Newly elected Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanJuan Williams: Pelosi shows her power Cheney takes shot at Trump: 'I like Republican presidents who win re-election' Cheney allies flock to her defense against Trump challenge MORE (R-Wis.) on Sunday dismissed Democrats’ calls for a paid family leave law as another “federal entitlement” and said his position isn’t at odds with recent remarks that he wants to spend weekends with his young family in Wisconsin instead of fundraising for the Republican party.
“I don’t think people asked me to be Speaker so I can take more money from hard-working taxpayers, so I can create some new federal entitlement,” Ryan said during an appearance on “Fox News Sunday.” “But I think the public wants to have members of Congress that represent them, that are like them.
“Don’t you want your member of Congress to be a citizen legislator who lives with you, among you, who has your own kinds of concerns, who wants to spend time with his children on Saturdays and Sundays?”
Ryan has said he wouldn’t be like other modern Speakers who criss-cross the country on weekends to raise cash for the party; instead, he said he’ll return home each weekend to his native Janesville, Wis., where his wife and three children live.
But Democrats pounced on him, saying he’s a hypocrite for wanting time with his own family while denying mandatory paid time off for other Americans.
“Yes, Sundays are going to be family days, and Saturdays are family and constituent days,” Ryan said. “That is what I think most people want in their life is a balance.”
Ryan faced more questions about family leave on other Sunday shows, including NBC's "Meet the Press," where he noted that fathers from Generation X, of which he is a member, are perhaps more involved with their families than past generations.
"You know, I'm from the X generation," he said. "As dads, it’s probably different than the older generation, the way we operate in our families."
In a separate interview with CNN, Ryan said he backs legislation by Rep. Martha Roby (R-Ala.) that would grant workers greater flexibility to vary their work hours so they’re not stuck with a rigid 9 to 5 schedule.
“We’ve had some pretty good legislation on flex time. That’s a bill that I think is a great idea … to give families more flexibility with their hours," Ryan said.
Ryan went trick-or-treating with his three children on Halloween with his new Capitol Police security detail in tow, according to video shown on Fox.
This story was updated at 11:29 a.m.