Skip to main content

Paul Ryan
  Speaker Ryan Remarks at National Press Club  CSPAN  October 18, 2018 2:19pm-3:05pm EDT

2:19 pm
documents that spell out the basic rules and organization of the goal. and at 8:00, on the presidency, former president george w. bush, coky roberts and friends, reflect on the life of former first lady barbara bush. >> she had this motto that you're going to be judged about the success of your life, by your relationships with your family, your friends, your co-workers, and people you meet along the way. >> watch, on american history tv, this weekend, on c-span 3. . the u.s. house is in a break until after the midterm elections next month. before leaving, house speaker paul ryan talked about the current political association and about his future. speaker ryan announced in april that he will be stepping down after this term. from the national press club, this is about 45 minutes. >> so on january 3, the man standing right here next to me, paul ryan, will be unemployed.
2:20 pm
maybe, as far as we know. more on our speaker, more on our speaker, the speaker of the house, in just a moment. first, i would like to welcome you all to the national press club. i'm andrea edney, i'm an editor at bloomberg news, and i am the 111th president of the national press club. before we get into our program today, let's recognize the members of the headliners team who made today's event possible. if you're in the room, please stand up. and be recognized. betsy fisher martin. lisa matthews. lori russo. tamara hinton. danny sellmak. big lord. club staff liaison lind ji underwood. staff member lori coker who manages the house of the president and our staff director bill mccarron. thank you all. thank you. so paul ryan has been characterized as the reluctant speaker. after giving up his beloved chairmanship of the ways and
2:21 pm
means committee, he took over the speakers gavel in late 2015 when john boehner left the post. now, after two decades in elected office, and a stint as mitt romney's vice presidential running mate, speaker ryan is free to return home to janesville, wisconsin, where he has lived his entire life and be known as just paul. or he could follow a trail blazed by many of his predecessors and take a spin through the revolving door. or key run for president. >> thank you, media. >> and i would take a moment to point out to any of the people who are watching online, or on c-span, that not all of, that the national press club is open to members of the general public, and so any reaction that you hear today may not be from the working press. we are most fortunate to have speaker ryan at the national press club. especially with just 29 days to
2:22 pm
go before one of the more interesting midterm elections in recent history. all while living through one of the more tumultuous presidencies in recent memory. will paul ryan run for office again? will he take on donald trump a la jeff flake? will his congressional seat flip and turn blue? will he go back to cutting lawns like he did when he was growing up. >> i did last sunday. >> this may answer our question. mr. speaker, you may have the floor. there is no need to revise remarks, we are rolling tape. >> andrea, thank you so much. i appreciate that, and it is great to be bab can here. it has about -- back here. it has been a while. i was hoping that i would see craig gilbert here. isn't his office around the corner? and make sure you give him a hard time for me. i appreciate that.
2:23 pm
first off, i want to start off by saying that one of the most valuable things that we have in a democracy is a spirited exchange of ideas. and by celebrating the first amendment, this organization plays a vital, vital role in civic dialogue. here and around the world. and i want to thank each and every one of you for your part in playing that role. i mean that very sincerely. you know what? as you sort of mentioned it, i'm more of a policy guy. ideas are what brought me into this line of work. i love taking an idea, putting it on paper, going through the debate, tweaking it and proving it, adjusting it, and then seeing it come to fruition. and most important of all, watching it actually improve people's lives. that is what drew me into public service as a vocation in the first place and that has always been my motivation for being in public life. as we now enter the height of a
2:24 pm
very rauk ous political season, i think it is a good time to try to step back from all of the noise we are hearing these days and try to reflect on just where we are, what ideas have taken root, what ideas are on display, what ideas are working in the country. two years ago, we faced a very, very daunting challenge in this country. our nation was on the wrong path. our economy was still mud ling through the word recovery since the great depression. our military was in the throes of a severe readiness crisis. big challenges were going unmet. so we, as house republicans, i remember this, it was one of the conditions on which i took the job as speak ner the first place, we had to go to the country with an agenda. we couldn't just be the anti-obama party. we had to be a party of solutions and ideas. so we, house republicans, offered the country a better way. an optimistic, very detailed policy agenda. and we have been delivering on
2:25 pm
that agenda consistently since. today, our country is turning the corner. american families are better off now. the economy is growing. the economy is growing at more than twice the rate it was growing two years ago. wages and benefits are up. they're growing at their fastest rate in ten years. job openings are at a record high. consumer confidence is near record high. productivity, manufacturing, retail sales, home sales, all of these things are up. and the nation's unemployment rate just dropped to a 49-year low. but there's much more. through tax reform alone, nine out of ten workers will see more take home pay. at least six million workers have received raises, bonuses and benefits since this law passed and people in at least 49 states are seeing lower utility
2:26 pm
bills. more take home pay. 57% of americans say things are going well in the country today. this is great progress. and we did not just set out to clean up a mess. we set out to build the country's resilience. we set out to restore that sense of aspiration and opportunity that sets americans apart. that is how we delivered on these big things. we did not just cut taxes. we went from having one of the most burdensome tax codes in the industrialized world, to one of most competitive in the world. through new opportunity zones, which are now just being deployed across the poorest communities in america, distressed areas will be able to draw in new investment for years, if not decades. and with that new investment comes revitalization and transformation for those communities. with an overhauled career in technical education system recently signed into law, it will be easier for students and
2:27 pm
workers to build their skills and find good jobs and careers. and we did not just undo the military cuts. we wanted to equip our armed forces with the resources that they needed to address a devastating readiness crisis. we moved from aging equipment and undertrained troops to an historic modernization and buildup. we recently gave the pentagon a full year of military funding on time for the first time in ten years. and it comes with the biggest pay raise for our troops in nine years. secretary mattis is getting what he needs to build a more agile, lethal, 21st century fighting force. we have a new national defense strategy to butress our foreign policy, to keep us safe, and that is now in law and funded and we did not just roll back red tape, which is helping small businesses hire and create jobs. we went from an administration that kept our resources under lock and key, to putting america
2:28 pm
on the path to being a net energy exporter in the next five years. already, just this year, america became the world's leading oil producer. all of these things are great turn-around stories. but we also in this congress, we have taken on the challenges that hit closest to home. take human trafficking for one. human trafficking is one of the world's fastest-growing crimes. this spring, congress passed a new law cracking down on web sites that make it far, far too easy to sell women and children with impunity. and already, we are seeing great results. between april and july alone, there was a 62% reduction in the advertising of this kind in north america. websites are shutsing down. posting fewer ads. and attracting fewer buyers. this is a solid step in the right direction. look at what happened to the veterans administration just not long ago.
2:29 pm
we have now started implementing serious reforms at the v.a., so that we can fix the mess there. remember what was happening at the v.a. not too long ago? our patients at the v.a., which are our veterans, our heroes, they were dying while bureaucrats dithered. it was just sickening. so this congress has passed landmark reforms to hold v.a. officials accountable. we have modernized the appeals process so veterans get better care when they need it. we have a choice program in law now. and we have delivered a major expansion of the g.i. bill. veterans can now use their education benefits whenever they choose, no time limits. here too, there are signs of progress. the v.a. just recently announced that it has surpassed its goals for the year on delivering appealed decisions for disability claims. we have a long way to go, but we are on the right track. and for people who are in congress, this is one of the things we work on the most, on these cases for our veterans who have been stuck in the
2:30 pm
bureaucracy of the v.a. that has turned the corner. we have acted to make our schools safer. we have stepped up the fight against ms-13. expanding resources for local law enforcement to curb gang activity. and congress just sent to the president's desk legislation to address the tide of opioid addiction. this epidemic affects all of our communities. this epidemic claims the lives of roughly 115 people each day in this country. it is not just about the numbers. as staggering as they are though. it is probably likely that you know somebody or a family that is going through this. so you know how this is leaching the life out of so many people. with this legislation, we are taking on the illicit synthetic drugs making their way across our borders. we are expanding and creating new recovery centers. we are improving access to
2:31 pm
treatment. and we are putting resources into the communities that are on the front lines. there is a lot more to do. no two ways about it. but this is the most significant congressional effort in history to fight a single drug crisis. and we hope, and we know, that it will save lives. these are all big things that we have delivered. big promises that we have kept. and if you want to learn more about it, please, go to because we told you, we show ud an agenda two years ago, what it would look like, and we are now showing that with this agenda in place, it is making things better. this is the better way that we offer the country two years ago. going bold. staying focused on the things that actually matter to people. staying focused on the things that people actually care about. and pursuing policies that improve people's lives. i know this approach seems fairly obvious. but it becomes even more evident
2:32 pm
by the day, because the democrats, while they have helped us on some of this agenda, on so much of this, they just don't see things the same way. and that's why we have a two party system. they have made it very clear. their only response to the noise in washington is more disorder, more chaos. outrage has become their standard operating procedure. instead of offering an alternative during the debate on tax reform, they simply said it would lead to armageddon. instead of welcoming or even acknowledging the benefits of tax reform, they dismissed it all as crumbs. we want to make the tax cuts for individuals and families permanent. they want to repeal tax reform and raise taxes on hard-working americans. how much do they want to raise taxes? that's the thing. they won't say. so you have to wonder, how that uncertainty feeds for a family, how it feels for a family, that is counting on expanded child tax credit, or that small business that is finally getting some real relief. we just spent two years getting
2:33 pm
uncertainty out of the economy, and now they want to bring it back. and while we've worked to secure our border, democrats actually want to abolish the agency responsible for enforcing our laws and keeping us safe. and while we've worked to lower health care costs, they are proposing to abolish our health care system as we know it, and it is in the best representation of how far the democratic party has gone off the rails in my opinion. they now call it medicare for all. because it sounds good. but in reality, it actually ends medicare in its current form. it ends private insurance all together. including for the roughly 180 million people who count on health insurance coverage through their employer. everyone, no matter how much you like your plan, would have their plan taken away. instead, you will be put into a government-run plan, where you have no say in the cost or in the coverage.
2:34 pm
obama care meant fewer choices. medicare for all means no choices. no competition. how much do you get charged for this? that's a good question. a nonpartisan study found that a single payer program like this would cost the government a whopping $32.6 trillion over the next ten years. just to put the price tag of this idea in perspective, we could double all federal taxes, yours, mine, families, businesses, everyone's taxes, and still not be able to pay for this. the only way you could control costs would be to ration care, and restrict access to doctors and treatments. all of these decisions would be made in washington of course. so even after the failures of obama care, this is the direction that the left wants to take our country. taxpayers paying more to get less. fewer choices. if any choices at all.
2:35 pm
poorer quality of care. all while having the government control this huge part of our lives, such as personal intimate thing for us. a single payer system is a singularly bad idea. it all brings to mind what margaret thatcher once said, as she described the problem with socialism. eventually, you run out of other people's money. and it just shows how today's democratic party has gone further left to the fringes, further back to discredited ideas. look, we don't do these jobs to be fashion be -- fashionable. we don't do these jobs to be popular. and believe me no one understands this better than i do. we do these jobs because we believe in ideas that solve problems. we do these jobs so we can improve people's lives. we do it by thinking about the long haul. we do it not by making false promises and peddling shortcuts that are only dead ends, we
2:36 pm
don't only try to fix messes, we build something bet sore we have planted the pillars of a confident america with this agenda. an economy on the move again. the best military in the world. workers back on the path of life. communities back on the rise. improving people's be lives. that's what it all comes down to for me. that's what it all comes back for me. that's what it has always been. i want to thank you for being here and i look forward to taking your questions. thank you. >> thank you. thank you, speaker ryan. so the format of today's news maker will be i will take the first question and the last question, in between we are going to open it up to the room for your questions. so my first question is, are you done with politics? >> i'm done with elected politics as far as i know. >> for good? >> you never say never to these
2:37 pm
things. i am obviously going to be a political guy but i want to spend 2019 reconnecting with my family, reconnecting with my home, and then i will figure out what the next chapter is. but i don't know what the next chapter is politically speaking but right now, i'm happy with the decisions i've made, very much so. >> how would you describe your political legacy to date? >> i would describe my political legacy as a policy maker who came into political leadership, and the ideas that i have been fighting for my entire career, much of which have gotten through, tax reform, opportunity zones, rebuilding the military, the kind of economic growth policies that i learned under kemp and reagan, are the kind that we have been putting in place this year and they are making a big difference. the one thing that i think we need to do a lot more on is entitlement reform. i'm proud of the fact that the house has skenconsistently voter budgets to balance the budget and pay off the debt i'm happy
2:38 pm
with the health care reform bill but it hasn't gone all the way to the president's desk. so i think that is one thing we have more to do. but what i'm probably the most happy about is the fact that we have organized our conference around an agenda based upon our principles. we showed what those policies looked like. and then when we won the election and had the ability to put them in place, we did that. so to me, that's exactly the cov nant you have to establish -- covenant you have to establish with your constituents. say what you will do, explain why it is better, and then if you get elected, do it. that is exactly what we've done. the entire house republican conference is very proud of this. and we are grat fied by the fact that our policies are actually making a big difference. >> it is going to be very interesting to see how all of this is borne out in 29 days. definitely. >> it will be. >> so now, we are going to open up to the room for questions. >> since i don't know all of you, i know you guys, do you mind introducing yourself?
2:39 pm
>> also, wait for the mike and introduce yourself and your news organization. >> sure hello, speaker. matt siler, abc news. i was wondering about your take on the brett kavanaugh saga and as far as how it will affect the midterms if at all. >> i'm not a political prognosticator, it is still 29 days away and in this day and age is a long time. i think the announcement that the republican base is very much activated because of this. i think the democratic base was already there. i think if anything, in the wash of it all, this is definitely, i could just see it just from traveling around the country in the last few days, traveling around wisconsin, the republican base is definitely animated after this. >> you have to wait for the mike and introduce yourself. >> scott long, with the hill newspaper. mr. speaker, i know you didn't get a vote on the kavanaugh
2:40 pm
confirmation, as a member of the house, but how engaged were you in the process? were you speaking with mitch mcconnell or president trump every day, and if so, did you have any advice for them? >> actually, i wasn't. i hadn't talked to mitch since the beginning of the last week, when we were focused on appropriations. so i haven't been. and it is really a senate thing. the house typically doesn't get involved in appointments. i spock to the president after the confirmation about that, and a number of other issues. and so i haven't really been involved. i thought susan colin, i thought her speech was tremendous. i thought susan really, with her analysis, i think she, i think she showed the right analysis. right tone. >> anna edger toton with bloomberg news. you are very critical of democratic proposals of medicare for all. i was wondering if you think the ahca is the best way to fix -- >> the bill that we passed? >> yes. >> that didn't affect medicare. so the house --
2:41 pm
>> right, but to fix the health care system, do you think the ahca is the best proposal? >> well, i think the house bill was the right way to go, because the house bill says you buy what you want to buy and here is a refundsable tax credit to purchase the plan of your choosing. i also think it is important to go back to the states to set up risk pool reinsurance mechanisms because that is the best way in my opinion to guarantee people with pre-existing conditions not just get covered but get affordable coverage, have more choices, and what it does, it stabilizes the insurance market for everyone else, so they get even lower prices and more choices. in wisconsin, when we had a risk pool, the 10% of wisconsin-ites in the risk pool could go any doctor they wanted to, any hospital and had good affordable rates and the other part of wisconsin in the individual market had many choices to choose from and much lower rates than they have today. i think there is a way. here is the thing. everybody here, the false choice here in this debate is everyone is in favor of supporting and protecting pre-existing
2:42 pm
conditions. that's not the question. the question is what is the best way to do that? and medicare for all is clearly not the best way to do that. because if you do that, add over 200 million people to medicare itself, you will collapse the medicare system. you will hasten its bankruptcy. you will deny choices. you will drive up prices. and you will force and require rationing. that is not, i don't think the country would ever take that. so i do believe, given the fact that we spend two and a half times per person on health care than any other industrialized company, we can have a world class health care system, where people can get access to affordable health care, especially people with pre-existing conditions, without having the government tell us where to go to get our health care. without having the government ration our care. without bankrupting the country. and that is what we have been attempting to pass. that's what we did pass with respect to the bill in the house, but more work has to get done, because that bill didn't pass into law. >> who are you with?
2:43 pm
>> capital intelligence, black business news. my question, i noticed in the greenprior, the president of the united states talking about how to help returning citizens, every speech he makes, in maga he is talking about opportunity zone, the lowest unemployment and black america, working on lower drug prices and he is working on all of this stuff to cbc, your legacy of jack kemp, you mentioned the david rubenstein economic club, i was there, 6 trillion dollars for urban america. this message, how much of an impact will it have on elections and going forward in 2020? it seems you're hitting the democratic base really hard. >> that wasn't my motivation. i have been working on this since i was in my early 20s when i worked with jack kemp. we used to call them enterprise zones back in the day. we call them opportunity zones. so i never considered the political effects of it candidly so i don't know the answer to that question. but just so people know what
2:44 pm
we're talking about, what opportunity zones are, they are in the tax law that we passed, this re in the tax cut and jobs act. 25% of the lowest income census tracks now in america are opportunity zones. and that means anybody can take an investment, sell that investment, not pay capital gains tax on it, pour it into an opportunity zone, create job, create economic development, put people to work, fix housing, and keep your investment there for at least ten years and due pay capital gains tax on it. so what we are trying to do is tap into that $6 trillion of unrealized capital gains that is out there and get it into the poor communities in america. we think that combined with evidence-based policy makes, another effort of ours, combined with social impact bonds which was also in this bill, we have a full frontal assault of attacking the root causes of poverty. i long believe, and this is something i want to do when i'm done with this job, i long believe that we have measured our success in the war on poverty based on input and effort, not on results and
2:45 pm
outcomes. this is an outcome-based approach. and this is an approach to not just make it government, but to make it private sector as well. and that's one of the problems i think we had with the war on poverty. we basically told tax paying americans, this is government's job to solve, poverty, to help people in poor communities, you don't have to do anything, you don't have to get involved, that is not true. i think that message was the wrong message. it wasn't an intentional message. and these ideas to fight poverty, to restore upward mobility in the economically stressed parts of america, i think they will bear fruit, they will work, but it will take time. the regulations aren't even done yet. so it is too soon to say what the effects are, what the economic effects or even the political everythings. b -- effects. but i'm very excited about this idea. >> thank you. skip caughten, howser. i was wondering if you have any thoughts on the dark money that was pushing to put kavanaugh in
2:46 pm
the court as it did with neil gorsuch. and what that happens to checks and balances. >> the first amendment is the first amendment and i don't think we should regulate the first amendment as was recommended. >> i didn't vote for the campaign finance law, mccain fine gold killed the parties and gave rise to all of these outside groups. i would rather have had a system where the parties are more in control of their own campaign, and then people, the elected leaders of the parties, you can hold them accountability. but that's not the case these days. it is these outside groups that we legally can't even talk to, but that law, i mow it wasn't the intention, but i know it had the effect of killing the parties which are accountable to elected officials and giving rise to all of these other things. >> gene, from media. thanks for coming here and thanks for all of your work on the veries issue and the
2:47 pm
military. it means a lot to a lot of people. i really appreciate it. you are one of the best fundraisers that the rnc has ever had. and are you planning on staying involved in that? hopefully. >> i haven't even thought -- >> it was never really my thing, to be honest with you. i was more of a policy guy. i think because i became more of a national figure because m.i.t. put me on the -- mitt put me on the ticket is what made it so i could do that, and that comes with this job. but when i'm done with speaker, i'm probably planning ot on not doing much of that. so we will see. i will go back here. how about the lady back there? >> thank you. i'm with the center for climate and security. so the recent u.n. report that came out that says the earth is warming faster than we have even anticipated and will feel some of the most catastrophic impact bis 2030, that's in 12 years, how do you and your party reconcile the epa roll backs given this new fact >> i haven't read it, but i have read about. it i think the answer is technology. i think the answer is better investments in technology.
2:48 pm
national science foundation. that kind of thing. to deal with these issues. i would say we as a developed country are as clean as it gets. you have to deal with the developed world. india and china, developing countries. i mean the developing world, excuse me. i think you that's where most of the pollution could be dramatically improved, with better technologies. and i think sharing our technology, with allies, and helping conversions, i think it is good. we just passed legislation as part of our faa bill, to modernize our financing system to help developing countries finance their infrastructure, like power and the rest. that is also a counter-china strategy but i think it is also a strategy that can help us go around the world to the developing world and help them to convert to cleaner based energy sources. >> mr. speaker, bob weiner and weiner public op-ed and former
2:49 pm
house speaker for 16ers yoo. you have been in a very big box with the politics of condemnation come forecast the white house. and you have spoken against it periodically. do you think that is here to stay? is that a model that is going to stay with our national politics? >> good question. >> or what can we do about it to make it not happen? >> this is also something i want to spend some time thinking about when i'm -- this kind of job, you don't have a lot of time to think about these bigger effects, these bigger things. i worry about this a lot. i mean just the last two week, the politics, the incentive in politics is invective, it is outrage, it is hysteria, and the 21st century technology system that we are experiencing with social media, cable news, ratings chasing, it fuels tribalism and identity politics. as conservatives we abhorred it. we abhor and abhorred identity politics.
2:50 pm
we used to think it was a things to the left and now the right practices it. so it is being practiced on both sides. and what that is doing is dividing our country more than we've seen in a long time. time. we've had divisions and go back to the federalist. we've always had divisions in our politics, but i think it's seeping into our society deeper because of technology and because of, unfortunately, the proven success of tribalism and identity politics, and i think what we as conservatives believe and i can speak for myself on this, we have to find a political strategy and tactics that make it more successful and more appealing to have aspirational, inclusive politics. the kind that i was taught by jack kemp and granted, look, i just teed off on a single pair. i think it's a terrible idea, but that's an idea. that's a bill. that's not a person. that's not a character trait. that's not a motive. that's -- that's a really bad
2:51 pm
idea and i'd rather have a really vigorous, vibrant debate on ideas, and talk about an agenda that is uplifting, inclusive, aspirational which is what this country has shown promise for for so long and this is the greatest challenge to those kinds of politics i've seen in my lifetime. the dude in the back. >> yeah. >> jamie horowitz. i'm the headliner's committee. thank you for being here today. in 140 places across the country today postal workers spent their day off protesting a proposal from the trump administration that would sell off the postal service and also possible universal service where people
2:52 pm
get their mail six days a week all at the same price regardless of where they live. if we got rid of that universal service requirement wouldn't that be severe harm to especially rural america that already is lacking broadband and has higher transportation costs? well, i can't speak to trump, i can speak to the mark meadows and trey gowdy proposal and that's the one moving through the process and the house. i believe the letter carriers support it, if i'm not mistaken. there is a challenge with the funding of pension obligations and health care obligations and its effect on medicare and that is what is holding that bill up at the moment, but the goal of that bill which i'm more familiar with is to get the postal service to be able to cash flow itself. operate, yes, like a business and understand that there are some inherent goals for, like, universal services is a good example and i think that that
2:53 pm
meadows/gowdy bill strikes that balance, but we have a few funding mechanisms before prime time. how about the guy right here who has been consistent the entire time. >> while lindsay is moving with the mike, can i throw out a question from a member who wasn't here? >> was it craig gilbert? >> it wasn't. >> excuse me, president trump has said that he has a commitment from you to shut down the government in december as part of a strategy to secure more funding -- >> we wouldn't shut down the government. the democrats would if they choose not to pass for appropriation bills. >> so the question is -- >> i jumped on it there. >> did you make that commitment? >> we did not think the fight over the wall made a lot of sense at the time before the fiscal year because what we saw mitch, myself, chuck, and nancy, we saw the appropriations process work more than we have
2:54 pm
in a long time. we passed 75% of discretionary spending before the fiscal year deadline for the first time in 22 years two years ago and we did not want to have a wall fight get in the way of that achievement, but it is important for us to, first of all, a lot of people don't cover this. there is a wall being built right now. 40 miles are in construction rid now and the construction is ongoing. it's just in fits and starts in annual appropriations and what the president wants to do is get a bigger down payment so we can get it being built faster. there is a serious need for border security. i was just talking about synthetic drugs like fentanyl. it's a big issue, so, yes, we intend on having a full-fledged discussion about how to complete this mission of securing our border and we will have a big fight about that. >> was there a commitment? >> what the outcome of all of those things and we had a commitment to fight for securing the border and getting these
2:55 pm
policy objectives achieved. >> we'll figure out how to do it in december? >> not to shut down the on. >> i can't speak to what the outcomes will be. the effort is there. the dude -- >> hi. freelancer at the national press club. you talked with pride about the ease of controlling the human trafficking, but in terms of moving people across the borders with ease, the number of immigrant -- the number of refugees with the fear of death is reduced on on. >> can you speak a little slower? >> sorry. i was saying the number -- you've talked with pride about slowing down human trafficking, but in terms of moving people across borders with ease, the number of refugees with the well-founded fear of death is reduced. daca hasn't made a conscious decision to immigrants here and all efforts to increase the capacity of immigration courts to safely move people to decide on cases has been blocked by both the executive and the
2:56 pm
legislative. >> do you have a question? >> it's a speech. >> in these times of polarization, what do you say to the immigrants who are maligned by false insinuations that they commit more crimes than native populations that you speak for them, as well. >> i would say look at the bills and we try to bring them through the congress in july. we have goodlet 1 and goodlet 2 bill. the goodlet 2 was one i brokered with all of our various members which had a solution for daca and it had a solution for the border and it had a solution for all of our problems. we proposed and brought to the floor and i voted for more than 218 republicans. i'm doing this off of the top of my head. 222 republicans in one bill or another voted for a daca solution. so we have shown that we want to solve the daca problem and that we want to solve the daca problem while also addressing the root cause of the daca
2:57 pm
problem which was loose borders and uncontrollable immigration laws. so we have taken a very balanced approach, put it on the floor. we offered the democrats back in i want to say, may, a solution with border security combined with a daca relief bill. that was not taken by the other side. so we have shown time and again that we want to solve the daca problem. there are people living in limbo, living in fear. we don't want that to continue, but while we do this we don't want to fix that problem without addressing the underlying cause of the problem and we want to address both at the same time because that's the right way to do it. >> this is the last question right here. >> oh, he's got you by seniority. i did call on you, but he's got you by seniority. sorry, man. >> i'm wes clifford, and i used to cover the hill and work on it. i want to follow on bob's
2:58 pm
question about the division seeping into our society. you're the head of one branch. trump is the head of the second branch and there's been some criticism that you did not send up forcefully enough to some of trump's rhetoric and maybe even a few of his policies. so how do you respond to that? >> i get criticized no matter what i do. as speaker of the house you get criticized every which way through sunday. i would say look at the results. by the way, our parties very different and the left is moving far left and i think they've jumped the sharks, frankly, on ideology and they've moved way out of the mainstream, but having said all of that, about 80% of what we do is bipartisan. it doesn't get covered. no offense to you, but it doesn't get covered. the opioid bill we passed and the most comprehensive attack on the opioid problem, bipartisan and overhauling our aviation system, bipartisan.
2:59 pm
>> overhauling the water structure, bipartisan. funding the military veterans, bipartisan. so most of what we do is actually bipartisan, but there are those flare-ups on the big issues that we just don't agree on like healthcare or taxes or what happened in the senate with the supreme court. that really flared up, but underneath those polarizing moments is a lot of bipartisan production and the second one is there is a lot of divisiveness in the country today and it is coming from both sides and it is disheartening, and i think the best thing that people like me can do is help put policies in place that deny the oxygen for this kind of politics. what do yi mean when i say that? get people out of poverty and help people get better jobs at better wages so they're not so anxious. because if you can reduce the economic anxiety in america and
3:00 pm
reduce the security anxiety in america, you can reduce the oxygen that feeds these kind of politics, and so i think that's something that given what i get to do that's unique and right in past laws, that is an enormous contribution with this point and with respect to the criticism -- criticism, i have found it far more successful, far more productive to have a good relationship and to have private conversations. i get so much more done with that approach than going out and just being another pundit wailing on tv. >> so -- thank you for your time here today. i am going to ask the final question at this conference and we're going to say thank you, and i'm going to tell the audience a little bit about what's coming up at the club. so you know that here at the national press club, one of the most important things we do is push for and fight for and defend press freedoms. i think everybody here in this room has been following the news about saudi journalist and
3:01 pm
washington post columnist jamal khashoggi. >> how do you pronounce it? i was wondering myself. >> i say khashoggi, but i think it's khashoggi or something like that. however, not a native language for me. i wanted to ask you, what are your thoughts about the disappearance of the journalist. >> i read his column in the pift and post. it's very disturbing and very unnerving and we need to get the facts and the turk, it's an interesting question, but from the turks and the saudis. as an elected leader we stand with you in the media in solidarity to making sure that this does want go unnoticed and that we stand and fight for answers so that we can bring transparency and accountability to this kind of a thing. >> i appreciate that. that's good to know. thank you very much. >> absolutely.
3:02 pm
>> before you leave -- [ applause ] >> we have a gift by way of thank you. >> i've never gotten one before. >> from the national press club. so we hope you can throw it in the microwave, goes in the dish washer and use it in good health and we hope you come back to the national press club and hope to see you again. appreciate it. >> chief ryan, thank you. >> so i'd like to ask everybody in the audience to stay seated while speaker ryan makes his way out of the club and i would like to highlight a couple of upcoming events here at the club. so we have a national press club book event with the big game, the nfl in dangerous times and that's coming up on october 11th and on october 12th we have a screening of the ni cocole
3:03 pm
kidman-russell crowe "boy erased," and i want to say thank you to all of you here today and with that, we are adjourned. [ applause ] >> while congress is on break for the midterm elections next month we're showing american history tv in room time and tonight it's a conference on the american west hosted by the aspen institute. historians talk about westward expansion after the louisiana purchase, kit carson and the mountain men and the impact it had on the self war and slavery. american history tv in prime time begins at 8:00 p.m. eastern. and on c-span this evening, 19 days before the mid-term
3:04 pm
elections, pennsylvania congressman scott perry debates his democratic rival george scott. live coverage of the tenth congressional district debate gets under way at 7:00 eastern and on c-span2 tonight, president trump, u.s. senate candidate at rosendale running against john tester. watch live coverage tonight at 8:30 eastern on c-span2, online at any with the c-span radio app and the c-span network, your primary source for campaign 2018. on capitol hill yesterday the senate judiciary committee considered the nomination of several judges to serve in the southern districts of florida and allison to sit on the 4th circuit court of appeals. this is about an hour. >> our nominees and their