Ryan: This will be most productive Congress 'in our lifetimes'
© Greg Nash

Speaker Paul RyanPaul RyanGOP health bill could shred safety net for millions Overnight Finance: CBO says GOP healthcare bill leaves 23M without insurance | Trump aides defend budget at Capitol | The death of border adjustment? Bipartisanship? It may be possible thanks to this little-known group MORE (R-Wis.) is making a bold prediction: that the GOP Congress working with President Trump will be the most productive “in our lifetimes.”

In an interview with Fox News’s Sean Hannity that aired Thursday, Ryan said patience now will lead to a big payoff later in the Trump administration.

Hannity pressed Ryan on when Congress would starting moving to repeal and replace the healthcare law.

“People have been asking me — it’s the top story on the Drudge Report today. Where’s Congress, because for eight years, you guys had a plan. You kept saying and promising you'll repeal, replace ObamaCare. And I guess what people want to know is, when are these things going to get done?” Hannity asked.

ADVERTISEMENT
“I would love to do this stuff yesterday, but getting Congress to act on all those things you just said in just one year’s time — unprecedented!” Ryan said. “This will be the most productive presidency and Congress in our lifetimes.”

At the same time, Ryan noted that the Senate typically moves legislation at a slower pace than the House, something that could be a source of tension in the months ahead.

“We have cushion in our schedule, if anything slips because of Senate issues, we still have time to accommodate all of that stuff in 2017," he said.

“So I have cushions built in the schedule to make sure this all gets done in 2017 in case something happens and goes sideways on the Senate.”

Hannity, an ally of Trump who is a force on the right, has in the past been critical of Ryan, especially during last year's election. But they appear to have buried the hatchet, with the Speaker making appearances on Hannity's program this year. 

Ryan insisted Trump and GOP lawmakers are "exactly on track" to accomplish their agenda, even though Republicans haven't coalesced around specific legislation yet to fulfill their pledges of repealing and replacing ObamaCare and overhauling the tax code.

GOP leaders have talked of their agenda being enacted in the first 200 days of Trump's tenure, rather than the first 100 days.

Trump, in a combative press conference on Thursday, said his administration is "running like a fine-tuned machine" despite turmoil over the rollout of his travel ban and the departure of his national security adviser who misled the public about communications with the Russian ambassador.

The House has spent most of the last several weeks considering measures to scale back Obama-era regulations. The last three weeks in the House were dedicated to votes on resolutions to overturn regulations issued late in President Obama’s term.

Under a law known as the Congressional Review Act, Congress can vote to undo regulations within 60 days after they go into effect. 

President Trump has signed a handful of the measures approved by the GOP Congress so far, including ones to eliminate regulations that would protect waterways from coal mining waste and require energy companies to disclose payments to foreign governments.