Daily Video

February 9, 2017

House Speaker Paul Ryan on immigration ban, Russia


  • In an interview with PBS NewsHour’s Judy Woodruff, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Paul Ryan said he is getting along well with President Donald Trump, but said he disagrees with some of the President’s recent statements.
  • Ryan said he meets regularly with the President, but was not informed in advance about Trump’s executive order banning immigration from seven majority-Muslim countries.
  • Ryan called the anti-Muslim rhetoric surrounding the order “damaging,” but said vetting standards for refugees entering the country have long been in need of an upgrade.
  • Ryan said he is confident the Trump administration will not go as far as an outright ban on all Muslims coming into the U.S., despite statements the White House has made in support of such a ban. “I and many others around here would oppose that,” Ryan said.
  • Unlike the President, Ryan said he supports continued economic sanctions on Russia and would support legislation preventing any relaxation of sanctions.

Class discussion questions 
  1. Essential question: What is the role of the speaker of the House of Representatives?
  2. How do Paul Ryan and the President work together on passing legislation? Why is working together important in this regard?
  3. Have you ever heard the term “checks and balances” used when talking about government? How does that term apply to Paul Ryan’s relationship to President Trump?

Extension Activity:

Have students examine the following New York Times article, Refugees Entering the U.S. Already Face a Rigorous Vetting Process, then answer the following questions:

  1. According to the article, how long does it take to vet refugees?
  2. How does the information in this article conflict with Paul Ryan’s statements on the U.S.’s vetting process for refugees?
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