WASHINGTON — At the first leadership press conference of 2016, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) touted the House’s vote later today to put a bill on the president’s desk that repeals Obamacare and defunds Planned Parenthood. “If we’re ever going to get our country back on track,” he said, “we need to make this year about ideas, not about Obama’s distractions.” Following are Ryan’s opening remarks:
"Today, the House is going to put on the president’s desk a bill that repeals Obamacare and defunds Planned Parenthood. This is the first time—this is the first time in five years we will finally put a bill on his desk that defunds Obamacare.
"For years, Senate Democrats have been blocking and filibustering these bills. This is too important to let up. So we have used the one tool that we can each year—reconciliation—to get a repeal bill on his desk.
"With this bill, we are standing for life. We are confronting the president with the hard, honest truth: Obamacare doesn’t work. Higher premiums and fewer choices and restricted access—these are not signs of success. Obamacare is not successful. They are the signs of failure. And the American people deserve better.
"The people deserve a truly patient-centered health care system. And ultimately, this is going to require a Republican president. That’s why our top priority in 2016 is going to be offering the country a clear choice with a bold, pro-growth agenda.
"If we’re ever to get our country back on track, we need to make this year about ideas, not about Obama’s distractions. And that is exactly what we are going to do."