WASHINGTON—Today, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) spoke at the first hearing of the Speaker’s Task Force on Intergovernmental Affairs, chaired by Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT). Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery:
“I want to start by thanking Leader Pelosi and all the members on both sides of the aisle who have agreed to serve on the Task Force. I also want to thank the witnesses here today and those who have volunteered to serve on the Advisory Board to the Task Force.
“I want to especially thank Chairman Bishop. We are here today because of his commitment to a bipartisan dialogue on federalism that is truly driven from the bottom up.
“The way I see this is: Federalism does not belong to one party or the other—it is a founding principle that we all cherish. It embodies the genius of genuine self-government, because government works best when it works from the bottom up, when it is accessible and accountable to the people it serves and is responsive to their needs. But in recent years, the principle of federalism has slowly eroded under an overreaching federal government.
“In Congress, we may not always see things the same way, but there is no question we can all work as better partners with state, local, and tribal leaders. We know we have so much to learn about how state and local leaders are solving the problems of the day. And of course Washington does not know best, and one size does not fit all. More partnership, less arrogance, and a willingness to listen and learn will go a long way.
“Under Chairman Bishop’s leadership, this Task Force will study ways to restore the proper balance of power between the federal government and states, tribal, and local governments. And it will look at how we can reduce needless regulatory burdens facing communities across the nation.
“Look, I have always believed that we are at our best here when we are debating ideas, and that is what this is all about. It is about having two ears and one mouth, and using them in that proportion. So I am really looking forward to what this task force produces. I want to again thank Chairman Bishop for his leadership, and thank you all for being here today.”