- Former House Speaker John Boehner weighed in on current Speaker Paul Ryan’s retirement.
- Boehner said Ryan’s “biggest disappointment” has been his inability to rein in the federal debt.
- Boehner also pinned some of the blame on President Donald Trump.
Former House Speaker John Boehner thinks his successor, Paul Ryan, will have one regret after he retires early next year.
During an interview Friday on CNBC, Boehner pointed to the growing federal debt and Ryan’s inability to reform entitlements like Social Security as the “biggest disappointment” of Ryan’s speakership.
“I have to believe it’s Paul Ryan’s biggest disappointment as speaker because Paul Ryan used to be the chairman of the budget committee,” Boehner said. “Paul Ryan had a plan to balance the budget over 10 years.”
But the federal budget is nowhere near balanced, and the Congressional Budget Office projected the annual federal deficit will hit $1 trillion by 2020. Ryan long wanted to reform entitlements, in the form of spending cuts to large programs like Medicaid and Social Security, to shrink the deficit.
Ryan has also lamented the failure to address the debt and entitlements.
“I feel from all the budgets that I passed, normalizing entitlement reform, pushing the cause of entitlement reform, and the House passing entitlement reform, I am very proud of that fact,” Ryan said Wednesday after he announced his impending retirement. “But yeah, of course more work needs to be done, and it really is entitlements.”
While Ryan blamed the inability to pass an entitlement reform plan on the Senate and Democrats, Boehner said the culprit was actually the leader of the GOP.
“Unfortunately, Donald Trump took all of the entitlements off the table during the campaign,” Boehner said.
Ryan was also a huge proponent of the recently passed GOP tax law that the CBO estimates will add $1.9 trillion in debt over the next decade. Additionally, Ryan helped to craft the omnibus spending bill that will increase deficits.