• WisPolitics


Friday, September 13, 2013

 5:17 PM 

Ryan says Obama administration was slow to act on Syria

U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan said today the Obama administration's strategy on Syria in the last few weeks has damaged the reputation of the United States.

"I do not think that the president has presented anything close to a good strategy," Ryan told the annual meeting of the Waukesha County Business Alliance. "It was like they were telling Congress anything they think they wanted to hear so that they would vote for this. On one side, it was going to be one small strike, not really aimed to achieve anything. On the other side it was not a pinprick, it was substantial."

The Janesville Republican said he believes the Syrian regime has used chemical weapons, but said President Obama did not act quickly enough.

"Obama had a chance to help the Free Syrian Army when it was just the Free Syrian Army against Assad. But that didn't happen," he said. "Now it is a much more involved situation between the support of Al Qaeda and the supply of chemical weapons from Russia"

During today's event, which was moderated by former Lt. Gov. Margaret Farrow, Ryan also took questions on health care, tax policy and immigration reform.

On health care reform, Ryan said the Obama administration should delay implementation of the law.

"The administration, knowing and seeing that it really wasn't ready for prime time, seeing the projections as well that millions of people are about to lose job-based health insurance, they decided they were going to lay down one huge piece of this law," said Ryan, "We call it the employer mandate. They decided to delay the mandate for big business for a year, but they decided not to delay the rest of it for everyone else; not for small businesses and for families."

He added: "We're trying to make our case to him."

On immigration, Ryan said he doesn't like the bill that is currently up in the Senate and said he didn't think it was realistic to deport millions of illegal immigrants.

"Do you think we could round up 11 or 12 million immigrants and deport them out of the country?" Ryan asked. "Do you know what kind of police state this would have to be in order to do that? If that is not viable, then what do you have to do?"

Ryan said he wants to first secure the border and create interior enforcement, and then worry about undocumented immigrants. Ryan said that once worker verification is enforced, then other triggers could be met.

He said he would focus on the following:
- Allow workers to come and go with worker verification to take pressure off of the border and allow border patrol to focus on drug smuggling.
- Introduce "preferred adjudication," probation for those who crossed the border illegally. It would force immigrants to acknowledge they broke the law, and makes them start paying taxes, learn English, get a job, then get a work permit.
- Set up an immigration system based on the needs of the economy because of labor shortages that will come as baby-boomers retire.
- And put in place a visa tracking system to make it easier for employers to verify whether an individual can work legally.

-- By Tom Momberg
For WisPolitics.com


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