WASHINGTON, DC — Last week on The Jay Weber Show Wisconsin’s First District Congressman Paul Ryan talked about the major legislative items considered by the House of Representatives in the last week. During the interview, Congressman Ryan discussed his vote to fund the government through December, the Ways and Means Committee’s legislation to dismantle the worst parts of Obamacare, and why fixing our tax code is critical for economic growth.
Excerpts of the interview follow.
Funding the Federal Government and Defending Life:
“I voted for [the continuing resolution] because, number one, shutting down the government does not help the pro-life movement. Just ask National Right to Life who asked us not to have a shutdown because they thought it would set back the efforts to educate people and to advance the pro-life cause. And by the way, it wouldn’t have stopped Planned Parenthood. The dirty little secret in this is, had we had a shutdown or cut discretionary spending on Planned Parenthood, most of their money doesn’t come from this pot of money. Most of their money comes from Medicaid, which is not involved in a government shutdown. And so that is why we’re using the one bill we get a year that can avoid a filibuster in the Senate and get it to the president’s desk, called reconciliation. And we are next week bringing that bill to the floor, which actually more comprehensively defunds Planned Parenthood. We won’t have a shutdown, we will advance the cause of life, and we will be able to avoid a filibuster and get it on the President's desk.”
Regarding Kevin McCarthy’s Comments on the Select Committee on Benghazi:
“[Kevin] made a mistake, clear and simple. And I spoke to him about it this morning. He knows he made a mistake. And by the way, that wasn’t why this Benghazi committee was selected. It was put together because we weren’t getting answers about why we had four dead Americans. I mean, that is what it was for, that’s what it is, and that’s what it’s doing.”
Unraveling Obamacare via Reconciliation:
“I brought a bill Tuesday out of the Committee on Ways and Means, a bill to basically gut and unravel Obamacare. We’re going to merge that with the Planned Parenthood defunding, and those two issues—Obamacare and Planned Parenthood—we’re moving through reconciliation so we can avoid a filibuster and get it on the president’s desk. And that to me is a smarter way to go, because at least we have clarity as to who’s for what and who’s not.”
“We looked at how much of Obamacare can we get that really basically unravels the law; that goes at the core of Obamacare. So we’re repealing the individual mandate. We’re repealing the employer mandate. We’re repealing the Independent Payment Advisory Board—these 14 bureaucrats that are in charge of ultimately rationing Medicare. We repeal the Cadillac tax. We repeal the medical-device tax. Those are we think the big moving parts of Obamacare that if we repeal them will guarantee that we must replace it with a new law. And by writing it this way, we can get it to the President’s desk. If we added all these other parts of Obamacare in there, they can filibuster it, and you can’t get it to his desk. That’s the story.”
Fixing the Tax Code to Build a Healthy Economy:
“I think the most urgent issue is all of these U.S. companies moving overseas are getting bought by foreign companies and becoming foreign companies. I mean look at Milwaukee: Miller is no longer a Milwaukee company, it’s a Canadian company. I mean, I could go on and on and on about the loss of our corporate taxes and of our corporate headquarters. And so what we’re trying to do is let these companies bring their money back home, reinvest in America, and switch our system over to one that is more internationally competitive because I think that there is a real sense of urgency here. And Europe is trying to take advantage of that, and they are actually trying to come up with new schemes to tax American companies. They’re trying to come up with new enticements to entice U.S. companies to move overseas and to become Irish or English companies, and we have to, we have to have an answer for that, and that’s what I am trying to do right now.
Maintaining Oversight of the Administration:
“We are fighting on many fronts. We are using the power of the purse to go after regulations, the EPA, the Department of Labor. We are fighting with our oversight—whether it’s our oversight on Planned Parenthood with the new select committee we’re creating, or Benghazi, or what we’re doing on the IRS.”
“We’re extremely frustrated, but frustration is an emotion, it’s not a principle. We have to be effective conservatives, so we can actually get what we want done into law.”
Uniting the GOP through Conservative Principles:
“I think it’s important to take a breath and realize the disagreement that is occurring among the conservative moment is largely over tactics. It’s not over principles or endgames or what we’re trying to achieve. It’s over tactics so I think it’s important to put that in perspective.”
“We should not be baited into being angry reactionaries. We need to make sure that we are offering the country a principled vision based on our conservative principles, and [explain] how they’re going to fix things and unify the party and the country.”
“I think the problem we have today in Congress and in the conservative movement is we have not done a good enough of a job explaining the horizon we’re going for and showing in detail what the country will look like that we’re trying to get to, and then showing how every little tactical decision and move we make is in fulfillment of that broader vision on the horizon. If you don’t know where we’re going, then you don’t know what we’re doing.”
“We need to show who we are, what we believe, and what we are trying to accomplish, and what it looks like specifically. And then people will understand why we make any given decision in fulfillment of that, that we’re being in prudent in taking an incremental step in the right direction or, when we have a chance of taking a big step in the right direction, we’re going to take that big step.”