By Carl Hulse – – – –
With Republicans on Capitol Hill increasingly alarmed by what they hear coming from the presidential campaign trail, Speaker Paul D. Ryan will seek to gain some control over his party’s overarching message and image.
“We want all Americans, when they look at Washington, to see spending going down, taxes going down, debt going down,” Mr. Ryan is to say, according to excerpts from what is being billed as his first major address since becoming speaker. “We want to see progress and have pride. We want people to believe in the future again.”
Mr. Ryan’s aides described the speech at the Library of Congress as an effort by the speaker to lay out his governing philosophy, discuss the challenges facing the nation and describe the choice that voters will face in the 2016 elections. In his prepared remarks, he indicated that Republicans would use next year to push legislation that illustrates their vision even though President Obama is unlikely to agree.
“Even if he won’t sign them into law, we will put out specific proposals and give the people a real choice,” Mr. Ryan is to say. He will also call for a “21st century” military that “can adapt to new threats” and “acquire new capabilities more quickly — whether it’s advanced missile defense or directed energy weapons.”
Lawmakers and strategists in both parties have credited Mr. Ryan with a good start in his new role. The speech seems an effort to take advantage of that momentum as Congress advances major bipartisan legislation this week. Even before taking the top post in the House, Mr. Ryan was seen as one of the leading Republican figures in creating a big-picture view of conservative ideals and principles. Many of those were articulated in his House budget proposals, which drew wide criticism from Democrats but enjoyed strong Republican support.