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Paul Ryan is already giving up on his biggest goal for 2018

Win McNamee/Getty

House Speaker Paul Ryan has long wanted to enact
entitlement reforms through cuts to Medicaid, Medicare, and
Social Security.

Ryan said in December that he wanted to tackle the
issue in 2018.

On Friday, Ryan admitted that these programs would not
see changes in the upcoming legislative year.

House Speaker Paul Ryan on Friday admitted that his biggest “wish
list” item isn’t likely to happen in 2018.

Ryan has long wanted to enact reforms to entitlement programs —
which usually takes the form of cuts to Medicaid, Medicare, and
Social Security. But at an event in Wisconsin on Friday, he said
entitlements wouldn’t be addressed by Congress this year.

“I don’t see us tackling it this year,” Ryan

Ryan said
throughout December that he was hoping to
get entitlement reform done in 2018, but there was little
appetite from other Republican leaders and President Donald Trump
heading into a midterm election year.

The Wisconsin Republican said the GOP’s slim 51-to-49 majority in
Senate prevents any significant overhaul because Democrats
are not on board and could filibuster any cuts. Also, Ryan said,
any bill dealing with Social Security can’t go through the
process of budget reconciliation, which allows a bill to pass the
chamber with a simple majority.

Given that reality, Ryan said Democrats have to be on board with
any changes to the three major programs.

“No matter what you do you’re going to have to find bipartisan
consensus to fix these thorny, long-term problems, and we don’t
have that right now,” Ryan said.

In addition to the tricky congressional calculus, Trump promised
during the 2016 presidential election that there would be no cuts
to the programs. He was hesitant to support entitlement reform
measure during a press conference with Republican leaders at
their Camp David policy summit.

Ryan said that while the issue won’t be addressed in the
short-term, he stressed the need to address them in the future
because they are “going bankrupt,” a characterization disputed
by some policy experts.

“I would like to find a way — and I don’t know what exactly
that’s going to be — how do we get bipartisan consensus to fix
these looming, debt problems we’ve got on the horizon,” Ryan

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