Ryan ‘frustrated’ and ‘perplexed’ by Senate backlog

Ryan ‘frustrated’ and ‘perplexed’ by Senate backlog
© Greg Nash

Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanGOP leaders jockey for affection of House conservatives Five GOP lawmakers mulling bid to lead conservative caucus On The Money — Sponsored by Prudential — Trump walks back criticism of UK Brexit strategy | McConnell worries US in 'early stages' of trade war | US trade deficit with China hits new record MORE (R-Wis.) on Thursday said he and his House Republican colleagues are “frustrated” by a backlog of more than 270 House-passed bills in the Senate.

He also said that House Republicans are “perplexed” by arcane Senate rules that often require a week of floor time to pass relatively noncontroversial or procedural somersaults to avoid filibusters, which require 60 votes to end.

“We’re really frustrated. Look, we passed 373 bills here in the House — 270-some are still in the Senate,” Ryan told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Thursday morning.

Ryan noted that the House has passed more bills at this stage of the Trump administration than at similar points in the Obama, Clinton and both Bush administrations.

He then ticked off the list of House accomplishments: legislation repealing and replacing the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, border security legislation, a veterans aid bill, education reform and a military readiness bills.

Except for the veterans bill, all of these measures have hit a dead end in the Senate.

“We’re all frustrated in the House. The Senate has rules that perplex us, that frustrate us but it is the way our system works,” Ryan lamented.

President Trump signed legislation reforming the Department of Veterans Affairs into law in August but otherwise he has had few legislative accomplishments to point out.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellDoug Jones walks tightrope on Supreme Court nominee Kavanaugh gets questionnaires for confirmation hearing Dem infighting erupts over Supreme Court pick MORE (R-Ky.) said earlier this week that he too is frustrated with the lack of progress.

In a statement congratulating Judge Roy Moore on his victory in the Alabama Senate Republican primary on Tuesday, a win that was fueled by frustration within the GOP base, McConnell said, “I share that frustration and believe that enacting the agenda the American people voted for last November requires us all to work together.”

Senate Republicans have been stymied this year by the lack of Democratic cooperation on their effort to repeal and replace ObamaCare and other issues.

Even so, most Republicans in the upper chamber do not support rules reform that would curb the powers of the minority party and speed up the pace of business.