The first full week as a representative-elect is a busy one. Members-to-be have a jam-packed orientation schedule as they learn how to get a Congressional office up and running, meet their colleagues, and simply navigate the tunnels in and around the Capitol. Speaker Ryan made it a point to welcome more than 50 incoming freshmen and also offer some friendly advice along the way.

Last night, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) appeared on CBS’s 60 Minutes for an interview with Scott Pelley, filmed last week in his hometown of Janesville, WI. Below are excerpts from their conversation on healing a broken Congress, fixing the tax code, and the need for politicians to propose real solutions. The full interview and transcript can be viewed here.

On healing the animosity in Congress:


I never thought I'd be Speaker.  

This was not a job I was looking for or seeking; it kind of sought me. I saw it as a duty and an obligation, but now I realize that it is also an honor.  

Let's be frank: The House is broken. So we're going to have to make some changes to make the people's business more open and inclusive.


That is why we feel that we have an obligation to the hard working citizens of this country to show them how we would do things differently to tackle our country’s problems before they tackle us and to get things fixed, to advance our principles, to show how we can make things better for people who are struggling in America.

We have not given the people of this nation a sufficient choice about how we should take the country going into the future. We’ve been an opposition party, but we have to become a proposition party.

As you can imagine, getting 435 Members of Congress to sit still and be quiet can be challenging, but once every two years, it actually does happen.


Sometimes, bill signing ceremonies can take place in front of lots of cameras with many members of Congress gathered around, but more often than not, these legislative victories are celebrated in a quieter fashion, with Speaker Boehner congratulating the sponsor of the legislation one-on-one.

Flashback to January of 2011. John Boehner is newly elected as Speaker of the Republican-led House of Representatives, and the first week on the job, the House slashes $35 million from its own budget...with the promise of much more to come. Now fast forward to present day, and those taxpayer savings have grown to more than $782 million. All told, that's a 14% reduction in the cost of Congress.