House Speaker Paul Ryan on Passing TPP: ‘I’m Not the Dictator of the House’

By Melanie Hunter | February 15, 2016 | 3:50 PM EST

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) (AP Photo)

(CNSNews.com) - House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said Sunday that he doesn’t see where the votes are right now to pass the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), and when pressed to explain what he would want to change in order to get the votes, Ryan told Fox News’s “Sunday Morning Futures,” he’s not the “dictator of the House.”

“I’m the speaker of the House. I’m not the dictator of the House. I’m not the micromanager of the House, and I don’t see where these votes are right now, and I’m just being honest with people about that, and I don’t know if and when that’s going to change,” Ryan told host Maria Bartiromo.

 



Ryan wrote the Trade Promotion Authority law, “which gives us the ability to go negotiate trade agreements and then gives Congress the final say-so on whether or not we enter into a trade agreement.”

When asked where TPP stands now, Ryan said, “Right now I don’t see the votes there for TPP, because I think the administration negotiated an agreement that has some problems in it, has some flaws in it, and they’re going to have to figure those out and work those out if they want to get the votes to pass it through Congress, which I just don’t see the votes there right now.”

Ryan said TPP is not dead, “but right now they have a lot of work to do. If we brought it to the floor today, it wouldn’t pass.”

“But that’s the point I’m trying to make. If you don’t have the votes now, why will you have the votes later? Does it actually need fundamental change, when you look at--” Bartiromo asked.

“I think that’s the point I’m trying to make, Maria. I think that there are things that need to be addressed in this trade agreement for us to be able to get the votes,” Ryan said.

“I won’t go into all the details, but cross-border data flows, dairy, there are biologics, intellectual property rights protections. I can go into all the details if you’d like, but the point I’m trying to make is I don’t see the votes for this agreement now. That’s why I think they need to go back and work on this agreement,” he added.

“Can you commit not trying to get it to pass during a lame duck Congress? If you can’t get the votes now, what do you want to change in order to get the votes?” Bartiromo asked.

“I’m the speaker of the House. I’m not the dictator of the House. I’m not the micromanager of the House, and I don’t see where these votes are right now, and I’m just being honest with people about that, and I don’t know if and when that’s going to change,” Ryan responded.