U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan wants Americans to know federal lawmakers are working really hard, despite the fact that Congress is only in session for eight days in April.
“We’re 47 days into the Trump administration and really nothing has gone through the Congress. Really at this point during the Obama administration eight years ago they passed all kinds of stuff,” Fox News’ Tucker Carlson told Ryan on Wednesday’s Tucker Carlson Tonight.
“Oh, I disagree with that,” Ryan shot back. “For the first two months we have this tool called the Congressional Review Act, which is time sensitive. You can only use it for so long and what we’re doing is going back and getting Obama era regulations and repealing those regulations and sending that bill to the Senate.
“We’ve done about 15 here in the House … Remember when Donald Trump did that signing with the coal workers? That was one of these instances where we took an Obama era regulation, we said we’re rescinding it. They can’t filibuster that in the Senate. But we only have 60 days to use this tool, so we consume the first two months going after Obama regulations that are job-killing regulations because they can’t filibuster that,” Ryan said.
“Then we’re moving to Obamacare, which is where we’re at right now.”
Carlson cut to the chase.
“How many pieces of legislation have been signed by the president into law?” he asked. “Any?”
Ryan stammered briefly before blaming the obvious lack of progress on Senate Democrats.
“We have the Senate now, they have to approve Donald Trump’s cabinet. They have to put 1,200 people through the Senate to populate the Trump government, and Chuck Schumer can burn up to 30 hours per person,” he said.
“So what we’re doing is, between that, the Senate is working on these Congressional Review Act amendments which are repealing Obamacare regulations. The point being … we are executing our plan exactly as we planned it. We’re going after Obama regulations. We’re giving Donald Trump the people he needs to staff his government. And now we’re on to Obamacare, repealing and replacing Obamacare. This is just phase one,” Ryan said.
Carlson questioned how long it might take for Republicans to make good on their campaign promises, especially considering their ultra-light work schedule.
“In April, we checked, the House is in session for eight days in April,” Carlson pointed out. “There’s a lot to do. Nothing meaningful really has – you can say I went to a bill signing about coal – but there’s a lot of stuff that hasn’t been done that (Trump) promised and it hasn’t made its way through Congress.
“It’s not all your fault, obviously, but eight days is not a lot of time to be working in an entire month. Why?”
Ryan scrambled for a good answer before again blaming the situation on the Senate.
“Actually, w, w, we’re producing a lot here. I’m very excited about it,” Ryan replied. “Actually, the real why is because of how long it takes to pass things through the Senate.”
Ryan said he met with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to develop a 200 day plan, rather than a 100 day plan, “because we know the Democrats are doing everything to string out the clock, to delay and stall, and there are certain rules they can use in the Senate to do that.”
Carlson wasn’t buying it.
“But in the House, are they the reason you’re only there for eight days in April? What is the reason for that?”
Ryan claimed House members are using their time off because “we want to talk to our constituents.
“We want to go listen to our constituents.”
Carlson didn’t let up.
“But we have a new administration that can’t get anything through the Congress, shouldn’t you put all that on hold and say we’re going to get this done? Eight days is not a lot, right?”
Ryan again blamed the Senate, then reiterated promises conservatives repeatedly made during the 2016 election.
“The point is, we’re piling up so many things in the Senate. They’re still working on getting these people approved,” Ryan said. “Let me just give you a sense of what we’re planning for the first 200 days – repealing and replacing Obamacare … overhauling the IRS tax code, rebuilding the military, doing infrastructure, repealing harmful regulations, repealing Dodd-Frank and the Choice Act, all of those things … we’re planning on doing just in 2017.
“You know how exciting this is for us?”