It’s been a month—Where’s Paul Ryan’s ‘conservative agenda?’
© Greg Nash

When Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanKrystal Ball: GOP tax cut is 'opiate of the massively privileged' Top GOP lawmaker: Tax cuts will lower projected deficit GOP super PAC seizes on Ellison abuse allegations in ads targeting Dems MORE (R-Wis.) was elected House Speaker, he promised things would be different. He said conservatives would finally have a voice. He said he would have a vision.  

He said Republicans would have an agenda.  

He’s been speaker for a full month.

Where’s his agenda?
I get fundraising emails from Speaker Ryan all the time. Right after he was elected speaker, I received, “Thanks for your support over the past week. It’s an honor to be your speaker and I’m excited for what’s ahead.”

“We are in a generational defining moment,” the email read. “It’s up to us show the American people what a conservative reform agenda can do,” it promised.

I received a similar email the following week promoting Ryan’s book, “The Way Forward lays out Speaker Ryan's vision to restore the American Idea and get our nation back on the right track.”

“All funds raised will be used to help Paul usher in a new conservative agenda…” promised the email.

A week later, I received another email, reading, “As the new speaker of the House, I promise to advance a bold, conservative agenda that will tackle our nation’s problems head on.”

Last week, on November 23, another email said, “As speaker, Paul is leading the charge to protect and strengthen our majority in the House. With all that’s on the line in 2016, it won’t be an easy task, but failure isn’t an option” (bold in the original text). 

The email continued, “Your contribution will help our candidates get off to a strong start and build the ground operation necessary to take on Democrats in key races across the country.” 

“And with one week to go before our November deadline (and Paul’s first after a full month as speaker), we really could use your help” (bold in the original text).

It’s been a month. The 2016 election is well under way.

Where is this “new” “conservative” “reform” agenda?

Ryan told the Wall Street Journal in late November that Republicans need to “Stand for something. Do something. Offer solutions.”

I agree. What are Republicans going to stand for? What are they going to “do?”

What solutions are you offering, Paul Ryan?

Before Ryan was elected, I outlined “Four No-Brainer Conservative Demands For The Next House Speaker.”

Those demands were:

1.      Repeal and replace Obamacare, with a plan.

2.      Cut, cap and balance the budget.

3.      End federal funding of the genocide of abortion, with a plan.

4.      Immigration reform that secures our borders and doesn’t grant amnesty, with a plan.

These are basic conservative agenda items. They are not complicated requests.

But we’ve still not heard of a Republican alternative to Obamacare. We’ve seen no bold, cost-cutting budget. Ryan has been doubtful about the GOP-controlled Congress’ ability to defund Planned Parenthood. The new speaker has said immigration is an issue he isn’t willing to touch for the moment.

Speaker Ryan, if the issues that define our times are DOA or off the table, why are conservatives supposed to be supporting you or Republicans, exactly?

I wrote over a month ago, “Paul Ryan has announced his intention to become the next House Speaker if Republicans will ‘unite’ behind him.”

“What does this mean?” I asked.

“If Republican leaders aren’t willing to promote a conservative agenda,” I said, “there is no point in ‘uniting’ behind anyone who just wants to continue with business as usual.”

What in the last four weeks has Ryan offered that is anything more than business as usual?

There’s nothing bold. There’s no reform. There’s certainly nothing conservative.

There’s no clear plan of any sort.

Ryan recently told the Wall Street Journal, ““We need to take our principles, apply them to the problems of the day and show the country a very coherent and clear vision for how we fix our country’s problems.”

This sounds great. But what does it mean?

Even though he never kept any promises, at least John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerHouse Dem: Party's aging leaders is 'a problem' Women poised to take charge in Dem majority Freedom Caucus ponders weakened future in minority MORE made promises.

Where are Paul Ryan’s promises?

You’ve had a month, Mr. Speaker—where’s this conservative agenda you keep telling everyone about?

The time for being vague is over.

Bozell is the president of ForAmerica, a national grassroots organization whose mission is to use social media to reinvigorate the public with the principles of American exceptionalism: freedom, prosperity and virtue. ForAmerica has nearly 8 million members and is a non-profit 501(c)4.  www.ForAmerica.org