Newly elected House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) kicked off his first GOP leadership conference Tuesday by holding his firm line on advancing immigration reform while President Obama is in office.
Ryan was asked if he would consider moving forward with reform once a new president is elected.
“My positions are very well known and unchanged on this issue,” Ryan said, referring to his previous openness to creating a pathway citizenship for undocumented immigrants.
“But I think given the fact that President Obama tried to do an end-run around Congress to go it alone, to try to write laws himself unilaterally — which is not what presidents do, that’s what Congress does — I think on this particular issue he has proven himself untrustworthy on this,” Ryan said.
When he was corralling support for his candidacy for speaker, some conservatives objected to Ryan’s past support for so-called “amnesty.” Ryan has said he will not bring up immigration legislation while Obama was president, and reportedly told members of the House Freedom Caucus that he would only move forward bills on controversial issues including immigration that meet the Hastert Rule, meaning that they have a majority of the majority party’s support.
“On issues such as border enforcement, interior enforcement, where I think we all have consensus, I think that would be fine if we could advance that,” Ryan said Tuesday. “But I do believe that if we try to move in a comprehensive way with a president who has proven that he wants to go it alone, I don’t think that works.”