Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan has released his New Year’s resolutions for 2016, which include advancing a conservative agenda and building on the success that he claims he has had since he was elected Speaker in October.
Ryan claims that in 2016 he will promote:
1. Conservative Agenda
3. Decentralized Power
4. Transparency and Regular Order
5. Culture Change
6. Next-Generation Platform
7. Building on Progress
But, in his first two months as Speaker—and his history before that—Ryan has veered away from every single one of these. That suggests it’s highly unlikely Ryan will ever, as Speaker—because of his record—actually do anything productive, despite his claims that he has and that he will. His $1.1 trillion, two-thousand-plus page long omnibus spending bill alone broke most of these promises.
Despite Ryan’s defensive claims in establishment-right media—he’s appeared on Bill Bennett’s and Hugh Hewitt’s radio programs, but refuses to do interviews with actual conservatives like Breitbart News, Mark Levin, Sean Hannity, or Rush Limbaugh to defend himself—the omnibus spending bill, as Breitbart News has detailed, was an absolute disaster for conservatives. It funded pretty much every single progressive objective of President Barack Obama’s efforts to fundamentally change America, and it even surrendered some of the previous small victories that Ryan’s predecessor, John Boehner, was able to secure, such as a school choice voucher program in Washington, D.C.
Ryan abandoned efforts to promote a “conservative agenda” years ago. Instead, Ryan has been one of the central advocates in the Republican Party for amnesty for illegal aliens and wide open borders with massively increased immigration to America. Ryan, of course, built a giant fence around his mansion in his hometown of Janesville, Wisconsin, but in his omnibus spending bill, he didn’t provide funding for a fence on the United States border with Mexico—a fence that has been provided for in federal law for years but has yet to be built.
Ryan also promised in a pre-omnibus interview with Fox News’s Sean Hannity that he wouldn’t support any cuts to Muslim migration to America. That came after the House Freedom Caucus, according to its chairman, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), failed to obtain any commitment from him on Muslim migration before backing him for Speaker. That’s not to mention Ryan’s close relationship with Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), the progressive left’s champion for illegal aliens.
Ryan has also served as one of the chief promoters—an architect, if you will—of the Obamatrade plan. He helped shove the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) fast-track legislation—which aims to grease the skids for the 5,544-page-long Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) globalist trade deal that empowers the Sultan of Brunei and potentially puts American communities at risk of succumbing to the Sultan’s brand of Sharia Law due to sovereignty concerns regarding land control in the deal—through the House over conservative objections. Ryan, of course, as Breitbart News reported at the time, also snuck a phony fix to immigration provisions into the TPA plan.
After BuzzFeed’s McKay Coppins wrote one of the most vicious and inaccurate profiles on now-2016 GOP frontrunner Donald Trump—prompting Trump to call him a “scumbag” and expose his lewd behavior toward women working at Trump’s Mar-A-Lago resort—Ryan took Coppins to church with him for a glowing liberal profile in a leftist rag.
That’s not to mention Ryan’s horrendous big picture spending and budget deals. This latest omnibus—which, again, Ryan has desperately tried to defend as some kind of win for conservatives, when everyone including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi knows that’s just not true—is hardly his first awful big deal. Back in late 2013, then-House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan negotiated a budget deal with then-Senate Budget Committee chairwoman Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA).
As Breitbart News reported at the time, along with analysis from Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), the Ryan-Murray budget deal increased the national deficit by at least $15.5 billion. Despite the spending increase—again, hardly a conservative principle—the deal cut veterans’ pensions in order to pay for funding of tax credits that the United States government, at Ryan’s urging, has been wrongly paying out to illegal aliens across the country.
Ryan has frequently also swooped in at the last minute to bail out GOP establishment efforts to spend more taxpayer money. He backed the so-called “CR-Omnibus” in late 2014, a bill that—after virtually every Republican promised not to on the campaign trail, including the party chairman Reince Priebus—ended up funding President Obama’s 2014 executive amnesty for illegal alien adults and his 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood (DACA) executive amnesty for illegal alien children.
All that’s just the tip of the iceberg of Ryan’s anti-conservative actions in Congress—a taste of what’s to come if he keeps following through with his historical viewpoint of pushing a “conservative agenda.”
So, now that his first New Year’s Resolution is thoroughly debunked—he may end up changing, and conservatives can only hope he does, but most people don’t change—let’s look at the rest of them.
As for GOP “unity,” while Ryan did end up securing support from many House Freedom Caucus members—more than a majority of them—he actually never earned an official endorsement from the group for his Speakership bid. To have gotten that, Ryan would have needed 80 percent of the group to support him in a House Speakership race. Ryan failed to achieve that. Interestingly enough, Ryan pledged to the American people—and to House Republicans—that he wouldn’t run for the House Speakership without an endorsement from the House Freedom Caucus, so his decision to run for the Speakership in the beginning was, like so many other things he’s done, built on an abject lie.
Many House Republicans have given Ryan a pass in his first couple months as Speaker. They blame Boehner for a lot of the problems of the conference, and for the mess that currently exists. But again, if Ryan continues down the pathway that he’s been on so far, it’s hard to see enough of the Republican conference standing behind him and continuing to support him. The more liberal wing of the GOP conference, on the other hand, is likely to continue to push Ryan to support Boehner-esque K-Street goodie-laden legislation—and the divide is almost certainly going to split up that “unity” that Ryan is pushing for.
Ryan’s third promise for the New Year—“decentralized power” away from the Speaker’s office—has, to his credit, seen some advancement, although minor in the grand scheme of things. Ryan allowed Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS) onto the powerful House Steering Committee, an entity that decides which members get on which committees. Some senior conservative aides—chiefs of staff and other senior aides—tell Breitbart News that Ryan’s team has been much more open than Boehner’s was with them in the legislative process and is listening to them about concerns. It’s really not that hard to be better than nothing—what Boehner was, who was so bad he’d literally call his own Republican members swear words while not even trying to work with conservatives—so it’s not a huge improvement on Ryan’s part. It remains to be seen if Ryan will implement any actual structural reforms in the House of Representatives whatsoever, and he hasn’t as of this time done any of that.
He did, however, when failing to earn an official endorsement from the House Freedom Caucus, walk into a closed-door meeting with that group and basically promise them the world. Ryan promised them he’d give up the five votes—which helps a Speaker centralize power—the Speaker has on the Steering Committee; that there wouldn’t be an amnesty or immigration bill until President Obama left office; he pledged an end to retaliation against GOP members by GOP leadership, and he promised a return to regular order.
During that Freedom Caucus meeting, Ryan’s plan was that the only way he’d run for Speaker was if House Republicans surrendered the ability under House Rules—he wanted to change the rules—to bring to the floor what’s a called a resolution to vacate the chair. That procedure—which conservatives used to successfully bring Boehner to his knees and force him out of office—would forcefully remove a Speaker who wasn’t fulfilling the will of the conference that elected him or her. That rule was literally put in place by Thomas Jefferson, a Founding Father, America’s third president, and the author of America’s Declaration of Independence from tyrant King George of Great Britain in 1776. Not good enough for Ryan, it seems.
He hasn’t given up the five votes of the Speaker on the Steering Committee. He broke the immigration pledge by inserting into the omnibus bill a massive increase in H2B visas that allow more guest workers into America. He hasn’t done anything to prevent further retaliation against conservatives. And he hasn’t taken any steps back towards regular order—and in fact has used back room procedures to block amendments on legislation of national importance, specifically a flawed refugee resettlement bill that Ryan falsely claimed “paused” Obama’s plans to resettle thousands of Syrians in cities and towns across America in the wake of the Paris terrorist attacks. The only thing that bill did was require three people who serve at the pleasure of the president—the FBI director, Secretary of Homeland Security, and Director of National Intelligence—to sign off on the president’s plans. Ryan jammed that bill through the House by bringing it to the floor on a closed rule—blocking any amendments to it from any members of the House—then Ryan proceeded to fund the entire program with taxpayer dollars.
That means Ryan has already broken the second half of his fourth New Year’s resolution—Regular Order—and as for the first half of that resolution, Transparency, Ryan has that one covered in at least a couple different places. Firstly, in Ryan’s pre-Speakership-bid meeting with the House Freedom Caucus, a second demand—in addition to eliminating from the House rules Jefferson’s rule against a tyrannical Speaker—Ryan had for members was they couldn’t tell anyone what happened in that meeting, as Breitbart News reported at the time.
Then there’s also Obamatrade again. Back when members were pushing through—at Ryan’s insistence—the fast-track authority for the TPP and other trade deals, the text of the TPP was kept hidden in the basement of the U.S. Capitol and only made available to actual members of Congress who visited a classified reading room to view it. Now that it’s clear that it’s 5,544 pages long—bigger than Obamacare and the Ryan-backed, Sen. Marco Rubio-championed “Gang of Eight” amnesty bill last congress combined—there’s not a snowball’s chance in hell any member, including Ryan, who backed TPA actually read the TPP deal. That’s not to mention the fact that the other two major trade deals that TPA will grease through Congress, the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP) and the Trade In Services Agreement (TiSA) still have no text available for even members of Congress to read.
As for a culture change, Ryan’s fifth New Year’s resolution, when he’s doing all the same things as Boehner it’s truly hard to see anything shifting on Capitol Hill. He might be right about a culture change on Capitol Hill, though, just in a direction that’s not just anti-conservative but anti-Republican: Ryan has reportedly been planning to work closely with Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid, whose party is in the minority, on major initiatives. When he announced that to a room full of his own Republican members, they laughed in Ryan’s face.
Longtime conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly, in an exclusive interview with Breitbart News published in mid-December, blew up Ryan’s sixth New Year’s resolution: the promise of a “Next-Generation Platform.”
In the interview, Schlafly called Ryan the Republican of yesterday because he backs issues that Republicans aren’t supposed to. “Those are the issues we thought we beat when we elected a Republican Congress,” Schlafly said of the globalist trade and mass immigration policies Ryan supports. “It turned out we didn’t.”
As for Ryan’s seventh and final New Year’s resolution—Building on Progress—how’s it possible to add to something you haven’t even started?