During a Wednesday press conference, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) defended President Donald Trump's decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and give Congress a six-month window of time to craft a legislative solution.
“President Trump was right in his decision. He made the right call,” Ryan said after explaining that the White House and Congress had a responsibility to defend the Constitution. Ryan criticized former President Barack Obama for enacting DACA without Congress's approval. Trump, Ryan suggested, was solving the problem Obama created by stepping outside the “bounds” of his Constitutional authority.
Conservatives like Ryan have voiced their opposition to Obama enacting DACA, a program that offers work permits and deferred deportation for immigrants who came to the country as children, when Congress rejected a similar, legislative proposal.
While Ryan didn't detail what he would include in a legislative fix to the program, he did say that Congress would cooperate with the president to create a law of which the White House approved. Ryan's comments contributed to the currently vague contents of a would-be legislative solution.
On Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders largely shifted responsibility for crafting legislation to Congress and seemed to evade a question about Trump's preferred replacement for DACA.
Ryan also criticized Congressional Democrats for attempting to use the debt ceiling as a bargaining chip to obtain their preferred solution on DACA. “I hope that they don't mean that,” Ryan said before decrying “devastation” from Hurricane Harvey as well as impending disaster caused by Hurricane Irma.
Playing politics with the debt ceiling, Ryan argued, was disgraceful and would “strand the aid” needed to help the storms' victims. Ryan specifically called out House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) for “playing politics with the debt ceiling.”
“To play politics with the debt ceiling, like Schumer and Pelosi are apparently doing, I don't think is a good idea.”
Watch Ryan speak below, via MSNBC.