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Speeches and Floor Statements

Ryan on State of the Union: ‘I didn’t hear any new ideas’

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January 29, 2014 | comments

Fox News

No new ideas in the President’s State of the Union address:

“Well, I didn’t hear any new ideas, that’s for sure. The only new idea I heard was when the President asked private employers to give all their employees a raise. I thought that was a little odd coming from the President. But knowing the President, I’ve been to a lot of his speeches. I think for him that wasn’t very combative. I think he was trying to dial back the combative nature of his speech but basically as a result there wasn’t a new idea here. And if his policies, which have been in place five years, were so successful we might be willing to entertain that. It might be a good argument to make. But he’s basically saying let’s just keep doing more of the same, which look at where we are.

“The one thing that really bothered me was this sort of notion that ‘if Congress doesn’t pass the laws I want you to pass then I’m going to do it myself.’ This sort of unilateral agenda, they’re calling it. Look, Bret, when we get sworn into office, whether you’re the President or in Congress, you raise your hand and you swear an oath to the Constitution. That’s going around the Constitution so when he says these things and does these things, that in my opinion is a violation of his oath.”

On the President’s comments regarding defense, immigration, and energy:

“First of all, I think his comments about the military were very appropriate and about our veterans. We’ve been actually fighting to fix the military budget and it’s getting decimated and we’re really worried about that. So I’d like to think that maybe those comments will lead to the fact that we’re not going to be cutting the military so much. That is the only thing he seems to be willing to cut.

“Second of all, on energy, he’s sort of taking credit for this energy boom then a couple sentences later, he’s talking about all the regulations and the cap and trade and the carbon things he’s going to do, which will hurt this energy renaissance. So from our perspective, we want to stop the government from stopping this energy renaissance from occurring. Not to mention the war on coal and all those other things that would actually create jobs.

“Immigration reform, as you mentioned in your last segment, is one of those areas where we’re going to do a different bill than the Senate. We’re not going to take their bill. And if he wants to go with the House and go with our step-by-step approach that requires security, requires the border security and the interior enforcement, and it’s got to be done and put in place. You can’t circumvent that law. If he’s willing to agree to those terms, then maybe we can get something done. Just like our budget agreement, he wanted a tax increase until the end. We said no all the way through. They didn’t get the tax increase and we got it on our terms so that’s what divided government does. That’s what meeting in the middle is all about but if he gives sort of the ‘my way or the highway and if you don’t do it, we will go around Congress,’ then we’re going to have a big problem.”

Contrasting the President’s ‘stale ideas,’ with a vigorous GOP debate:

“I do believe we’re unified. We’re all moving our principles in the right direction. We’re just not moving it as far as we want to go in the right direction. We don’t want to let the perfect be the enemy of the good. We want to make sure that we keep moving our principles in the right direction. We wanted to cut spending. We wanted to lower the deficit without raising taxes. We did it, but not nearly as far as any of us want to go. But what’s happening in the Republican Party is a great, vigorous debate about ideas, about solutions. Senator Rand Paul, you just had him on, he’s put some great ideas out there. So we have a vibrant debate about ideas and solutions, about creating jobs and growing the economy, increasing upward mobility. All of these things are happening on our side of the aisle. What I got from the President was a bunch of stale, old ideas. Ideas that have already been disproven that don’t work.

“Obamacare is another issue. I think the President kind of gave it a short shrift. He sort of gave a public service announcement for Obamacare, and I was disappointed in that because there are real problems with this law. And this law was sold to the American people under false pretenses, and he didn’t own up to any of that. And so, that’s one of the areas where I think he glossed over it. This is an issue that’s hurting a lot of families. And so, debate is on our side of the aisle. Ideas are on our side of the aisle. He just keeps pushing the same old stuff so we’re going to be where we are right now, which is a bad economy.” 

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