Paul Ryan: Jim Comey is not a nutjob
Mike Allen sat down with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan at this morning's Axios News Shapers event.
Toplines: He says tax reform will get done in 2017, doesn't know the timing on infrastructure, disagrees with Trump on Comey and thinks the GOP can keep the House in 2018.
- Taking responsibility on health care: "I accept that we will get hit for this. We're in leadership, we don't have a choice, we're a majority...I just don't think from a moral standpoint that's something we can do. We have to intervene to fix this problem because real people are actually getting hurt."
- The AHCA vote: "I'm glad we went through it. It was very cathartic."
- His message to insurers: "My hope is that you stick it out in the marketplace so you're there to catch people when the help arrives which is a more helpful, more vibrant marketplace."
- His hope for health care: "Let's just buck up as a society and pay for the catastrophic illnesses."
- His takeaway from Trump's budget: "We have a president who, for the first time in 8 years, said, 'Let's actually balance the budget'…I think that's refreshing."
- Infrastructure: "I don't know what the timing of that will be for that as much because we've got to come up with the fiscal space."
- Border adjustment tax: "Full immediate border adjustment would be too disruptive — nobody's advocating for that."
- Branding Comey a "nut job": "Yeah, I don't agree with that. And he's not."
- Calling him a Boy Scout: "I took it as a compliment. I'm not sure it was meant that way. We're just different people."
- His best quality: "His best quality is his energy and his engagement...When he sees a goal he wants to achieve, health care is a perfect example, he just focuses on it. He has no pretension about him."
- How Americans perceive Congress: "They think that everything is in chaos. It really actually isn't. We're focused and determined to get our work done."
- The GOP's chances to keep the House: "I think they're excellent because we're in the midst of keeping our promises."
- Most inconvenient thing about being Speaker: "Time management. I'm taking my kids fishing this weekend, it's Memorial Day weekend, but I had to schedule that four months ago."
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