Paul Ryan: ‘We Do Plan’ on Defunding ObamaCare

By Matt Cover | January 7, 2011 | 4:01 AM EST

Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., speaks at a news conference on Capitol Hill in this March 19, 2010, photo. Republicans are promising to repeal and replace President Barack Obama's health care overhaul if they win control of Congress. (AP File Photo/Harry Hamburg)

( House Budget Chief Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said that Republicans would use the appropriations process, along with the budget process, to deny funding for the controversial Obamacare reform law.

Ryan, speaking at the National Press Club Thursday, was asked whether there would be any funding for the health care reform law in the budgets his committee will draft. Ryan answered that his budgets would reflect the GOP desire to repeal the law and that the Appropriations Committee would lead the charge to deny the Obama administration the money to implement the reform.

“Obviously, we plan on repealing it [Obamacare] and our budget should reflect the repeal of the health care law,” Ryan said. “The real question I think you’re trying to get at is defunding this law. That occurs in the appropriations process. What the budget does is it sends the numbers, the caps, to the appropriators, and they write the spending bills.

“And inside those spending bills is where we do plan on pursuing other mechanisms of trying to repeal this law.”

Ryan also responded to Democratic critics of the repeal and defunding plans of the new House majority, saying that charges of fiscal irresponsibility and hypocrisy were wrong because “the books have been severely cooked” on the true costs of ObamaCare.

Republicans exempted their repeal proposal from rules that prohibit bills that increase the deficit, prompting attacks from Democrats charging they weren’t living up to their campaign promises.

“[W]e’re not interested in enshrining budget gimmickry in our budget rules,” Ryan said. “The only reason why anybody suggests with anything close to a straight face that this thing reduces the deficit is because the books have been severely cooked.

“It’s not CBO who did the book-cooking. It’s the Democrats who wrote the bill who gave it to CBO which cooked the books.”

Ryan also explained that the reason Republicans were putting repeal ahead of other promises to allow open debate and amendments was that they had promised the public a direct vote on repeal.

“We promised the American people we were going to do this,” Ryan emphasized. “I just have this corny notion – maybe it’s because I’m from Wisconsin – if you say you’re going to do something in a campaign, you do it when you’re in office.”