'This Week' Transcript: Rep. Paul Ryan

I want to show you what Bill Kristol wrote in "The Weekly Standard" this week. He said, "Bringing immigration to the floor ensures a circular GOP firing squad instead of a nicely lined up one shooting together. And in the (INAUDIBLE) of ObamaCare and other horrors of big government liberalism, since there's really no need to act this year on immigration, don't -- don't even try."

Your response?

RYAN: Well, look, we don't know who's coming and going in this country, George. We don't have control of our border. We don't have control of interior enforcement. You just talked about the Boston bombers. And so doing nothing on the security side of this, we think, is not a responsible thing to do. It's appropriate you brought this subject up after talking about these executive orders.

Here's the issue that all Republicans agree on -- we don't trust the president to enforce the law. So if you actually look at the standards that the Republican leadership put out, which is security first, first we have to secure the border, have interior enforcement, which is a worker verification system, a visa tracking program. Those things have to be in law, in practice and independently verified before the rest of the law can occur.

So it's a security force first, non-amnesty approach.

The other concern that people have in our party is they don't want to see us get into conference with the Senate and then -- and then compromise to a bad law. We won't let that happen because we've already said we won't go to the conference with the Senate.

And so this is not one of those issues where it has some kind of a deadline behind it, like, say, a government shutdown, which forces us into a compromise we might not like to take.

This is a here are our standards, this is our approach, if you want to do it this way, this is what we're willing to do. And we're still having a debate in our caucus about even that.

But we don't think that we can allow this border to continue to be overrun. And if we can get security first, no amnesty, before anything happens, we think that's a good approach.


RYAN: This is not a trust but verify, this is a verify then trust approach.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Bottom line, can you put something on the president's desk this year that he can sign?

RYAN: I really don't know the answer to that question. That is clearly in doubt. It depends on whether they're willing to actually secure the border, actually have interior enforcement and not -- and agree to not having an amnesty. If we can do that, where it's security first, no amnesty, then we might be able to get somewhere.

But I just don't know if the -- if that's going to be the case or not.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Let me also ask you about the debt limit. The president made it clear again this week that there's no way he's going to agree to anything but a clean debt limit. It's the only thing he is going to sign. You and members or your caucus are still talking about attaching some policy changes to the debt limit.

Is there any reason to think that can succeed?

It hasn't before.

RYAN: Well, I think that we've had -- well, we have had policies attached to the debt limit before. That's actually more the case than not. Usually, what a -- whoever a president is, whoever is running Congress, there is policy attached to the debt limit. So that's -- that's not a new idea.

Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...