WASHINGTON – The morning after the Iowa Caucuses, House Republican leaders held a news conference to look forward to the year ahead — a year that they believe will include a Republican president.
While House Speaker Paul Ryan, Wis., refused to speak about individual presidential candidates or the results of Monday night’s Iowa caucuses, he did express his belief that there will be a Republican president next year, and that there are constructive ways to channel anger in to action, which is the party’s ultimate goal.
“We can get better, we can improve things, we can get our country on the right track and that anger needs to be channeled,” Ryan said after a closed Republican Conference meeting.
This proposed action includes repealing Obamacare, starting with a House vote Tuesday afternoon to override President Barack Obama’s veto of the bill.
Late in the day, the veto override failed on a 241-186 vote, which was expected; the intention is to gear up for a Republican presidency.
“Last month, for the first time, we put a bill on the president’s desk to repeal Obamacare and to defund Planned Parenthood,” Ryan said. “We are taking this all the way to the end of the process under our Constitution. Regardless of the outcome today, this fight will not end here. We have now forged a path that is a clear path, to repealing Obamacare without 60 votes in the Senate.”
“What we are showing today, we don’t need 60 votes to repeal Obamacare with a Republican president,” Ryan said.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest poked fun at the vote.
“Republicans are poised to host another vote in the United States Congress today, for the 60th time, to repeal Obamacare. It’s almost like it’s Groundhog Day — except that today it actually is Groundhog Day, and they’re doing it again,” he said.
House Republicans have an agenda that includes a patient-centered system that benefits both the doctor and the patient, and with lower costs.
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said that they plan to set up a task force to create a better solution to health care.
This news conference came just before Ryan’s meeting and private lunch with Obama.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Vice President Joe Biden also attended the meeting that took place just before lunch. Issues discussed included criminal justice reform and the opioid epidemic.
“I think he knows how I feel, and I know how he feels,” Ryan said when a reporter asked about the lunch.
“Look, I ran against the guy in the last election,” he said. “So I think we definitely have different opinions, have different philosophies and principals. He’s a liberal progressive, and we just don’t agree. We get along with each other personally; we agree to disagree on these things. And so we will put those disagreements in check, see where the common ground is, go act on that common ground and get some things done.”
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