Speaker Paul Ryan appeared on Fox News's Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo, talking about the House’s bold, pro-growth agenda, and the need for a Republican president to enact it. Below are excerpts from their conversation.
What are the priorities of the House’s agenda?
Number one: Growing the economy. That's things like tax reform and energy development, and getting the regulatory burden lifted from our small businesses.
Number two: We've got a lot of people in poverty . . . and we are not reclaiming the American Idea–this notion of upward mobility and opportunity. There are a lot of people who don't believe it's there for them anymore, and we have to have better ideas for getting people out of poverty and reforming welfare so we can get people from welfare to work.
Number three: Obamacare isn't working–it's failing–and our health care entitlement programs are going bankrupt, and they're bringing us to a debt crisis. We've got to address that. And so, we've got to go from being an opposition party to being a proposition party–and part of that means, what would we replace Obamacare with? What are our solutions for patient-centered health care?
Number four: National Security is a wreck. The military is under duress. We don't really even have a foreign policy, so we need to show people what a vision looks like.
Number five, and arguably the most important, is how do we reclaim the Constitution? How do we reclaim the principle of self-government and government by consent? How do we ensure the separation of powers get back on track–that we truly have checks and balances–so that people do have representative government, and not this government by bureaucrat, which is really the trend these days?
Why is the agenda so important?
All five of these things we think are necessary to get our country back on track. We don't think the nation's heading in the right direction, and we believe we owe it to our fellow citizens to offer an alternative . . . If we had a pro-growth economic policy, there is no doubt in my mind that we could get this economy growing faster, people could get better jobs and get a rise in wages, but for our government. That’s why we’re going to roll an agenda out there and give the country a choice.
What’s stopping us from enacting it now?
You’ve got to have a president to sign bills into law. That’s why you need a new president. That’s why we’re putting an agenda out there in 2017 showing how we would do that. We’ve passed 5 budgets that specifically show how we would balance the budget, how we would pay off the debt. We can do this, but you have to have a Republican president to do this, and that’s the whole point of our agenda.
What’s an example of reforms the president has blocked?
We’ve proven by passing through what we call reconciliation procedures that we can with a Republican president get a bill on the President’s desk to repeal Obamacare. We just did that. He vetoed it . . . Discretionary spending is a third of our budget. It’s entitlements that are going to be the cause of the debt crisis. These programs are going bankrupt and we have a president that refuses to do anything about it. We have a president that has rejected every single idea to balance the budget. . . We need a new president.