House Speaker Paul Ryan discusses the developing situation regarding President Obama's 'DREAM Act' executive order, which President Trump has said will be cancelled if Congress does not pass a new version of it through regular order methods within six months.
"First, let me say, President Obama was wrong to do it in the first place, because he overstepped his constitutional bounds," Ryan said, referring to the executive order which originally set up the DACA program.
This action by President Obama was unconstitutional, Ryan explained: "We, the president and Congress, take an oath to support and defend the constitution... So President Trump was right in his decision [to cancel the executive order]."
"I'm also encouraged by the fact that he gave us time to work out a consensus, to find a compromise," Ryan said about Trump's decision.
"I think the president was right to give us the time we need to find that compromise," he repeated, saying he was hopeful that Congress would solve the problem.
"I think people should rest easy, and I think the president made the right call and the president also gave us the time and space we’re going to need to find where that compromise is," Ryan also said.
Transcript of Paul Ryan's remarks:
RYAN: I just think it's really important that we take stock of the fact that civil society in America is well and alive and is on display. Citizens are helping each other, and the government will be there to respond to the needs of these people who face this unprecedented devastation.
QUESTION: Mr. Speaker, following the president's decision yesterday on DACA... I was wondering whether you would support a standalone bill to address the [situation]...
RYAN: Yeah. So first, let me say, President Obama was wrong to do it in the first place, because he overstepped his constitutional bounds. We, the president and Congress, take an oath to support and defend the constitution. So President Trump was right in his decision. He made the right call.
I'm also encouraged by the fact that he gave us time to work out a consensus, to find a compromise, because these kids don't -- for the most part, don't know any other home than the United States. So I think the president was right to give us the time we need to find that compromise.
Where does that compromise exist? That's what we're going to spend the next months figuring out, where that compromise is. But I think it's totally reasonable and appropriate that, when you take a look at the DACA dilemma, this is a dilemma that in large part stems from the fact that it is a symptom of a larger problem.
And the larger problem is that we do not have control of our borders. And so it's only reasonable and fitting that we also address the root cause of the problem, which is borders that are not sufficiently controlled, while we address this very real and very human problem that's right in front of us. So I think that's perfectly reasonable.
As to your second part of your question, we will not be advancing legislation that does not have the support of President Trump, because we're going to work with the president on how to do this legislation.
And if we have legislation coming through here that is worked with and supported by the president, I'm -- I'm very confident that our members will support that.