen Hamilton can get this kind of security clearance, can get this access to this kind of intelligence, walk out with a thumb drive and give it out to the world. How is it that our security clearances are so low that something like this can happen, that’s number one. Number two, once we discovered that this person has stolen our secrets and has leaked them, you’d think that we’d have done a better job of following up with them in China and these other countries.
Charlie Rose: Now they talk about consequences and that the relationship with China and Russia may change. What tools does the United States have and what would you recommend the President do to instill those consequences?
Paul Ryan: I don’t want to knee jerk but I would say that we have extradition treaties. We have relationships. We should use those relationships. And if we’re not able to convince our allies or other countries to actually help us with this, that doesn’t speak very well to how we’re being viewed in the world, that doesn’t speak very well to our credibility, and if we try to leverage our credibility and we are not successful, that does not help our image whatsoever.
Norah O’Donnell: Congressman Paul Ryan, good to see you this morning.
Paul Ryan: Nice to see you again.