Paul Nehlen Blasts Speaker Ryan as Obama’s ‘Primary Enabler in Congress’

AP Photo/Evan Vucci
Washington, DC

Paul Ryan challenger Paul Nehlen blasted the current Speaker of the House when speaking to Breitbart News Daily SiriusXM host Stephen K. Bannon Wednesday, saying, “Paul Ryan is President Obama and Hillary Clinton’s primary enabler in Congress. He is absolutely championing President Obama’s second term initiatives.”

“I can’t stand by and watch Paul Ryan burn it down,” he added.

Nehlen, whose campaign website is here, cited amnesty, Trans-Pacific Partnership, and criminal justice reforms as examples. “Paul Ryan is championing those,” he said. He also questioned Ryan’s efforts in rushing through a rescue package for Puerto Rico, citing specifics included in a Breitbart News item on the topic: “Ryan Puerto Rico ‘Rescue’ Bill Could Be Windfall for Hedge Funds”:

In a very narrow sense of the word, the rescue bill isn’t a “bailout.” There is no large check from the US Treasury going to Puerto Rico to help pay off creditors. The legislation, however, would save some individuals and entities from bearing the full costs of past decisions. Moreover, whatever one calls the special legislation being rushed through Congress, it will provide a quick windfall for many, currently unknown, hedge funds.

While precise details of Ryan’s rescue plan aren’t finalized, the legislation is expected to create a financial control board to oversee a restructuring of the territory’s massive $70 billion debt. Aside from rampant government spending in Puerto Rico, the island is suffering from decades of economic micromanagement from Washington. It is unclear whether the control board would have the necessary powers to reform the territory’s economy.

Many supporters of Ryan’s effort point out that bondholders will have to absorb a “haircut” in any restructuring deal. Under some proposals, bondholders would have to accept a 47 percent cut on the par-value of their bonds. For example, if an investor holds bonds with a face-value of $10,000, it would have to accept $5,300 for them in a restructuring.

Supporters stress this as both a means to explain opposition of some bondholders to a federal rescue package and an assurance to outsiders that “Wall Street” will take some losses in a restructuring deal.

This argument, however, obscures the fact that many hedge funds have already purchased Puerto Rico bonds at a steep discount to their face value. On just Tuesday, a host of Puerto Rico bonds were sold at prices ranging from as low as 50 percent below their face-value. These bondholders could realize an immediate gain even after a restructuring enforced haircut, because they were purchased before the new congressionally mandated price.

Nehlen also said he could run against Ryan on TPP alone, and he has been highly critical of the Speaker on that issue when talking to Breitbart News in the past:

Nehlen cited the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) as one of the primary reasons for calling Ryan “the enemy”: “It’s going to send our jobs overseas, and even worse, it’s going to import foreign workers to replace us in our jobs here at home,” said Nehlen. He also recounted his recent visit to Abbott Labs in Wisconsin. Nehlen said he would look to “lock down” visa programs based on abuse and the cost to American workers.

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