Image: Ryan: Snowden Must Be Brought to Justice

Ryan: Snowden Must Be Brought to Justice

Monday, 24 Jun 2013 10:10 AM

By Melanie Batley

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Edward Snowden's leak about the National Security Agency phone and Internet surveillance program was an "embarrassment" and the U.S. must do all it can to bring him to justice, according to Rep. Raul Ryan said Monday.

"Facts are facts. He broke the law," the Wisconsin Republican said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe." 

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"How low is the bar so that people can get this kind of information and leak this? Lots of questions need to be answered," said the 2012 vice presidential nominee. "It's embarrassing in one sense, but let's focus on this guy [being] brought to justice."

The countries that may be harboring Snowden, according to Ryan, are "authoritarian regimes."

On immigration reform, Ryan pointed to the latest Pew Research poll, showing that while it’s not one of the top issues of concern to Americans, it's important to find a "workable solution."

The immigration debate, he said, was about giving the estimated 11 million undocumented workers legal status, not citizenship, and that border security will be a prerequisite of any reform package put forward by the House.

"We need to secure the border first and foremost. We don't have border security," Ryan said. "We don't even know if people overstay their visas."

Legalization, he stressed, was different from citizenship, and people would need to earn their right to stay in the U.S. through a lengthy probationary period and green- card process.
"No one is talking about pushing them in front of the line," he said.

While Ryan was among the 234 congressmen voting no June 20 on the Thursday, the legislation collapsed because Democrats didn't follow through on their promises to vote for it.

"I didn't support the farm bill. It was a missed opportunity to reform a lot of government programs that are bloated. Democrats made a commitment to 40 votes. They went back on their promise and the bill went down," said Ryan.

Ryan said he felt the bill should be more narrowly focused on subsidizing small family farmers instead of including funding for the food stamp program, which, he said, accounted for 83 percent of farm-bill spending.

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Chairman of the House Budget Committee, he said that tax reform and entitlement reform are critical to reaching a comprehensive budget agreement.

"What we want to achieve is that which we believe gets us jobs. Tax reform and entitlement reform are critical," he said.

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