President Obama needs to stop campaigning and start working with Republican lawmakers who are interested in finding common ground for policies that will improve the economy, Rep. Paul Ryan said Wednesday.
The Wisconsin Republican and Budget Committee chairman said congressional GOP members are willing to move forward on areas of agreement with the president, such as infrastructure spending, trade, and business tax reform.
They feel hamstrung, however, that Obama has continued to push ideas such as the just-killed jobs proposalthat aren't helping rescue the economy from its malaise.
"We all along want to go with ideas that are proven to work and didn't want to double-down on ideas that are proven to fail," Ryan said in a CNBC interview. "The president was sort of giving us us this all-or-nothing, take-or-leave-it approach, running around the country campaigning, kind of embracing more conflict than compromise."
He added: "Now that we have proven this bill won't pass — the president knew that all along — let's get on to fixing the problem."
Ryan said the House was set Wednesday to pass three trade agreements and is ready to move forward on a stimulus spending bill for infrastructure improvements.
The topic is a touchy one around Washington, though, after Obama's $800 stimulus plan passed shortly after he took office failed to deliver on the so-called shovel-ready jobs that the administration said would lower the unemployment rateto 8 percent.
"This stuff takes a long time to parcel out. It isn't so shovel-ready," Ryan said. "This stuff doesn't create instant jobs. The government doesn't do such a thing. We want to create the conditions for economic growth so that the private sector can create jobs and we want to address the massive hurdles that the government has put in front of the private sector that have made it hard to do that — tax certainty, regulatory certainty, get debt under control."
Ryan estimated that the trade bills will create 250,000 jobs and cooperation would help push that number higher through other ideas.
"If we had the right kind of leadership around here we would have already put in place a plan to get this debt under control, to get our entitlements under control or reform our tax system, our regulatory system for growth," he said. "So we are missing crucial quarters to get economic growth. We're stagnating. We're halfway through a lost decade."