Can Paul Ryan Restore Americans’ Trust In Congress?

by
Jessica Renae Buxbaum
Rep. Paul Ryan was easily elected to the position, securing 236 votes. He plans to restore order, but can he fulfill his bold declaration?

Paul Ryan

The conservative fiasco that ignited last month when John Boehner announced his resignation as Speaker of the House has finally come to a halt. Rep. Paul Ryan was easily elected to the position, securing 236 votes.

"The House is broken, we're not solving problems, we're adding to them. And I'm not interested in laying blame ... we are wiping the slate clean," Ryan said after elected, pledging to restore order to a defiantly disgruntled and practically ungovernable party.

In his farewell speech, teary-eyed Boehner came prepared with a box of tissues (although, he surprisingly didn’t need it) as he praised his successor, stating “Paul is being called” to serve."

In an interview with NPR, Boehner said Ryan is "the right person to lead our team at this time."

"He's an innovative thinker who's focused on giving more Americans more opportunity to achieve the American dream and I think he's got the skill set to do this job and frankly I'm very confident he'll do it well," Boehner said, adding he believes Ryan will be better able to unify the party.

Yet does Ryan really have what it takes to reinvigorate a misguided political atmosphere and restore America’s faith in Congress?

Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.) has challenged Ryan on his promise to “[wipe] the slate clean” in a letter she sent to the Republican on Thursday, demanding the Benghazi and Planned Parenthood committees shut down.

"While your predecessor assumed the speakership with promises of restoring the House 'as a place where the people’s will is done,' he leaves Congress saddled with two partisan committees that waste the taxpayer’s money and distract from the true business of running the country," Slaughter wrote. "You now have the chance for a fresh start."

The Benghazi Committee has wasted nearly $5 million with tedious investigations targeting Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in an effort to ruin her White House bid.

The Planned Parenthood Committee is yet another useless attempt for Republicans “to satisfy partisan and political goals” investigating a series of videos released over the summer that claims the reproductive health organization is selling fetal tissue. It has come to light these videos were deceptively edited by an anti-abortion group, yet Republicans vehemently dismiss the facts and continue their crusade against women’s reproductive rights.

"Dismantling this committee should be the easiest decision of your speakership, and would send a clear signal that the House is setting aside political distractions and getting back to work on behalf of the American people," Slaughter said.

With 72 percent of Americans thinking the Benghazi Committee is a vindictive sham clearly meant to uphold the conservatives’ political agenda, and with 2.7 million American women and men relying on Planned Parenthood for trusted health care, dismantling these two committees is sound advice in earning back the people’s trust.

Yet Ryan is unlikely to make any such radical change in the favor of the people over his party's goals as he seems bent on defunding Planned Parenthood and supports the Benghazi Committee wholeheartedly. 

Banner photo credit: Twitter @Forbes

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