Speaker Paul Ryan Humble-Brags About Everything But Health Care

In light of all the focus on Majority Leader McConnell lately, coupled with the fact that Donald Trump is constantly in the spotlight for doing/saying absurd things, it may be that Speaker Paul Ryan is feeling a little left out lately. Perhaps that is why he wrote an op-ed for the Independent Journal Review titled, “Ignore the Cable News Bickering: This Congress Is Getting Things Done.”

As the title suggests, Ryan wants to humble-brag a bit about the things he’s accomplishing in the House.

Here in the House of Representatives, we can do more than one thing at a time. And the truth is, even while carrying out our oversight responsibilities, we’ve been delivering on our promises to the American people. We are passing important legislation. We are doing our job.

Back in December, Ryan said he had three priorities for the coming year.

  1. Repeal Obamacare
  2. Make changes to the tax code
  3. Roll back regulations

Here’s the kicker: nowhere in the entire op-ed does Ryan mention Obamacare, healthcare or taxes. It’s understandable that the latter didn’t get mentioned because the Republicans haven’t been able to even put forward a bill on taxes yet. But while the Senate struggles with their version, the House passed the AHCA to much pomp and circumstance—including a Rose Garden victory celebration. I’m not sure what Ryan’s failure to mention that tells us. Perhaps he knows that public support for the AHCA is in the tank and would ruin his whole humble-brag vibe. But it is a glaring omission of the issue that is front and center on everyone’s mind right now.

In terms of what Ryan did include, he talked about reforms to the Veterans Administration and suggested they would solve the problems associated with the scandal we heard so much about during the Obama administration. I doubt that is the case because, as readers here at the Washington Monthly know, that whole scandal was a Koch brother’s campaign designed to “dismantle the country’s most successful health care system.”

Ryan also mentioned the roll back of regulations that they’ve approved based on the Congressional Review Act, which has allowed them to make it easier for corporations to pollute and schools to discriminate. He also talked about the fact that the House passed the Financial CHOICE Act, a euphemism that covers up the fact that it rolled back the Wall Street regulations that protect us all from another financial crash.

Finally, Ryan wants us all to know that the House is providing more funding for the military without having to bother with matching funds for domestic programs (as was required by the sequester) and that they’ll be working this week to pass legislation that cracks down on sanctuary cities.

I suppose that if you are someone that thinks climate change is a hoax, doesn’t care if there is another Great Depression, thinks war is the answer and immigrants are a major challenge to our security, you’ll think that Ryan and the Republicans in the House are actually doing something positive. Let me know when you find someone like that.

Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly.