WASHINGTON, DC — Yesterday, Wisconsin’s First District congressman and speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, spoke with WTAQ’s Jerry Bader and WCLO’s Tim Bremel.
Excerpts of Ryan’s answers follow.
Stopping unlawful payments by the administration to insurance providers:
“That’s a deposition from a Ways and Means investigation that is ongoing about the Internal Revenue Service and Obamacare and how they’re misapplying taxpayer money, going around the Constitution, and violating . . . the Anti-Deficiency Act. That was a testimony from an IRS employee who was interviewed at the time. [We] took the administration to court. We won this latest court round . . . which says, ‘Yes, the administration illegally moved money around Obamacare to basically subsidize insurance companies.’”
“[The administration] basically gave billions of dollars, taxpayer dollars, to insurance companies, to try and make Obamacare look better than it is [and] to try to make the premium increases not as high as they otherwise would be. They did this without an appropriation of Congress . . . and Congress controls the power of the purse. You can’t spend money that Congress does not authorize or appropriate, yet that is what the IRS did. What the deposition shows you—and this is part of an ongoing investigation—is that they circumvented the law. That is why we took the IRS and the administration to court, and we have so far won; the court has said we do have standing; we are suing the president for our Article I powers, the power of the purse, the legislative-branch powers. And in the ruling, the judges agreed that they have violated this. . . . We believe that the executive branch has so far exceeded its authorities, and that means we’re losing self-government.”
“We’re losing the principle of government by consent. So we in Congress, whether through investigations, whether it’s through the power of the purse, whether it is through lawsuits at federal court, are doing everything we can to hold this administration accountable for trampling on the Constitution. It’s a very important principle. We want to make sure that going forward . . . we make sure the Constitution is respected, so that we maintain one of the critical principles of conservatism, which is self-determination. We’re holding them to account, [and] we’re succeeding in court.”
Rolling out the House Republican agenda:
“It’s going to be a plan to grow the economy, things like tax reform [and] regulatory relief. It’s going to be: How do you replace the Affordable Care Act, which has proven to be very unaffordable? What do you to move people from welfare to work? That’s going to be our first rollout. We think we have a better idea on how to fight poverty in America; not just to fight poverty by treating the symptoms but getting people out of poverty. That requires welfare reform. Our welfare laws aren’t working. We need to have a system that actually moves people from welfare to work.”
“And then, national security is another issue that is very paramount. Not just fixing the military and its readiness problems, but having a national security doctrine that keeps us safe, that goes after ISIS, [and] that secures the border. The Constitution is another issue we talk about quite a bit, because we believe that the executive is overextended in reach beyond its powers. . . . Whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican, you should still be concerned about the principle of self-determination and self-government in America. It really is whether or not we have a government that is accountable to us as people, and that is one of the biggest issues that we seek to address as well. So, yes, over the course of June, we’ll be rolling these ideas out.”
Providing our military with the resources they need:
“The Administration . . . does not have the same vision we have with national security and defense. Again, we’re going to lay out exactly what we think we need to do to rebuild our military and to give our men and women in uniform the equipment they need and the standards we expect. That’s the bill we just passed. It’s also part of the national security strategy we’re going to be rolling out in June. Because we really do believe that we are on the cusp of a dilemma here in this country, and we want to give the country a very clear, meaningful choice. Those kinds of things are what we’re discussing with our presumptive nominee. We want to make sure we give the country a choice. We want to run on these issues and earn ourselves the mandate to make this right. Restore the Constitution, rebuild our military, replace Obamacare with patient-centered healthcare."