House Speaker Paul Ryan says Congressional action will speak much louder than President Trump’s words or tweets when it comes to the 2018 mid-term elections. Ryan told Media Trackers Friday, “the president is a different kind of guy.”
“What matters? What I always tell my colleagues are results. He tweets this one day he does that the other day. You may not agree, you may not think it’s the right thing to say or think. Let’s just get our job done. We have to reset the system we can the best we can with the majority we have.”
Ryan said he tells House members that while they may in fact lose their seats over supporting certain legislation it’s worth it, asking them: “isn’t that why you came here?” Ryan said if Republicans pass their reform agenda 3% economic growth in 2018 is possible. “If we get our work done, good things will happen as a result. Get focused on action and not distractions.”
Ryan is fully aware that his party faces strong historical headwinds in the 2018 mid-terms. He said that, on average, a new president can expect his party to lose 32 seats in the mid-terms. Democrats would have to win 24 in 2018 to take control of the House. ” That’s the trend we’re going against,” Ryan said. That’s why my belief is go all in and get our work done and don’t worry about elections. Worry about what we said we do and worry about resetting the system and getting bills passed.”
Ryan said many House members weren’t prepared for the resistance from the left they would receive by passing health care and other reforms:”The stuff they’re doing right now; busing people into our town hall meetings.” Ryan said Congressional Republicans aren’t fully aware of the blow back Governor Scott Walker and legislative Republicans suffered for passing Act 10 reforms in Wisconsin. So Ryan brought Walker in to educate them:
“Scott did a power point for Congress on what they did here in Madison. Here’s what’s coming to you if you do what you’re saying you’re going to do. Don’t worry about resistance. Just get it done. And while we do, we’ll probably drop in popularity. But if we get it done, it’ll be fine.”
Ryan did voice frustration over how much Congress has accomplished that has gone largely unnoticed because of distractions in Washington. One example: the same day as former FBI director James Comey’s testimony on his private conversations with President Trump captivated Washington and the nation, the House passed a bill repealing Dodd-Frank. Getting rid of the Obama-era regulation would be seen as a major conservative victory. Republicans blame Dodd-Frank regulations as the main reason anemic economic growth in the U.S. And they say the “too big to fail” philosophy it espouses likely means future taxpayer bailouts of large banks. Ryan also addressed one of the biggest stumbling blocks to legislative accomplishment: the Senate filibuster.
President Trump and others have called on Senate Republicans to end the filibuster for legislation, which means bills could pass on a simple 51 vote majority. Republicans did end the filibuster for Supreme Court nominations to get Justice Neil Gorsuch on the bench. Ryan says the dynamic for ending the filibuster for legislation is complex.
“Young senators who came from the House to the Senate believe in changing the filibuster. House members hate the filibuster.” But he says more than half of the senate opposes changing the filibuster, because of what Democrats might do in the future. “What goes around comes around,” Ryan said. ” We stop cap and trade we stop all these horrible things. Liberals get control of government and we have a way to stop them.”
Asked about whether he has future presidential aspirations, Ryan said with a smile: “I’m good. right where I am.” And he reminded us that he’s a policy wonk at heart and that Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee was his dream job. As for all of the talk of Ryan facing a legitimate challenge to re-election in Wisconsin’s first Congressional District in 2018: “