There may be a presidential election raging in 2016, but new House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) plans to keep Congress busy, and the first order of business will be replacing Obamacare.
“Next year, we are going to unveil a plan to replace every word of Obamacare,” Ryan is expected to say in an address at the Library of Congress Thursday.
“Even if [the President] won’t sign them into law, we will put out specific proposals and give the people a real choice,” Ryan will say. “And I don’t mean just undo what the president has done—as if we could time-travel back to 2009. I mean show what we would do, what our ideal policy would be—looking forward to 2017 and beyond.”
Ryan–who has long carried the reputation in the House as the party’s ideas man– suggested Thursday that Republicans need to stop simply rolling back Obama’s proposals and come up with creative ideas of their own.
In addition to healthcare, Ryan plans to simply the tax code next year and go after some of the government’s most highly-guarded loopholes.
“Look, I know people like many of these loopholes, and they have their reasons. But there are so many of them that now the tax code is like a to-do list—Washington’s to-do list. But Washington has no business micromanaging people’s lives—pure and simple,” Ryan is expected to say. “I also know many of these loopholes will be fiercely defended. All I can say is we will not be cowed. We are not here to smooth things over. We are here to shake things up.”
He also will tackle welfare reform, which he says needs major changes.
“Require everyone who can to work. Let states and communities try different ideas. And then test the results,” Ryan is expected to say.
Ryan is asking his party to engage and take chances with bold proposals, but Ryan will also have to contend with the same warring factions in his party House Speaker John Boehner did. Getting the entire party on the same page proved to be the toughest part of Boehner’s job.
Ryan had a message for his party on unity.
“Don’t give them a win by default. Put together a positive agenda, and take it to the American people. Give people the choice they are yearning for. And if next year, this House can say we have done that, then we will have done our job,” Ryan said.”Then the people will know that we stand for a more prosperous, a more secure, a more confident America. And the rest? Well, the rest will be up to the people—as it should be.”