Meadows: Lack of entitlement reform not Ryan’s fault

Greg Nash

A top House conservative on Wednesday said he doesn’t blame Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) for Congress not tackling entitlement spending.

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, said Congress lacks the political will to act on the issue that has long been one of Ryan’s goals.

“To suggest that [entitlement reform] didn’t get done because of a lack of leadership on his part is not accurate,” Meadows told reporters. “It’s a lack of political will on everyone’s part.”


Meadows added that the only possible entitlement reforms he sees as possible this year are incremental changes, like work requirements for certain food stamp recipients — something the Trump administration is already doing through its own executive authority.

Ryan on Wednesday announced he intends to retire from Congress at the end of his term and won’t be running for reelection in this year’s midterm election.

For years, Ryan has been an outspoken proponent of the need to cut spending on Medicare, Medicaid and welfare programs as a way to trim the federal deficit.

In a press conference Wednesday, Ryan said he’s proud of “normalizing entitlement reform” and said he’s going to keep fighting for it. 

The House this week is expected to vote on a constitutional amendment requiring the government to operate on a balanced budget, which Democrats say will result in drastic cuts to middle-class bedrocks, including Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

Proponents of the amendment say it is needed because of ballooning deficits, but the bill is not expected to pass the high threshold needed to amend the nation’s founding document.  

Tags Constitutional amendment Entitlement reform Freedom Caucus House Mark Meadows Paul Ryan spending
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