For all of his lofty talk about bipartisanship before he took the gavel, new Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) went directly to the right wing mattresses in his first news conference as Speaker, during which he refused to rule out the House using riders to get their way. Ryan is aiming the clown car right at a government shutdown.
Republicans are gunning for Planned Parenthood over nonexistent issues they pretended were proven in videos that actually showed nothing of the sort. Not one to let reality get in the way of an extremist agenda, the beltway’s beloved “policy wonk” Paul Ryan vowed today, “We fully expect we’re going to exercise that power.”
Ryan is referring to including policy riders in an omnibus appropriations bill, or as we say in the real world, abusing the budget process to enact right wing agenda’s that they can’t pass normally. This won’t pass with the President, and thus we would be facing yet another Republican government shutdown.
Watch here via C-Span:
“While Ryan did not elaborate on what sort of riders would be considered in an omnibus measure, conservatives on and off the Hill are pushing to defund Planned Parenthood — a sticking point that could have led to a government shutdown until the CR was passed,” RollCall reported.
Ryan made sure to use his first presser to attack Hillary Clinton and President Obama, too. You know, for the bipartisanship. “… if we don’t believe that the country is headed in the wrong direction, we don’t think that it is, we think the president is leading it in the wrong direction, we think a Hillary Clinton presidency will continue leading the country in the wrong direction.”
So Ryan is electioneering from the Speaker’s office. Good to know.
And that’s a no to working together with Democrats and the President for a “deeper understanding”. Y’all, that was just talk! You had to know as soon as that gavel was in his hands, it would be business as usual. And business as usual for Paul Ryan includes being super slippery with the truth, facts, reality, and math. Unlike former Speaker Boehner, Ryan doesn’t actually seem to have a moral compass that directs him. He is much more like his former running mate Mitt Romney in the flip-flopping to appease and appeal, yet — and this is the scary part – he lacks Romney’s gravitas.
Are you missing John Boehner yet? I sure am. OK, well too bad for us, we’re stuck with Savior Paul Ryan, who is too full of hubris to even know when he’s lying. On CNN yesterday, Ryan sent a message to the nation that Republicans couldn’t or wouldn’t be using the threat of another government shutdown to get their way with policy riders. Naturally, he cited the Constitution. This man is very serious. Remember, he got his monetary ideas from a work of fiction. So very serious.
So serious, in fact, that Ryan simply refused to answer a question about whether he intended to use policy riders to defund Planned Parenthood. So we’re already at Defcon 5 with Ryan, where we last saw him refusing to answer questions about why his budget didn’t balance. Remember? “I don’t have the time. It would take me too long to go through all of the math,” he told Fox News when asked to explain his budget. This was after playing the Get Out of Jail Free Card that he hadn’t yet run the math. So no specifics, but you should just trust him that he’s a brilliant wonk.
Ryan repeated yesterday’s lie during which he tried to blame President Obama for his own upcoming failures as Speaker, a tactic his predecessor used to duck under when asked questions about why his house was the most dysfunctional House on record. Ryan must have seen that this tactic didn’t work on anyone but the conservative base. So following along with his promise to be bipartisan, he’s already blaming the President on his first few days in office. He repeated his claim that he can’t get anything done on immigration reform because blasted the new Speaker“>President Obama is “untrustworthy.”
Yesterday Ryan nattered on as he is wont to do, reciting things from the mini-Constitution Republicans pass around, like, “Presidents don’t write laws. Congress writes laws. So yes, I do not believe we should, and we won’t bring immigration legislation with a president we cannot trust on this issue. If we believe and have consensus on things like border enforcement, and interior security, then that’s fine.”
I gotta take issue with Ryan’s claim that Congress writes laws. Not lately. So I say, “Prove it, sir.”
In fact, Congress refused to pass an immigration law and so the President finally took action from the executive office, changing the implementation of existing laws. This has been done by both Republican and Democratic presidents, so it’s not the reach that Ryan and Republicans claim – but then, they can’t forcefully admit that undocumented immigrants aren’t all rapists, lest their base unseat them, so we can’t really take their word for much.
Now we’re deep in the Ryan flip-flop. Ryan kills compromise he organized and then points fingers. He hasn’t the time to explain it to y’all. Just trust that he’s telling the truth here.
After Ryan’s Sunday show embarrassment, a Star Tribune Editorial, in Ryan’s neighboring state of Minnesota, charged, “Speaker Ryan plays politics with immigration reform”, accusing Ryan of immediately going back on his promises to work together with Democrats for the good of the American people:
This stands in stark contrast to Ryan’s statements just five days ago, when he said, upon assuming his new role, that Republicans and Democrats should “pray for a deeper understanding” of one another and work together as representatives of the American people rather than as partisans.
Apparently that understanding and cooperation does not extend to the president of the United States.
Oh, goody. All of this and we’re just getting warmed up with Speaker Ryan. Business leaders and Wall Street must be so pleased – he’s even worse than Boehner.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.