Transcript: Paul Ryan's Full Interview With NPR's Steve Inskeep

Dec 1, 2017
Originally published on December 1, 2017 6:32 pm

President Trump wants a tax overhaul plan passed by Christmas. Both the Senate and the House have versions of the plan with the goal of cutting taxes. Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep talks to House Speaker Paul Ryan about the tax overhaul measures, and the rash of sexual harassment and sexual assault allegations being made public. Here's the full transcript of their conversation. The audio on this page is an edited version of the interview that was broadcast on Morning Edition.

Steve Inskeep: I want to begin by asking you about tax reform. I know that any tax reform measure has winners and losers. People who gain, people who lose money. But you're choosing here who the winners and losers are. What do the choices you've made say about your priorities?

We wanted a middle class tax cut. We wanted to have a system that's more fair. much simpler. Right now the tax code is just chock full of special interest carve-outs and deductions and loopholes. When you take away those loopholes, in exchange for lower tax rates and a broader tax base, people who are very sophisticated who use all those loopholes will not have all those loopholes. But the exchange is lower tax rates across the board for most taxpayers in a simplified system. By doubling the standard deduction, instead of 70 percent of Americans being able to fill an easier tax form, nine out of 10 Americans can fill out their taxes on a post card. So by simplifying the system that way and reducing loopholes, you can actually simplify dramatically and lower tax rates across the board.

So that was your goal, was a middle-class tax cut. But what does it say that — in practice according to independent analyses, I mean you do have winners and losers, not everybody gains, businesses gain, people with large estates to leave to their heirs gain, high-income people gain — but a lot of middle-income people do not gain in terms of money.

I disagree with that. The average tax cut for a middle-class family is going to be $1,182.

Average, meaning not everybody.

So that's when you run numbers on average taxpayers. This is designed to be a middle-class tax cut. I think the people who are concerned the most are some of the big businesses. That's where we hear most of the complaints about. But this is a middle-class tax cut, no two ways about it. I just ran the numbers of Wisconsin. The median family of four, the median household of four gets about a $2,000 tax cut on average. So it is a middle-class tax cut. Here's — just do the math. Instead of your first $12,000 being tax-free, as a couple your first $24,000 are tax-free. You pay lower tax rates up the income scale until you come to the top tax bracket, which is a million dollars. You have your child tax credit go from $1,000 per child to $1,600 per child. So things like that clearly produce tax relief for middle-income taxpayers. You mentioned businesses. I think it's very important — we have to recognize that we're in a 21st-century global economy, that we have to compete. And when we tax our businesses at far higher tax rates than our foreign competitors tax theirs, that puts us at a huge competitive disadvantage and we have to fix that and that's one of the things we do in this bill.

OK, so a few things to follow up on there. First you mentioned the rates do go down for a lot of people. At the same time, a lot of deductions go away and it's not necessarily what you'd think of as a special interest deduction. We've reported that 9 million people or so use a deduction for medical expenses, excessive medical expenses, and that deduction goes away. A lot of them are ordinary people with kids who have severe trouble.

But it's typically a higher income person because of the way the Obamacare tax increase worked on that. You have to make a pretty good amount of money before you can even enjoy the ability to use that tax deduction. But the whole point of this is, and the analysis is very clear, this is an average tax cut for every taxpayer on average. You can't run a number for every single 330 million people in America. But it's designed to provide tax relief across the board. The only rate we don't reduce, this is the House bill I'm talking about, is the top rate.

Lily Batchelder of New York University took some numbers from the Joint Committee of Taxation, bipartisan part of Congress as you know very well, and concluded that something like 100 million households in this country under the House bill, and even more under the Senate bill, would either get no tax cut or would get a tax increase. Does that sound right to you?

No, it doesn't sound right unless it's a person that's not paying taxes already. You have to remember there are millions of people who do not pay taxes today to begin with. So if you're not paying income taxes today, it's pretty hard to cut your taxes if you're not already paying taxes today. I think some people are cherry picking statistics — I haven't seen this analysis so it's hard for me to go into it. But because of the Senate budget rules, there are some sunsets in the law, in the later part of the decade where some of that tax relief goes away.

It gets worse in later years, that's true.

And that's what I think maybe that could be talking about. But just as history, if history is any guide, Congress has a very strong practice in history of not removing a middle-class tax relief like we didn't in 2010.

But help me understand that. You made the middle-class tax cuts limited in terms of years in order to avoid damaging the deficit too badly, increasing the deficit too badly, trusting that a later Congress would fix it, which means the deficit gets worse or it doesn't get fixed. Why does that make sense?

Well first of all history, if it's any guide, Congress doesn't have a big tax increase on middle-income families. This was because of the Senate budget rules, which obviously we're not big fans of here in the House. But I'd also attest to the fact that this is going to produce economic growth. The Tax Foundation, a non-partisan think tank, showed that because of the tax relief in this bill and the pro-growth provisions in this bill, particularly for businesses to expense and hire and build more factories in America, that will lead to about a trillion dollars in additional revenue because of faster economic growth. So our goal here isn't just to balloon the deficit. Our goal here is to give people living paycheck-to-paycheck a break. More than half of the people in this country on the surveys show that they're living paycheck-to-paycheck. A lot of other people in this country are about $500 away from living paycheck-to-paycheck. So our goal here is to give people relief and to grow the economy. Grow the economy means we can get out of this stagnant economic malaise we've been in with 1 to 2 percent growth, get ourselves up above 3 percent growth like we used to be. You get that kind of economic growth which is clearly possible, and we think this helps us do that, then people can get wage increases. We have living standards go up. You have more jobs being created that pay better. You have faster economic growth and you get more revenue as a result of that.

You cited a study finding that that economic growth can come from the business tax cut. We could also cite a study from the Institute for Policy Studies casting questions or raising questions about that. We don't want to go back and forth with studies, but you do know that it is possible that businesses will take their tax savings and simply give it to stockholders in the form of dividends, or simply hold onto it in cash or buy back stock. What if they do? Does it matter to you?

That's still not an excuse not to put American businesses on a more level playing field with the rest of the world. Here's the dirty truth of the matter. We live in a global economy whether we like it or not. I come from Wisconsin. The biggest company publicly traded in Wisconsin — headquartered in Wisconsin — used to be Johnson Controls. Johnson Controls is now an Irish company. Their worldwide tax rate is 12.5 percent because they became an Irish company, not 35 percent. So what is happening in America is American businesses are leaving, going to other countries, building factories in other countries, and foreign companies are buying American companies. This is costing us jobs. It's costing us economic growth. It's removing headquarters from our communities, which — there goes the United Way campaign, there go the jobs. And so, I don't think any of these arguments hold a candle to the fact that we better get competitive with the way we tax our businesses so we can make an incentive to keep businesses in America. Let me just give you one more thing. I talked to the head of Intel, one of the biggest companies in America. They make all the microprocessors in your computers for the most part. They have 50,000 employees in America, factories spread across this country. They ran the numbers. They would save in taxes alone, over a 10-year period per factory, $2 billion in taxes if they just moved to another country. If they just go relocate to another country.

So our current tax code today rewards and incentivizes businesses to move money, capital, manufacturing, employees overseas. We want to reverse that trend so that we can keep businesses in America, jobs in America, expansion in America. And that's why I'd say all these arguments about why we shouldn't be doing corporate rate reductions, I think they pale in comparison to the fact that if we don't do this, we'll see more of this ugly trend continue.

How do you keep corporations from just pocketing the money?

So what we do is we have an incentive which says if you invest that money in your factories in America by expanding plant and equipment, which you inevitably hire people to run it, you can write that off 100 percent. So you take your money — first of all, we have about $3 trillion of cash trapped overseas that companies don't bring back because of our goofy tax laws. We remove that hurdle so companies can bring that money back from overseas to America.

Is that a tax accountant term, "goofy tax laws," by the way? Just wanted to check.

Yes it is. It's the one I've been using forever. And so we say you invest that in this country by building out a factory, by buying more equipment, by, you know, doing things that hire people. You can write that off in the year in which it takes place. We call it full expensing. Those are the kinds of incentives we have. And what we find is that is what really does help create economic growth in jobs and higher wages.

Why is it okay to increase the deficit, as this tax bill will do?

Actually I don't think it will increase the deficit. That's my entire point. I don't think this will increase the deficit. I think this will give us the kind of economic growth we need to keep jobs, to keep companies here, and faster economic growth. There's two things you gotta do to get the deficit. You've got to grow the economy. You got to control spending. We need — we have far more work to do to control spending. Believe you me. I wish our health care bill that we passed in the House would have passed because that would have done a, been a good step in the process. But we also had to focus on economic growth, and this is our focus on economic growth. We've got to get back to controlling spending, but if we don't pass this tax law, we will not get the kind of economic growth we can get in this country. And if you want to get the deficit and the debt under control, control spending, grow the economy. This grows the economy.

If you'll forgive me, Stephen Mnuchin, the treasury secretary, has also said that this will spur so much economic growth it will pay for itself. It will bring in more tax revenue.

I think that's quite possible.

He said that, but the Treasury Department has been unable to produce an analysis proving that.

Yeah, I really think we're at a global economic focal point, which is if we do not modernize our tax laws and put American businesses on a level playing field with the rest of the world, we'll lose more jobs and we will see economic damage occur as a result of it. On the flip side, if we do this and put America at the head of the pack, instead of having arguably the worst tax code in the world, with one of the best tax codes in the world, we will get much faster economic growth. And that faster economic growth clearly produces more revenue, more jobs, more take home pay. That's a good thing. That's why I feel confident this is going to make a very very positive difference in the lives of millions of Americans.

Jack Reed, Democratic senator, said the other day that this tax bill suggests the Republicans are not serious about national security because...

I don't even understand where that would come from.

Here's where he is coming from. He says the money is needed for national security, and instead it's going to this tax cut.

I would argue that a stronger economy is one of the most important things we can do for national security. If you want America to be strong in many senses of the word, you've got to grow the economy. You've got to help people who are living paycheck-to-paycheck. You've got to help families who are struggling. You've got to help businesses stay in business and be able to compete with their foreign competitors in this global economy. And that faster economic growth, that more confidence in family income and household income, that helps national security. And by the way, if you want to help the military, you got to have a growing economy, so people can pay taxes so we can actually help the military.

Are you really willing to say though, that you are sure this is going to grow the economy so much that you're going to have money to defend the country?

I'm not willing, I'm telling you that's what I believe will happen. I'm not going to tell you I'm sure. How can a person say such a thing? I can't say that. But I do — I am fundamentally convinced. I used to be the chairman of the Ways and Means Committee. I've been working on this issue for many many years. I am convinced that at this stage in the global competition we find ourselves, we are on the losing end of global competition. This tax law will do more to help Americans — American families, American middle-class taxpayers and American businesses get ahead of the rest of the world so that we can get faster economic growth.

Mr. Speaker, I want to ask about sexual harassment. You have said that you want everyone here to receive sexual harassment training as a mandatory measure.

Yes, we passed that yesterday.

Then there's the question of accountability. What, if anything, is wrong with accountability in this body?

Yeah I think, first of all let me back up for a second. I think we're having a watershed moment in this country. I think this is a defining moment in this country and I think it needs to be a defining moment in this country. I think we're all horrified at the stories we've been seeing unfold in the last few weeks. I think we're all realizing that sexual harassment in America is absolutely pervasive and it's got to go and we need to end it. And nowhere more is this important to set a standard and example then elected officials. We should be held to a high standard. So to that end, we've been holding hearings on this particular issue for how Congress governs itself. The last hearing suggested we should have mandatory training for sexual harassment for members and staff and interns. We just put that in place yesterday. We've got another hearing next week. where we're reviewing all of the systems. The procedures and the sense of accountability, so that we can review the entire soup-to-nuts system we have in place and where upgrades and improvements can be had. And I believe what we did yesterday was a first step. We have more steps to go.

Define the problem for me. What's wrong with accountability here? When we talk about secret settlements, for example.

The law was written in 1995 and I think the law needs to be updated and upgraded.

Do you believe that when Congress — when taxpayers pay a settlement for a member of Congress, that the public should know?

I do. I think we're also trying to get data on this, on the settlements. So that's one of the issues, which is the settlements issue which is — we're looking at. Just so you know, a lot of the settlements that people have been hearing from — we had an anthrax — I was out of my office for a number of months. We had anthrax claims being paid because Longworth Building was shut down. I think one of the Senate buildings was shut down. We had some asbestos exposure. So those are claims that are paid as well, so these claims include many many things. What we're trying to figure out is, because these are confidential, I don't even know what they are. We're trying to figure out what claims were paid to whom and what was the nature of these claims. And then, how do we go forward to have a more transparent, more accountable system? That's the kind of an analysis I'm telling you is what we're going through right now on the entire settlement question and sexual harassment policy itself, in addition to mandatory training that we've now put in place yesterday.

Well there's two questions there. First, if taxpayers are paying those settlements, should they be secret?

Yes, so that's — all of those things are what we're reviewing. So the point is, some of the victims want that. So you have to remember there is — there are victim-rights issues here as well, so this is not as simple as it seems because of victims' rights. So that is why we're not gonna just knee-jerk and just come up with something without thinking through its consequences. That's why we're doing research, consulting experts and having public hearings on how to address this issue.

Should taxpayers be paying those settlements at all?

Well again, if somebody — there's asbestos settlements, there's anthrax settlements, there's slip-and-fall settlements. No, I think, I have my own views on that. I'll let those views be made clear very soon.

You said that public officials should be held to a very high standard. Can you define that for me a little bit?

Well, that's a good question. I think the standard you want is, I want my daughter to grow up in a country, she's 15 years old, where she is empowered and respected wherever she goes and wherever she works in whatever she does. And I think nowhere should that be more obvious and apparent than working here in Capitol Hill. So I think here in Congress, we should set ourselves to standards that we expect of other people and we should set high standards for ourselves so that we can be role models and set examples, and clearly people have been falling short of that and I think we always have to endeavor to do a better job on that.

How bad is it?

I don't know the answer to that yet.

How are you going to find out?

I think we're finding out just like the rest of Americans. We just found out about John Conyers about a week ago. So I think we're just finding out about some of these things which are quite frankly very disturbing.

You, quite early, called for Roy Moore, the Alabama Senate candidate, to withdraw from the race after a number of accusations were made against him.

That's because I believe those allegations are credible.

What is the difference between his case and the case of President Trump, who was also accused by a number of women and also denied it?

I think the Roy Moore — I don't know if — I'm focused on Congress. Roy Moore is trying to come to Congress. My job here as Speaker of the House is to help make sure that Congress is an institution that we're proud of and that's what I'm focused on. He's running for Congress and I think the allegations against him were very very credible.

Is there a difference between those two cases?

I don't know the answer to that. I haven't spent my time reviewing the difference in these two cases.

Let me ask another question about the president if I might, Mr. Speaker, because you talked about holding people to a high standard, and you've talked about that for a very long time. In 2012, you gave a convention speech for Mitt Romney in which you talked about his high character as being above reproach. Is the president meeting that high standard?

Look it's no secret that he and I have had our difference of opinions. It's no secret that I've shared my opinions about his tweets and the rest. But what I see is a president who is fighting for the things that I'm fighting for. I see a president who's fighting for an agenda that will make a positive difference in people's lives. Is this president unconventional? No two ways about it. He's very unconventional. But if we make good by the American people by actually improving their lives and fixing problems and finding solutions that are bothering them, that's a good thing. That's what we're working toward. Is he unconventional — yes. Would I do things differently? Of course. But he's — he's himself, I'm myself and he got elected. And you know what? My duty as a constitutional officer, as a representative of Congress is to make government work and make sure that this branch of government works for the other branch of government so we can fix people's problems and that's what my focus is.

Has he become, in recent days and weeks, more unconventional, to use your words or out of control?

Not really. I think he's been like this. I think he's been fairly unconventional from day one. That's his style.

How well do you think Congress is doing at keeping the president in check? Serving as a constitutional check on the president?

I think it's really important that we respect the balance of power between the two branches. I think that on this front the president's been actually very helpful on this. For instance, the executive orders that he's put in place since taking office rolled back a lot of the executive orders from the last administration that we believe did violence to the separation of powers. So I'm actually very encouraged at a lot of the regulatory relief items, a lot of the executive actions that have respected the prerogatives of the legislative branch of Congress. One of the things that we feel very important about is what we call the REINS Act. Rules and regulations that have the full force of law should come back to Congress for a final vote and approval and amendment. He supports that. So, and that's a bill we passed in January. So what I see is us trying to get our constitutional axis back on its proper axis with a healthy separation of power. And that is something the president has actually been very supportive of.

Well let's talk about a couple of issues where it can be said the president is not following the intent of Congress. The president wants massive cuts at the State Department. Congress approved full funding for the State Department. It appears that the State Department is going ahead and cutting itself.

I can't speak to Rex Tillerson's discretionary actions, which he has a lot of room to do, but the president sent us his budget. We passed a different budget than that. That's the way it works. We have the power of the purse. I think he wanted to drop discretionary spending $54 billion. We didn't do that. We're in the middle of negotiating cap agreement right now. But the spending bill we passed in April did not reflect the specific budgetary request from the president. There is a perfect example to answer your last question on where Congress did something different. On spending matters, Congress has the final say — so, short of a veto — on how things are done and that's something we've done.

Does the president have the power to ignore and spend less, ignore you?

He can veto spending bills. He can...

But once it's passed I'm asking.

No, not unless he vetoes them, but there is discretion. Clearly the executive agencies, whether or not they fill positions or not. So that's clearly something within the president's prerogative, his agencies prerogatives. But the level of spending in the accounts that we fund, get funded if this president signs that in the bill and that is happening. That's the programmatic spending that I'm talking about.

I understand. What do you make of the reductions at the State Department?

I think it was top heavy. I think it had a lot of fat. I think it's good to have a cleansing of some of the bureaucracy. I think that's probably pretty helpful. I think Rex Tillerson's bringing sort of a businessman's pen to the State Department to kind of clear out some of what I would call bureaucratic fat and waste. On some issues we went a different direction than the president's budget request. On foreign aid, especially, things that we think are important like Millennium Challenge Accounts and the rest. Foreign aid, that is conditional aid. So there's an issue where we in Congress went a different direction. That's signed into law. That spending is occurring as a result.

Congress passed sanctions on Russia for interfering in the election in 2016. It appears the administration has moved, but they're moving behind schedule, behind the legal timeline. Do you believe that's gonna happen?

I do and I don't, I can't speak to the specifics of the timeline. I haven't been briefed on that.

Are you confident that this president will be vigilant about Russian interference in the next U.S. election?

Yeah because we're going to make sure that that happens. I think it's really — this is why we have investigations here, among other reasons. One of our investigations — there's a House investigation, a Senate investigation — is to get to the bottom of, not just what did Russia do, but how did they do it, and how do we prevent it from happening again, and then how do we share it with our allies? They tried to mess with the French election as well and other elections. So how do we develop a protocol to detect and prevent Russia from meddling in not just our elections, but other democracies as well? And that's something that we're — that's a big part of our investigation that we feel very seriously about.

Although the chief executive has referred to everything you just described as a hoax.

Well I can't speak to that. Only to speak that I believe our intelligence. I think he's also said he believes his intelligence community, so I'm not going to go for the tit-for-tat based on this.

But it gets to the question of whether you have confidence, and why you would have confidence, that he would do what's necessary.

I'll tell you what I believe. I believe Russia did meddle with our elections. I believe we need to do more to make sure that they don't do it again. I believe consequences need to occur for that. Otherwise they're gona keep doing this. And we have been passing these bills into law and he signed these bills into law, so I feel confident that we're going to make a positive difference in this area.

Do you have in your head a basic strategy for limiting Russian influence in 2018 or 2020?

I do. It's developing and we still have more to learn about their methods and their practices and how we can stop them and it involves a lot of cyber stuff that I won't discuss.

Are you gonna have a government shutdown on Dec. 8?

I don't think so. We'll see what the Senate Democrats do. They can filibuster these things. These things take 60 votes. I wish that our Democratic colleagues would choose to participate in the negotiations that we've been having. Now we were negotiating. They chose to pull out of the negotiations at the beginning of this week.

You're referring to a meeting with the president.

That's right. So...

They pulled out after the president said there's no point in meeting, essentially. He said there was no room for a deal.

I think that he was probably posturing. And I think the Democrats chose to just not participate and we haven't spoken to them since. And I think that's walking away from the table. Look, I didn't agree with a lot of stuff Barack Obama said, but whenever he asked me to come around to the White House to talk about a bill, to negotiate something, I always went. So I think it just speaks to how our system works. Congress passes a law. The president signs a law. In order to get a law into law, you've got to negotiate with the president. If you choose not to participate in negotiations, no matter how you feel about the particular president — I've negotiated with Democratic presidents — it means you're not going to get anything done. Walking away from the table means place — the thing shuts down. Not government, I'm saying just the process shuts down. And that to me is a mistake that the Democratic leaders made and I hope they come back to the table so we can keep working on these issues. In the meantime, we will do a continuing resolution to keep government going while we look for a broader solution.

As you know, Mr. Speaker, Democrats are demanding as part of this deal some kind of solution for DREAMers.

Yeah, I think it's — you know pretty heady to be demanding things when you aren't even coming to the table to even talk.

Are you likely to give them that?

We think we have to have a DACA solution. When we have the DACA solution and what form that will take place, that's what negotiations are for.

You're telling me it might not be as part of this budget deal, so far as you're concerned.

No it wouldn't. It's a separate issue. We don't see this as part of a spending bill. A spending bill is funding for government. That has nothing to do with immigration law. Immigration law is separate and distinct from spending on government.

But you wouldn't have a deal that encompassed both of those things?

Well there are talks about DACA as well, but not inside our spending bill. Those are two different things.

Do you feel that on any level, the two parties in this country agree on more than it seems?

I do, actually. Most of what you report — I'm not saying you, Steve Inskeep, or NPR — but just the media reports is when we're at each other's throats. You just ask me all these controversial questions about Russia, about funding and government shutdowns and Democrats. About 80 percent of what we pass around here is bipartisan. We have what we call suspensions. Bills that cannot pass unless two-thirds vote for them. We pass these bills every single week. So I would suggest the vast majority of the bills we pass around here are bipartisan bills. And they're not small bills. There's some pretty substantial bills. We passed an overhaul of career and technical education because we feel strongly about closing the skills gap and making it easier for people to access two-year degrees to get skills training. We passed that in June with something like 400 votes. The spending bill we passed in April, funding our military, funding our veterans, we passed overwhelmingly. We overhauled the entire Veterans Affairs Department after the scandals. We did that overwhelmingly on a bipartisan basis. So believe it or not — the thing with Chuck and Nancy not showing up at the meeting — that was an anomaly. That was something that was I think a stunt I don't think they should have done. I think it delays things, but we talk to each other all the time. We work with each other all the time. The bill we passed yesterday requiring mandatory training for sexual harassment for members, staffers and interns was Jackie Speier's, Democrat, Barbara Comstock, Republican. We do this sort of thing all the time, yet it more often than not doesn't get a lot of play.

Would you speak for a moment to people on the other side of the divide, who look at Washington and see a president, who in their view, is out of control at best, and a Congress that's not minding the store?

Yeah, I would say look at the House of Representatives. We passed more bills in the first 10 months of this administration than the first 10 months of Obama, Clinton and both Bushes. Unfortunately for us, over 300 of them are still piling up in the Senate because they have these filibusters. But we've had the most productive House of Representatives in the modern era. We passed all of our appropriation bills. All of them before the fiscal year deadlines. It's the first time we have done that since 2004. So here, in the House of Representatives, we've been not just productive, but extremely record-setting productive. So we are actually busy at work here, but most people don't know that. That's why we say go to didyouknow.gop if you want to see all the bills we've passed because most people don't know that. A lot of it's just hard work. It's not popular. It doesn't get news headlines, but it's getting done.

The other point you mention, people on the other side of the divide who didn't vote for Donald Trump, who have concerns about Donald Trump. This is the system we have. Government is working. Things are getting done. And we see ourselves here in Congress as sort of the ballast in the ship, making sure the ship of state floats in the right direction, goes in the right direction. And that is why we're focusing, not on the controversy of the day, but on the problems that people face each and every day. And that's why we're working on things like tax relief, like economic growth, like fixing the Veterans Administration, like getting the skills gap closed. Things like that are what our constituents tell us they want to see us work on. That's what we're working on.

Last thing. How much danger is there that your party could lose the election next year?

Last thing I do is get into punditry and speculation. I'm just a big believer if we do what we said we would do, we'll be just fine. And by the way, we ran on this agenda that we're acting on. We called it the better way in 2016. We're going through that agenda precipitously. We're actually producing those things.

But if it's not becoming law, doesn't that endanger you even if you passed it through the House?

Well, that's that's a frustration we have with the Senate, which is we need the Senate to get through some of these things. They have to do people, meaning judges and ambassadors and the rest, which takes them more time. And they have this — these filibusters, so it's a little slower over there because of their system. But we're hopeful and confident they get moving on a number of these 300 bills we piled up over there. Once they're done populating the administration, they'll have a lot more time to attend to legislation and we look forward to seeing them do that in 2018.

Mr. Speaker, thanks very much.

Great. Thank you, Steve.

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