Rep. Paul Ryan says he was not elected speaker to dictate, but to work alongside fellow Republicans to set the House agenda.
“I was not elected dictator of the House. I was elected speaker of the House. And that means we do it in a bottom up approach. We reach consensus,” Ryan said in an interview aired Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” As Republicans, we have common principles. We need to take those common principles and apply them to the problems of the day through consensus to show the country a better way forward. And it’s my job to lead to that consensus, but not to dictate that consensus.”
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But those decisions, he said, won’t include immigration reform as long as President Barack Obama is office.
“It would be a ridiculous notion to try and work on an issue like this with a president we simply cannot trust on this issue,” Ryan said. “He tried to go it alone, circumventing the legislative process with his executive orders so that is not in the cards. “
Instead, the Wisconsin Republican said members of the House will start to explain what a new tax code should include, how they want to replace the Affordable Care Act and how to become a “bold alternative party.”
“We don’t like the direction the country’s headed, so we owe it to the people of this nation how we would do things differently. And that’s what we have to do in 2016.” he said.
Ryan, who replaced retiring Rep. John Boehner as speaker last week, appeared on all five of the major Sunday morning shows in a blitz to re-introduce himself to the nation. In 2012, he was Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s vice presidential running mate.