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2016: A Year of Ideas

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February 01, 2016 | Ian Martorana (202-225-3031) | comments
WASHINGTON, DC — This morning, Wisconsin’s First District congressman and speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, spoke with Right Wisconsin’s Collin Roth and WGTD’s Greg Berg.  

Below are excerpts of Ryan’s conversations.  

Setting expectations for Congress in 2016:  

“We have to therefore also become a better proposition party, and that is what 2016 is all about. It’s going to be a year of ideas. We are launching our task forces through our committees this week about putting together an agenda to present to the country. We know this agenda cannot be accomplished with Barack Obama’s presidency. It is an agenda for 2017 on what we can accomplish to turn this country around, get us on the right track, reclaim the Constitution, re-limit government, and unleash free enterprise, so that we can get this country working again, so that we can get our country safe again.”  

“That is what our alternative agenda will be about, and we’re going to roll this agenda out throughout the spring. . . . This to me was the primary reason why I agreed to take the speakership in the first place. We have to show the country that there is a better way, and we have better ideas and that if they elect us this is what we’ll do.”  

Providing opportunity for all Americans:  

“Look I’m a conservative, and I’m not angry about it. I’m a happy person because I am a conservative—because I believe that the tenets of conservatism, the principles that built the government—liberty, freedom, free enterprise, government by consent, self-determination, limited government, the Constitution—these are things that are exciting. These are things that are inclusive. These are things that are hopeful. These are principles that when applied to the problems of the day, give every single person more opportunity. It’s an inclusive, optimistic, inspiring agenda that . . . give[s] us what we uniquely call the American Idea: that the condition of your birth doesn’t determine the outcome of your life.”   

Finding common ground:

“The way I describe it is, let’s go figure out what we can get done. We’ve got to make government work, and there are things like criminal justice reform as one of the issues we talk about. . . . We have people in deep poverty coming out of prison and not having any chance at getting a lifeline or getting a life back together. I think there are things we can do to make that better."

“Let’s get that done. But there are a lot of issues where we just do not agree, and that’s the challenge, which is [why] we think we should offer alternatives . . . and opposing by having better proposition. But also, where you can find common ground, you can get that done too. You don’t have to choose one or the other."
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