Earlier tonight, following the House’s vote to repeal Obamacare and defund Planned Parenthood, Speaker Ryan talked live with Lars Larson on his radio show about Congress’ first week back in 2016.
On How We Passed the First Obamacare Repeal Bill
“The House, we’ve passed a number of repeal bills. So passing these bills in the House has never been the question. We’ve already passed them. Getting them through the Senate has always been the issue, and we finally cracked the code. By the way, you need the Senate majority. We didn’t have the Senate majority until this session of Congress. Now that we have the Senate majority, the Senate finally passed a budget which gave us this reconciliation tool. So the 2014 election gave us the Senate. In 2015, we passed a budget in the House that balanced the budget, paid off the debt, and repealed Obamacare. The Senate did the same thing. We conferenced those two budgets, passed that budget. That gave us reconciliation, and this is what we’re using. This is the first year we’ve had a Republican Senate along with a Republican House.
“This means if we get a Republican president, we will have demonstrated and proven already that without 60 votes, with a 51 vote threshold, we can get these bills on a president’s desk. And if we have a good president, we can get them signed into law.”
On Federal Overreach in the West
“[The federal government has] far too much land and not only that, we have an arrogant federal government that’s harassing landowners, especially ranchers in the West. . . People in the East and the Midwest don’t quite appreciate or understand just how much land is owned by the federal government or just how much the federal government harasses people. The question is .. can we come up with laws to. . . sell federal property and cut back on monuments and land grabs. The answer is yes.”
On President Obama’s Playbook of Distraction
“This is a president striving for relevancy in a presidential election year where he’s not on the ballot, working so hard to distract Americans. He’s going to try and distract Americans. So we’re talking about guns and not talking about his failures in ISIS, not talking about his failures in going after keeping us safe, not talking about his failures on national security. And he wants to knock us off our game in putting out a bold, conservative alternative for the country. So we have to understand his distractions for what they are. In some of these cases, he’s just restating law. So I think what he’s basically trying to do is start a distraction issue—and we’re going to have a distraction next week, and then we’re going to have another distraction the week after that—I think that’s going to be the Obama playbook all year long. And so what we’re going to do is look at every option we have to see how we make sure that we maintain our Second Amendment rights.”