This week, the House kicked off its #YearOfIdeas by successfully passing legislation to repeal Obamacare and defund Planned Parenthood—a bill that will soon be sent to the president’s desk. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) discussed this conservative win today during his weekly press briefing, explaining the what, how, and why of reconciliation, and what’s on this year’s horizon to get America #BackOnTrack:
“For me, 2016 is about going on offense on ideas. It’s about starting to get the country back on track. And how better to start the year on offense than putting a bill to repeal Obamacare and defund Planned Parenthood on the president’s desk. How long have we been at this—five years?
“Getting past the Senate Democrats has always been the issue, and finally, we cracked the code. In 2014, we won the Senate. In 2015, we passed balanced budgets in the House and the Senate. That gave us reconciliation, a tool we can use once a year, and we’re doing it with this.
“Now, is someone named Obama going to sign a bill into law repealing Obamacare? Of course not. But we have now demonstrated that, if we elect a Republican president, we can use this same path to repeal Obamacare without 60 votes in the Senate. This is critical. That’s how we will move to replacing this law with a truly patient-centered health care system. So this is where we truly kick off making this year the year of ideas.
“My basic premise for taking this job is making sure that we offer the country a clear choice for the direction that we want to lead. We need to give the people the respect that they deserve, and the information that they need to make an informed decision. This means putting together a bold, pro-growth agenda. And it means putting it together quickly.
“Now I know all of you want to know the who, the what, the where, the how, the when and the why of this agenda. We’re not going to do this top down. This is going to be developed through a bottom-up, collaborative process, with all of our members contributing to the process. These aren’t going to be things we’ll be able to get done this year. This will require a new president.
“But if we want a mandate to do big things, if we want a mandate from our fellow Americans to fix this country’s problems and get us back on the right track, we’re going to have to offer a real agenda to the country. And we’re going to do that soon.
“This is what 2016 is all about for me. Go big on ideas. Get the country back on track. Restore a confident America. I really look forward to getting started on this process.”