tv House Speaker Paul Ryan Briefs Reporters on Capitol Hill CSPAN February 2, 2017 11:31am-11:46am EST
tennessee. the question i have is i don't worry about the refugees because i know they are vetted and i have friends that are teachers that were refugees in tennessee. i know them personally. they are really good people. the problem that i have is we do not have a law that restricts the european from coming over >> watch the rest of this "washington journal" segment on c-span.org. speaker ryan: by the end of this week the house will have taken action to block five costly obama administration regulations, including a rule that threatens to wipe out thousands of jobs in coal country. with a vote in the senate and a signature by the president, we will be able to bring immediate relief to those workers. and this is just the start. in the weeks ahead, we will act on more resolutions to deliver relief from excessive regulations. when you think about the fact
that the obama administration was issuing major regulations a rate of one every three days, this is real sea change. this is job creation. we also continue to act on a step-by-step approach to repeal and replace obamacare. yesterday, the energy and commerce committee, they held a legislative hearing on three bills to improve medicaid. today, the committee is holding a legislative hearing on another four bills to provide relief from collapsing markets. in 2009, president obama said, and i quote, my guiding principle is that consumers do better when there is choice and competition, closed quote. i couldn't agree more. that is the way obamacare was sold, but that is not how it has turned out. in fact, choice and competition have dropped so much in our health insurance markets that one-third of all the counties in america today have only one insurer to choose from. five states, one insurer to
choose from. that is not chice. that's a monopoly. on top of that, another 37% of all counties in america have only two insurers to choose from. that is 70% of all the counties in america have a monopoly or a due only -- duopoly. president obama was right, consumers are better with choice and competition. they have neither. they are paying more every single day under this law. that is why we have to step in. this law is collapsing. we have to rescue people from the failure of this law and that is why step by step we will keep our promise to repeal and replace this law so consumers can do better and so they can have more choices. questions. reporter: speaker ryan, two religion questions. speaker ryan: two religion questions? are you going to wait until sunday? reporter: the president said he wants to get rid of the johnson
amendment. speaker ryan: yeah, i've always supported that. reporter: would you support a religious freedom executive order if it allowed discrimination against -- speaker ryan: i am not familiar what you're talking about. reporter: the -- speaker ryan: we don't want the little sisters for the poor to be forced to buy coverage that violates your conscience. if you are talking about that then i'm for it. casey. casey: first, there's been reports of a very difficult call between the president and the prime minister of australia. the hn mccain has called australian ambassador. do you think what mccain did -- speaker ryan: don't know about the veracity of those reports or the content of that call. i don't know about john mccain until you said it. i know the prime minister was in my office a couple months ago. very important ally. australia is an important ally and they are and will continue
to be. i think it's important that presidents and prime ministers, heads of state are able to have candid and private considerations with one another. casey: now second question, the president also referenced arnold schwarzenegger today. speaker ryan: did he do the accent? say that again. casey: schwarzenegger tweeted to the president they should switch terms in terms of "the apprentice" and he should be president of the united states. speaker ryan: i won't comment about that stuff. let's talk about policy. reporter: you often mention about choice. is there a particular model you have in mind? most employer-based programs have one, maybe two choices for insurance. what is the model for that that you would point? speaker ryan: you can go to better.gop to look at it. you want to have a vibrant individual market, vibrant employer mark. we want medicaid to work. we want medicaid to work so the states can innovate and so doctors actually take medicaid
doctors. we want medicare to be solvent. we want medicare to be something you can depend on and know it's going to be there when you retire. so what we mean is choices. we don't want one choice. that's not a choice. we want to have more insurers and providers in the marketplace competing against each other for our businesses, consumers and patients. we want patients and their doctors be the driving force and the nucleus of the health care system instead of some government regulator tell you what you have to buy and where you have to buy it. we don't want one insurer. we want many insurers competing for our choice. it's the cornerstone of the free enterprise system in america. the more choices you have, the more competition there is, consumers benefit from that and that is obviously true in health care and it is one of the big reasons why obamacare is collapsing. look, as you heard me say how few choices and options there are because of obamacare. it is not coincidental then that we have double-digit
premium increases every year, that the deductibles for obamacare exchange plans are three times as high as the deductibles for people in large group insurance markets that they get the help from their jobs so clearly this law isn't working. it is collapsing and, yes, this is what we call a death spiral. you're not getting the kind of pooling that needs to be allowed with choice and competition to get rates down, so we have to step in and replace this law before it gets too late. before people lose their insurance. reporter: let me ask you about all this discussion about the word repair that you guys are starting to use. speaker ryan: the words. reporter: there's been some pushback on that. nancy pelosi just said you guys are having a vocabulary change, the allegation you're intentionally rebranding this. can you respond to this? speaker ryan: no. i will say there's miscommunication or misinterpretation of what we're trying to say. our job is to repair the american health care system and rescue it from the collapse that it's in and the best way
to repair a health care system is to repeal and replace obamacare. it's not an either/or. if you want to repair the american health care system you have to repeal the law that's destroying it and replace it with a system that's much better. yeah. reporter: mr. speaker, thank you. speaker ryan: i know most of you but thank you for saying who you are. reporter: can you give us an update on the timeline for the affordable care act next step? i talked to chairman upton and he said he didn't know when the committee would move language. and to follow-up on nancy's question. do you think the business -- ld be allowed to speaker ryan: i voted for enda in 2004. reporter: is it based on religious grounds? speaker ryan: i don't believe in discrimination in the workplace, period. what was your health care question? reporter: the timeline. speaker ryan: i'll defer to the chairman when he wants to have the markup. we want to move it by the end
of the first quarter. reporter: do you support capping the he can conclusions for employer-sponsored plans? speaker ryan: i had a bill with tom coburn, devin nunes and richard burr when we were debating obamacare. my position is clear. where congress goes on this is an open question. that's one of the ways you can finance tax credits. there are other ways to financing tax credits as well. yes. reporter: and you spoke about the muslim ban. i'm wondering if you're totally comfort right -- comfortable right now with trump's executive order? speaker ryan: you know it's not a muslim ban. if it were i would be against it. we are a tolerant, pleuralistic country. we are and we will be. it's really important. the bill we passed last year, if you recall, after the paris shooting it became clear to us that one of the terrorists infiltrated the refugee population coming from syria.
so we wanted to make sure that didn't happen here in this country. that's sort of like national security 101. and then when we inquired among our professionals at homeland security and the f.b.i., can you properly vet these people to make sure that this doesn't happen in america? they said, no, we can't. that's why we passed legislation with 289 votes, big bipartisan bill, saying let's pause this program until we can figure out how to get it right. that's effectively what this is about. so to your point about religious persecution, presidents always and often put preferences in refugee populations. i think president obama had one for sexual orientation. they didn't call that a sexual orientation test. he put a preference in for sexual orientation. religious minorities are being persecuted. there's nothing wrong preferring religious minorities from persecution. the yazidis are persecuted. christians are being persecuted. so there's wrong with saying we
are going to take into account minority religious persecution with our refugee situation. reporter: thank you, mr. speaker. what about, though -- and this is the question about australia. a question with the executive order. what about the perception overseas? do you have concerns? speaker ryan: of course i do. reporter: some people did say he did get in the grille of the australian prime minister. speaker ryan: i didn't read the transcripts. reporter: even if that's not true there is a perception. speaker ryan: i do think there is a perception issue. the loose rhetoric to suggest this is a muslim ban or religious test furthers that misperception. i do think people need to pause and look at the actual context that. look at the press conference that secretary kelly had to put this in the proper perspective as to not get it misinterpreted. reporter: you had to have that press conference.
speaker ryan: i said this on tuesday. i think it could have been done a lot better. green cardholders, nobody wanted green cardholders to get caught up in this. going forward let's not saying something that it's not so we further misperceptions. reporter: regarding rex illerson: -- regarding rex tillerson's confirmation. are you concerned that the trump administration will now try and roll back sanctions on russia? speaker ryan: well, my position on sanctions are pretty clear. i think rex tillerson will be a great secretary of state. i think those that haven't followed him will be closely surprised. he is a capable man and he's a good model for secretary of state. i don't know what their policy will be for russia. i am a russia hawk. i think the sanctions should have been done a while ago. reporter: do you think a lot of
this stuff, you talk about the rollout, this came through congress, would this be a more smooth process? peaker ryan: are you talking about the executive order? reporter: yeah. speaker ryan: they don't have a full cabinet in place yet so i think it's important to get their cabinet up and running so these interagency reviews can be done well and i think going forward they're going to do a better job of these things. reporter: mr. speaker, stephanie. donald trump tweeted this morning he's going to review the so-called dumb deal with australia. that's the first we heard from the president directly about what's been a very confusing series of messages from the white house and the state department and australia. is it problematic the way the diplomacy is being conducted and should australia be worried about the relationship with the new president? speaker ryan: no. i know your country well. i met with your leaders continuously over the last
number of years. no, australia is an important and essential ally. it will continue to be. you may not have been to many press conferences. i don't quote or comment on the tweet of the hour. >> last question. speaker ryan: sorry. reporter: do you think additional sanctions should be placed on iran? speaker ryan: i would be in favor of additional sanctions on iran. i'd like to put as much toothpaste back in the tube as possible. i think the last administration appeased iran too much. i think they went too far with iran and as a result iran is far more activist than it otherwise would be. iran, don't forget, is the largest, greatest sponsor of terrorism in the world. the biggest state sponsor of terrorism in the world. iran writes on their missiles english hebrew and saying "death to america" and
tests them. this is not a friendly country. yeah, i think we need to have a tougher iran policy. reporter: and do you think -- speaker ryan: i think we should stop appeasing iran. >> and house speaker ryan will be gaveling in his colleagues in about 15 minutes when the house returns. they'll debate two bills -- repealing federal regulations passed during the obama administration. we will have live coverage on c-span. and a briefing with democratic leader in the house, nancy pelosi. ms. pelosi: good morning, everyone. running a little bit late because of the prayer breakfast ran over earlier this morning, as you know, we gathered for the national prayer breakfast, a time-honored tradition to gather and