House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) appeared on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday and addressed the current gridlock in Washington about which President Obama has been complaining unendingly.
After assuring host David Gregory that the House of Representatives intends this week to contemplate how to solve the nation’s border crisis, the Wisconsin lawmaker spoke more generally about Congress’ inability to accomplish anything and placed much of the blame for such gridlock on the Senate.
“We’ve passed over 300 bills in the House, bills aimed at job creation, fixing problems, that are just sitting in the Senate going nowhere because the Senate has chosen basically to not legislate and give the president a free hand,” Ryan explained.
These accusations come less than a week after the Republican National Committee launched a campaign to fire Harry Reid from his Senate Majority Leader position by gaining a Republican majority in the Senate.
“We’ve been passing solutions, we’ve been passing bills, and the Senate’s been walking away,” Ryan added.
He cited the proposition put forth by the House that spotlights a “very specific solution” to the Veterans Affairs problem as evidence that the House is indeed working and that the Senate should be faulted for Congress’ inactivity.
“Now, we’re trying to see if the Democrats in the administration are willing to work with us to [solve the Veterans Affairs issue],” said Ryan.
The congressman also discussed his plan to more effectively combat poverty in the United States that would consolidate 11 anti-poverty programs and give more power to states in addressing the crisis.
Ryan called many of the federal programs “counterproductive” and insisted on a customization of programs that help lift people out of poverty and don’t simply enable people to stay in poverty.
“We have basically a poverty management system with respect to the federal government,” detailed Ryan. “If you want to have a healthy economy and have real solutions, you have to have a health safety net, and the safety net needs to work to get people out of poverty.”
Ryan complained about the fact that our nation spends a whopping $800 billion yearly on nearly 100 anti-poverty programs and yet has the highest rates of poverty in a generation. He also criticized the federal programs for giving individuals incentives to remain out of work.
“In some cases, you lose more in benefits if you go to work, so people don’t go to work because of the federal disincentive to do so,” Ryan explained. “So, we need to reemphasize getting people up and on their lives and helping give them the tools to do that. That’s the point. Able-bodied people should go to work and we should have a system that helps them do that so that they can realize their potential.”