November 1st, 2015
11:49 AM ET

Paul Ryan refused to rule out government shutdown: “I don’t know what the outcome is going to be”

SOTU

 

Today on CNN’s State of the Union, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI), joined, chief political correspondent Dana Bash

 

For more information, see http://cnnpressroom.blogs.cnn.com/. Also, text highlights and a transcript of the discussion are below.

 

MANDATORY CREDIT: CNN’s “State of the Union”

TEXT HIGHLIGHTS

 

Paul Ryan’s refusal to rule out House Republicans defunding Planned Parenthood: “We're just beginning to start at a committee to investigate Planned Parenthood. That's important. So the special committee on Planned Parenthood I think, should be in the driver's seat overseeing this process...are we going to let Congress work it's will and have amendments come through the process, and have regular order where we have conference committees, yes, by not controlling the process so tightly held here in the speakership, by letting it go forward, I don't know what the outcome's going to be.”

 

Ryan on paid family leave: “I don't think that sticking up for being a person with balance in your life, for wanting to spend your weekends in your home with your family, which I work with constituents and my family throughout the weekends, I don't think that means signing up for some new unfunded mandate.

Ryan on White House ambitions: “…If I really wanted to be president I would've run in this cycle for the presidency. I had the chance and the opportunity to do so and I chose not to do that. So I'm perfectly happy and content with this decision.”

 

Ryan on immigration reform: “Because this president tried to write the law himself, this president went beyond his separation of powers to try to write the law. Presidents don't write laws, Congress write laws. This president tried to go around congress to try to unilaterally write immigration laws. So specifically on this issue, 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.”

 

FULL TRANSCRIPT

THIS IS A RUSH FDCH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

 

DANA BASH: I want to start by talking about big ideas. You speak about how that's what you want to achieve, big ideas, which is what you're kind of known for, trying to reform Medicare and Medicaid, the tax code, immigration reform you've talked about in the past, but this is not a place where you can get big ideas done. How do you change that?

 

PAUL RYAN: Oh I completely disagree with that.

 

BASH: When was the last big idea....

 

RYAN: This is the people's house. This is where people come to serve their country and if you don't like the direction this country is headed you have an obligation to the people of this country that sent you here to change that

 

BASH: That's true historically, but in recent years it hasn't happened.

 

RYAN: Right, exactly right, that's why I said this speakership has to be differently. I cannot pick up where John left off that's why in discussing this with my house republican colleagues we all concluded jointly that this has to be done differently. So that's why we're wiping the slate clean, it's a new day, and we're gonna go offense on ideas. We have to be a proposition party, an alternative party and that's where big ideas come from. We've been too timid for too long around here and that's because we have not given people a sense of what we can do differently of how we can fix these problems, where we would go if we given the chance. And that is what we have to do.

 

BASH: How are you going to control the 40 or so members of that so called Freedom Caucus in a way that John Boehner couldn't?

 

RYAN: Well I think members were frustrated that they didn't have the opportunity really to express their own views on the floor. I think the legislative process has been too tightly controlled and has to be reopened up.I want members of congress representing their constituents having the ability and the process to actually advance ideas so I think that frustration is frustration that I shared actually as a house republican before becoming speaker.

RYAN: And I think that's what our members want to see us do more of. And I think that's why I'm in this position.

 

BASH: Do you think this means the end of the road for hope of being president?

 

RYAN: Hope of being president?

 

BASH: Meaning when you're speaker of the house Iit's a lot harder to…

 

(Crosstalk)

RYAN: that's okay with me that doesn't really bother me. If I really wanted to be president I would've run in this cycle for the presidency. I had the chance and the opportunity to do so and I chose not to do that. So I'm perfectly happy and content with this decision.

 

BASH: Let's just look forward right now, there are people who want to defund Planned Parenthood. You have a budget deal in place thanks to your predecessor John Boehner, but you still have to fund the government by December 11th or it will shut down. Will you defund Planned Parenthood?

 

RYAN: 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.

 

BASH: So are you going to tell everybody sorry guys, we can't defund Planned Parenthood?

 

RYAN: I think we need to be very 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. But we also have to push issues where we can push issues, we have to speak truth to power. 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, so knowing that we have those constraints we have to operate within those constraints.

 

BASH:  But What will you say to your caucus about putting a rider in there defining Planned Parenthood? Will it happen?

 

RYAN: Look I don't think Planned Parenthood should get a red cent from the taxpayer, I've always believed that, I voted that way even before these disgusting videos came out. But I believe we need to do our oversight. We have- We're just beginning to start at a committee to investigate Planned Parenthood. That's important. So the special committee on Planned Parenthood I think, should be in the driver's seat overseeing this process.

 

BASH: But what-

 

RYAN: Let me just get to there Dana, hang on a second, Are we going to let Congress work it's will and have amendments come through the process, and have regular order where we have conference committees, yes, by not controlling the process so tightly held here in the speakership, by letting it go forward, I don't know what the outcome's going to be.

 

BASH: You told members of the Freedom Caucus you were not going to touch immigration reform, something that you worked really hard on, you went out and campaigned with one of the most liberal democrats in Congress talking about it. Do you see any future for actually getting that done and why did you make that promise?

 

RYAN: Because this president tried to write the law himself, this president went beyond his separation of powers to try to write the law. Presidents don't write laws, Congress write laws. This president tried to go around congress to try to unilaterally write immigration laws. So specifically on this issue, 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.

 

BASH: You sparked a national debate when you said that one of the reasons you didn't want to take this job is because of your work family balance. I have to say that when I was reporting on that, I got more response on twitter on Facebook form friends and family all over the country saying wow, this is interesting that he's talking about this but, what is he going to do about this?

 

RYAN: I don't think that sticking up for being a person with balance in your life, for wanting to spend your weekends in your home with your family, which I work with constituents and my family throughout the weekends, I don't think that means signing up for some new unfunded mandate.

 

BASH: And I completely get that but I think it's more of the fact that women in particular heard you talking like this and said wow he gets it, maybe he can do something about it, and I hear you're saying unfunded mandate, but there are proposals out there to make it work in a way that it’s not unfunded.

 

RYAN: Yeah well flex time, I think we've had some pretty good legislation on flex time and that's a bill that I think is a great idea. Martha Roby has legislation-

 

BASH: And what is- just briefly what does that mean-

 

RYAN: The flex time legislation hat Martha Robbie has proposed is to give families more flexibility in their hours.

BASH: It's more of a question of, since you're the next generation you understand how hard it is, because most families, many families have two parents working, to bring government policies and laws up to date with modern America. To help do that.

 

RYAN: that's what I would recommend taking a look at Robbie flex time bill.

 

BASH: Okay, you're office is also your apartment, your bed, the place that you live.

 

RYAN: everybody brings this up.

 

BASH: You're the Speaker now, you're still going to sleep in your office?

 

RYAN: Yeah, I'm just a normal guy.

 

BASH: Yeah, but normal guys don't sleep in their offices.

 

RYAN: Look so I live in Janesville, Wisconsin and commute back and forth every week. I just work here, I don't live here. So I get up very early in the morning, I work out, I work until about 11:30 at night. I go to bed, and I do the same thing the next day. It actually makes me more efficient. 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.

 

BASH: OK. Thank you so much. Thanks Mr. Speaker, appreciate it.

 

RYAN: Thanks Dana.

###END INTERVIEW###

 

 

 

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