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Paul Ryan wants the GOP to be an effective opposition party
by Nathan'ette Burdine: November 2, 2015 

During an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) told Dana Bash that the Republicans must be realistic about the governing process if they want to be effective.

Ryan is quoted as saying, “Well, this is what I mean when I say being an effective opposition party. I think being an effective opposition party means being honest with people upfront about what it is you can and cannot achieve…I think we have to be clear about what we can and cannot achieve and not set expectations that we know we can’t reach given the constraints of the constitution.”

The “constraints of the constitution” that Ryan highlighted are those pertaining to the powers of the president and the legislative process at the Senate level.

The majority of the bills that become laws must go through the House and the Senate and then be signed into law by the president.

Ryan told Bash that the fact that President Obama is not supportive of many Republican policies and the Senate’s process makes it difficult to push legislation through Congress.

Ryan noted, “We have a president that isn’t willing to listen, that isn’t going to sign lots of our bills into law.

We have a senate that has a very difficult process when it comes to actually getting bills voted on.

And so knowing that we have those constraints, we have to operate within those constraints.”

Bash asked Ryan how his position will affect the Republican’s push to defund Planned Parenthood and if that decision will result in the government shutting down on December 11 of this year.

Ryan hinted that Planned Parenthood will not lead to the government shutting down next month.

He did, however, stress his dislike for the program by saying that he doesn’t believe the organization should get “a red cent” of money from the government, and that a special committee will be better able to handle the issues surrounding Planned Parenthood.

Bash went on to ask Ryan if the Freedom Caucus’ opposition will stop his push for immigration reform.

Ryan reiterated his position that the Republicans must be realistic about what can get through Congress and what President Obama will sign into law.

He told Bash that President Obama’s executive order on immigration and the president’s unwillingness to include Republicans in the immigration discussion makes it difficult to reform immigration at the congressional level.

Ryan said, “So specifically on this issue [immigration reform], you cannot trust this president on this issue. So why would we want to pass legislation on a very divisive issue with a president we can’t trust on this issue.”

Ryan ended his conversation with Bash on a lighter note. He told Bash that his new job as the Speaker of the House doesn’t mean that he [Ryan] will no longer use his office as his place of resident: “I can actually get more work done by sleeping on a cot in my office. I’ve been doing it for at least a decade and I’m gonna keep doing it.”

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