According to the 40-year-old congressman, former House Speaker Paul Ryan had complete control over the legislative process — a pattern he says House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has followed. Although Amash admits he can’t speak for the Senate, he assumes it’s run in a “very similar way” and says the approach is “stifling” and has destroyed policy discussion.
“People don’t even bother reading the bills, because why should they?” he said.
“What’s the point of reading a bill, from their perspective, if you’re not going to have any say in it, all the leadership wants is your vote—yes or no? They don’t care whether the details aren’t right. They’re not interested in your amendments or your thoughts on it.”
Amash claims that Ryan was the first to “shut down the legislative process” enough that no amendments could be brought to the floor without his approval. According to the Libertarian congressman, the only amendments Ryan let go to the floor were the ones he was certain would not pass.
“He was the first speaker of the House to do that. Now Nancy Pelosi is the second speaker of the House, so two in a row right now,” Amash said.
Without policy debate, Amash claims lawmakers are left to debate personalities, which he says paved the way for someone like Donald Trump to capitalize on the purportedly broken system and cast himself as a savior.
Amash claims that if he is elected president, he will reduce his power and “open up the process” to allow Congress to debate and decide on bills. Only after this process, Amash says, will he offer his opinion by signing or vetoing any resulting bills.
Speaking to TIME for an interview published on Thursday, Amash expressed similar sentiments, pointing to the alleged frustration in Congress due to a lack of political debate. He also claimed that Trump culture has taken over the Republican Party and suggests that this culture will remain for at least a decade.
Amash left the Republican Party to become Independent after backlash for voicing support for the Trump’s impeachment. As The Inquisitr previously reported, he also criticized the president’s decision to authorize the airstrike that killed Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani. Notably, Amash highlighted that the assassination circumvented Congress and ignored Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution.