(CBS News) There are "more effective ways" of getting around to replacing "Obamacare" than threatening to shut down the government unless the administration defunds the president's signature healthcare law, House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said Sunday on "Face the Nation."
"Look - we all, Republicans, want to repeal and replace Obamacare," he said. "With the government shutdown, so to speak, we're talking about discretionary spending, government agency budgets, but it doesn't affect entitlements. Obamacare's an entitlement, you know, like Medicare and Social Security is. And so, the entitlement continues on, even under a government shutdown scenario. So it's just not that simple and easy.
"You know, rather than sort of swinging for the fences and trying to take this entire law out with discretionary spending, I think there are more effective ways of achieving that goal," Ryan said. "We think that we can do better by delaying this law. We've already had votes to delay other parts of it. Democrats have supported us in that."
An initiative spearheaded by Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, to block any government funding bill that includes money toward the implementation of Obamacare would presumably give conservatives leverage in an upcoming budget fight this fall. Congress must pass a funding bill by Sept. 30 or risk letting parts of the government shut down.
Though several conservatives have joined onto Lee's campaign, many other Republicans have dismissed it as a gimmick.
Ryan also commented on another issue that's got the GOP split: immigration reform. The House, he said, won't be taking up the Senate's comprehensive plan to reform U.S. immigration system - including opening a pathway to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants currently living in the United States because "we don't support the Senate bill."
Speaking to remarks by Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. - a member of the Senate's "gang of eight" that crafted the chamber's bill - that the GOP could suffer a severe blow to its demographic reach if it doesn't find some way to reform immigration, Ryan said: "I disagree that we should approach this issue based on what's right for us politically. We should approach this issue on what we think is the right thing to do, the right policy.
"...Right now, people come to this country based on family relations, not based on skills," he continued. "Most other countries have a legal immigration system that's good for their economy - we should do the same. And when it comes to the undocumented, the people who came here illegally, we want to give people a chance to get right with the law while respect the rule of law and that means not doing an amnesty."