Paul Ryan Brags Up GOP Priorities – Not the Middle Class, But Big Oil and Corporations

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House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) released the following statement today after House passage of the one-year spending bill to fund the government.

Democrats are happy with the compromise, if not with some of the things on which they had to compromise. Those are the things, naturally, Paul Ryan wants to celebrate.

He actually makes it sound like an accomplishment:

“Today, the House came together to ensure our government is open and working for the American people. This bipartisan compromise secures meaningful wins for Republicans and the American people, such as the repeal of the outdated, anti-growth ban on oil exports. The legislation strengthens our military and protects Americans from terrorist threats, while limiting the overreach of intrusive government bureaucracies like the IRS and the EPA. I appreciate Chairman Rogers’s leadership and the entire Appropriations Committee for their work in shaping this bill. Congress can now move into 2016 with a fresh start and a plan to return to regular order in order to better protect taxpayer dollars.”

In other words, the Republican Party cannot simply fund the government: they have to work into it anti-environmental, pro-big money in politics measures while pretending those things protect the American people, or that it is somehow meaningful to us that corporations can pour more money into our political system. He seems to think we love attacks on our democracy.

Don’t you just love the GOP assuming that we’re stupid enough to believe that helping the oil industry and corporations helps the average American?

By way of explanation and justification, Ryan appeared on the Michael Medved show, providing some highlights (read “lowlights”) of their conversation:

On advancing Republican priorities: “We scored major policy wins for conservatives—for our country—in this bill. We advanced our principles. Did we advance all of our principles as far as we want to go? No, because we’re in divided government. But we did advance them in the right direction. So the way I look at these things, is take what you can get now, and then go fight for more later. And I think we’ve set ourselves up for more success in 2016.”

On lifting the decades-old oil export ban: “If you take a look at what’s in this bill, at what this bill actually does, it has a permanent lift—a permanent removal—of the ban on petroleum exports, on crude oil exports. That’s something we’ve been trying to do for 40 years in this country. Think of what we get by removing the ban. And the Obama administration, on oil exports—when America can export its oil, that means we can compete with OPEC. We can put OPEC out of the business of controlling the world’s oil markets. We can take Putin out of business with respect to selling oil and gas to his customers. We can create more jobs. We can become more independent. We can keep our prices low by having more control over the marketplace and create more jobs right here in America. It’s fantastic for our foreign policy. It’s really good for American jobs. And it’s something we’re actually getting done that we haven’t been able to do for decades.”

On stopping further IRS abuse: “What this bill does also, as the former chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, I have a big concern about the Internal Revenue Service. So, I went in and put riders in this bill preventing the Internal Revenue Service from trying to pull the stunts they pulled in the 2012 election. The IRS allowed the Obama administration to turn them into a political weapon to infringe upon free speech and to intimidate conservative groups from exercising their free speech rights to participate in political speech. So, we have a rider in here that prohibits the IRS from putting out a regulation on this—it’s called IRS 501(c)4s. We put a rider preventing them from doing this. The Securities Exchange Commission was going to actually have a disclosure of corporations and their political giving to try to intimidate businesspeople participating in elections. We put a rider preventing that. So, we wanted to make sure that we were going to have a fair 2016, and take away the IRS and their ability to try and do in 2016 what they did in 2012.”

But the IRS and the EPA are not our enemies. Your corporate owners may not like them, Mr. Speaker, but their greed is the problem, and you have done nothing to address that.

Republican priorities, as Paul Ryan has proved once again, have not shifted since the far from heady days of John Boehner, and continue to promote what hurts, rather than helps, the average American. Ryan says he wants to protect us from the overreach of intrusive government bureaucracies but what he really wants is to protect his corporate owners.