It seems like someone in Congress is finally ready to act like an adult.
Speaker of the House of Representative Paul Ryan, R-Janesville, is taking the first step, of hopefully many, in working to create an effective government.
“I’m tired of divided government,” Ryan said during a moderated discussion at the Washington Ideas Forum. “It doesn’t work very well.”
It was not reported whether or not a chorus of, “No shit” was said back to the speaker. But I would guess yes.
These comments emerge as Congress prepares to celebrate three straight years of sub-20 percent approval ratings this December.
Since there’s a lot of pessimism surrounding the state of the federal government, I am willing to get excited for anything that hints at ending the dysfunction in Congress. And this might genuinely be something to get excited about.
Ryan has committed to work with the future president, either former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, or Republican nominee Donald Trump.
Ryan thinks that working with a Republican president would make passing legislation easier.
“Obviously, I think with a unified Republican government, we can get so much more done,” he said Thursday.
But when Ryan was asked if he would support Trump’s $550 million infrastructure program — at minimum — he said, “That’s not in the Better Way agenda.”
I’m not sure if the speaker was trying to make a joke, but since 2014, Republicans have controlled both the House and Senate, and they haven’t been able to consistently agree on policy stances. Ultra-conservative House Republicans, especially, haven’t worked with their own party. I’m not sure if Ryan remembers, but this is the same groups of conservatives that opposed Ryan’s ascension to the speakership, on the grounds that he wasn’t conservative enough.
If Ryan truly wants to move away from a do-nothing Congress, it might actually be easier to work with moderate Democrats than members of his own party.
Aaron Reilly ([email protected]) is a sophomore majoring in social work and economics.