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Paul Ryan Discusses Poverty, Pope Francis, and Planned Parenthood with Jake Tapper on CNN

September 24, 2015

WASHINGTON, DC — Earlier today, House Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) spoke to Jake Tapper, host of CNN’s The Lead, about the importance of fighting poverty, the Pope’s address to Congress, and his thoughts on Planned Parenthood. Excerpts of Ryan’s interview follow, and video is available by clicking the image below.

PDR The Lead 9 24 15

Addressing poverty in America:

“We must treat not just the symptoms of poverty, but the root causes of poverty, so that we can eradicate poverty. This is a dialogue we need in America. This is something that we as conservatives have a lot to offer.”


“I like the Catholic Charities model quite a bit. A lot of my poverty reforms revolve around the Catholic Charities model and those ideas. We want to have a dialogue among people seeking the presidency to ask them: ‘What are your ideas about this?’ ‘How do you want to help improve upward mobility and get people out of poverty?’ ‘How do you reduce the 14.5 percent poverty rate and actually win the War on Poverty’? And so, I think this visit from the Pope is spectacular. It brings the right kind of attention to the right kind of issues in our country.”

Reacting to Pope Francis’s speech:

“I don’t think one should look at his speech as sort of a laundry list of policiessome Democrats like, some Republicans like. That’s not what this speech was. This speech was a pastoral speech. This was the voice of St. Peter, speaking to not just Congress, but to all Americans about important principles.”

Discussing the upcoming poverty summit:

“Senator Tim Scott from South Carolina and I, along with the Jack Kemp Foundation are hosting a poverty summit in South Carolina on January 9 to have all the Republican candidates come and discuss their ideas for fighting poverty. We want to have testimony from people who are fighting poverty and who have successfully help people overcome poverty. This is a very important debate, and I’m extremely excited that the Pope bringing this issue front and center to our attention. I think we need to have a good dialogue on how best to solve poverty.”

Dealing with Planned Parenthood and government funding:

“I think what they’ve done is vile. The more Americans that see just the grotesqueness of their procedures, the more they would agree that they don’t want their hard-working taxpayer dollars going to an organization like that. But I don’t think that the shutdown strategy is one that will help deliver on that goal.”


“I think there are other ways of addressing this. We intend to put legislation on the President’s desk, and we can do that through our budget process. I want to make sure that we win. I want to make sure that we succeed in achieving our goals.”


“Believe me, I share the frustration with this organization, but I think we ought to be honest with people about what we can actually achieve given the constitutional constraints we have, how we can best bring accountability to the federal government to groups like Planned Parenthood, and accountability to this administration given the Constitution. And just be candid. And try and find a strategy that has the best chance of success.”