WASHINGTON, DC — This afternoon, House Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) appeared on MSNBC’s Meet the Press Daily with Chuck Todd to discuss his support of Kevin McCarthy for Speaker, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and the importance of offering solutions to the challenges facing our nation.
Excerpts of Ryan’s interview follow. Click the image below to watch the complete interview.
Supporting Kevin McCarthy for Speaker:
“I don’t want to do anything to begrudge John Boehner, who, in a very selfless act, is stepping down, but Kevin is a very different person. Why is he different and how is he different? He basically comes from the new generation of young, conservative leaders; he is a very good consensus builder, he is a very good listener, and I think he has the skills to unite our conference… I think he has demonstrated that he has the skills to unite our conference around a common cause and being an effective conservative. What I want as Speaker is someone who is an effective conservative at bringing a positive agenda forward for the country, so that we can show the country how we would do things differently if we had the ability to get all of these reforms we want to pass into law.”
“That’s the number one thing I think Kevin has as a gift; he’s very good at listening, he’s very good at consensus building, and if you’re Speaker of the House that is one of the top skills required of the job.”
“We will have a vibrant election tomorrow. There are three people as of now running for Speaker: Jason Chaffetz, Daniel Webster and Kevin McCarthy. That’s where the contest should take place, and whoever wins that contest goes to the floor. And when we go to the floor, the vote is for the Republican or the Democrat; it is for the Republican nominee, whoever that is.”
“We need to show the country how we would do things different, how we would save this country from the dangerous track that it’s on, and that’s the kind of majority I think we need to have, and I think that’s the kind of majority Kevin McCarthy will help lead us to.”
Reining in federal spending:
“We cut actual spending; like less one year to the next. That is a big accomplishment. For five years in a row now, we have actually passed a budget out of the House—now out of the House and Senate—that balances the budget and it actually pays off our national debt.”
Reviewing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP):
“I wrote TPA so that Congress would have the tools and the public would have the ability to see what’s in this agreement. I am for free trade agreements, but I’m for very good free trade agreements. I have yet to decide… if this is a very good free trade agreement because I haven’t read it yet, so I just do not know the answer to your question, Chuck. But I’m holding judgment; I’m hopeful, but there are some concerns I have with some of the provisions in here, and quite frankly, we want to see what it is on net,…but it’s going to take some time to scrub through this agreement, to render final judgment.”
“I find it interesting that a person who is seeking to run for the Presidency of the United States, who was in favor of it before, say Hillary Clinton, that she hasn’t even read yet. It’s an enormous agreement and I think we need to be cautious about it. I think we need to do our jobs and read what’s in here.”
Offering a positive vision for America’s future:
“I think we should be offering voters a positive vision for what we would do to save the country. I think what really matters and what people really care about is: how are you going to solve poverty? How are you going to grow the economy? How are you going to get wages from being flat and help increase take home pay? How are you going to fix our foreign policy and the military? How are you going to restore the American idea? How are you going to get America back on track? Are you offering solutions? Are you taking our conservative principles, applying them to the problems of the day, to give people solutions that actually matter?”