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Paul Ryan: Good morning Steve, Brian, Anna. How are you doing this morning?
Steve Doocy: You know the President is asking for $3.4 million for new detention facilities, border patrol agents in overtime, more judges, but nothing about securing the southern border. Are you going to give him the money if they don't fix the border first?
Paul Ryan: I think you put the nail right on the head. We don't have a credible plan from the President to fix the root cause of the problem, which is that we don't have a secure border. This is a plan that treats symptoms and doesn't address the fact that people are breaking the laws and our border is not secure. This is why we think the President needs to show us what his plan is to actually secure the border to prevent this from happening in the future. Part of this is the President's own doing with his executive orders. Part of this is the law that says "relocate people within the interior of the country.' We think that ought to be addressed. But, more importantly, where is the plan to actually secure the border to prevent this from happening, to prevent these illegal processes in the first place? And that's what we think is lacking in this supplemental request.
Anna Kooiman: Yeah. Is this just a band-aid? Is this something where the President is going to have to come back and ask for billions more dollars in a few months or next year?
Paul Ryan: That's the whole point. The administration has been very ambiguous on this crisis. It's a fact that [the Administration] has given us mixed signals and that's why people think they can come here and bring their kids and that they will be taken care of. So, I think that part of this is of the President's own making, but a lot of it is still the fact that we have yet to secure our borders. How can we have faith in fixing immigration laws if we can't even secure our southern border?
Brian Kilmeade: What would you do Congressman with the kids that are here now? I mean 50,000 have come since October, so what do we do with them now?
Paul Ryan: People have crossed this border illegally no matter what their age is. It is a humanitarian crisis. If we actually take them and absorb them into the country, think of the signal that would send to others. They will continue coming and you will actually make this crisis even worse. So there is a rule of law issue here and you don't want to have the moral hazard of inducing more humanitarian crises so you have to say this border is secure, you can't come into the country illegally--there are legal methods for doing it. That's the way to go and we need to have a credible plan for the administration on addressing the root cause of this problem, not simply treat the symptoms. Yes, we need more border patrol, we need more detention facilities, but that is in addition to actually having a plan to credibly secure the border which we have yet to see from this administration.
Steve Doocy: Were you saying that [the IRS Commissioner] was telling a lie or that the story that the IRS is telling is simply not believable?
Paul Ryan: Look, there is a long track record here and they have been stonewalling throughout this entire investigation. Hard working taxpayers deserve a government that is impartial, that is fair, honest, efficient, transparent, accountable, and they are not getting it. We see our job as getting that kind of government for the taxpayers who pay for the government in the first place. Look, the IRS told the White House in April about these hard drive crashes, and they didn't tell Congress until May. They didn't even tell us. They buried it in a 27- page letter to the Senate and only after we followed up did we learn that six other hard drives have crashed for a total of seven people critical to this investigation. So, coincidentally, all of these people had crashed hard drives and their emails were unrecoverable and the servers were wiped clean. That's what I don't believe. I don't think this is a credible story and we have still yet to get whole answers to questions we have been asking and so we are not going to stop.
Anna Kooiman: Your scolding words have just been echoing what a lot of people have been thinking while they were watching that as well. Congressman Ryan: Today your Budget Committee has a hearing on how the federal government can better fight poverty. What's going on with that?
Paul Ryan: Well, look, we are bringing in people who are on the frontlines of fighting poverty, getting people off of welfare into lives of dignity and work and we want to learn lessons from that. We have had 50 years in the War on Poverty and the poverty rates haven't changed. We think we can do better than that and so we are learning from people who are on the front lines, like Catholic charities, who are succeeding in getting people into good lives and good jobs and we want to learn from them. Right now we have a cookie-cutter, one-size fits all poverty management system at the federal level, and we think that we can do another round of welfare reform like we did in the late 1990s.
Brian Kilmeade: I know that you are spending a lot of time in the inner city, going to some of the inner city churches, trying to find out better what is going on because that's not the upbringing you've had. Yet, you have gotten some backlash when you've spoken out--any regrets?
Paul Ryan: None whatsoever. I think that what we need to do is go learn from poverty fighters who are actually succeeding at fighting poverty. Go learn from people who have a lot to teach us and don't sit in the ivory tower of Washington waiting for bureaucrats to tell you what to do. That's just not how government should work. That's not how you respect taxpayers. What we learn is if you go into these [impoverished] communities and learn from people who are actually succeeding in fighting poverty, you can do a lot with that and that is what I think is very beneficial. We need to challenge the status quo, Brian. The status quo is not working. It is keeping people stuck in poverty and we need to challenge that. And to those who want to protect the status quo, this is threatening to them, but we should not take this awful situation that we have today as an excuse for doing nothing.
Steve Doocy: Sure, you can't just throw money at it. You've got to address the core issue, which was what you were talking about regarding illegal immigration as well.
Paul Ryan: Exactly, you've got to address the core issue.
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