(CNN) — House Speaker Paul Ryan called Thursday for a “unified Republican government” behind Donald Trump, warning of the perils of cutting deals with Hillary Clinton if she wins the White House in the fall.
“I’m tired of divided government,” Ryan said at a Thursday morning forum. “It doesn’t work very well.”
Ryan’s comments are a stark contrast to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has said repeatedly that divided government is a time when “big things” could get done for the country. But House Republicans believe that the better Trump does on Election Day, the better their party’s chances are in keeping control of Congress.
Ryan, who has increasingly fallen in line behind Trump after expressing initial reservations, said House Republicans next year would seek to implement their sweeping election-year agenda — on issues ranging from health care to energy policy — in concert with a President Trump.
“These things are stuck in divided government,” Ryan said.
At the forum, Ryan was asked by moderator Ron Brownstein about Trump’s warnings that the US may withdraw from the North American Free Trade Agreement if he becomes president. Instead, he said, Trump should be talking about how to make some “clear improvements” on the trade agreement rather than withdrawing.
Ryan, who has expressed support for a more moderate immigration policy than Trump’s hard-line position, threw cold water on pushing through a comprehensive immigration bill in the next Congress, saying instead lawmakers should focus on passing individual bills.
“I think there is a way to deal with the undocumented population that doesn’t involve mass deportation; doesn’t involve an amnesty,” Ryan said. “But you have to start with security.”