2016 was a busy—and productive—year for House Republicans. At a press conference with other Republican leaders, Speaker Ryan discussed 2016 and the #BetterWay that's on the horizon:
"At the start of this year, we as House Republicans made a number of commitments to the American people.
"First, we pledged to open up the process—to find common ground for the good of the country. If you look at how we are wrapping up our work for the end of the year here, we’ve done just that: 21st Century Cures. The National Defense Authorization Bill. The water resources bill.
"These initiatives all went through the committees. They are all bipartisan. And they are all House-Senate agreements.
"That is how we should do things here. It’s important, because that’s exactly how things should work.
"The most overarching thing we set out to do—going all the way back to our retreat in Baltimore almost a year ago—was that we would raise our gaze. We would go from being seen as simply being an opposition party to being a proposition party. And with 7 out of 10 Americans unhappy with the direction our country is headed, we felt we had a duty—a moral obligation—to offer our fellow citizens a better way forward. And that’s exactly what we did.
"We did not just check the box to win an election, or we didn’t do this so I could just [promote] a website—better.gop—a thousand times with you. The idea was, if we actually won the election by campaigning on solutions and ideas, we would be ready to govern.
"And here we are. We are ready to hit the ground running, and we need to hit the ground running. We gave the people a very clear choice, and now the people have given us very clear instructions: deliver results and deliver relief.
"Relief from Obamacare—this law is hurting families and it’s only going to get worse. Relief from this broken tax code that is costing us jobs, competitiveness, and growth. Relief from overreach and needless regulations that are crushing livelihoods and industries across this country.
"That is what a unified Republican government will be about. It will be about helping our people reach their potential, and making America great again.
"So 2016 was about raising our gaze. 2017 is going to be about doing big things for our country."Read More
This year's Capitol Christmas Tree is ready to be lit, and we for one are excited about it. (Heck, I started writing this post three months ago.) Rain or shine, the tree lighting ceremony gets underway tomorrow at 5:00 p.m. ET, and it will air on speaker.gov/live.
Every year, the Architect of the Capitol and the U.S. Forest Service work together to select a tree from one of our national forests. This year's edition—an 80-foot Engelmann spruce—comes from Payette National Forest in McCall, Idaho.
The truck After the tree was cut, it began the 2,500-mile journey to the Capitol, stopping for public events in cities and towns along the way. Gary Amoth, the trucker from Twin Falls, Idaho, who drove the tree to the Capitol before daybreak last week, said, “It’s awe-inspiring. If you’ve never been here, as I’ve not, it’s pretty awesome.”
The tradition According to the House historian, the modern Capitol Christmas Tree tradition dates back to 1962, when Speaker John McCormack had a tree placed in National Statuary Hall, declaring it “most appropriate that a Christmas tree be placed in the Capitol, which is the heart of legislative activity of our country.” The practice of planting a tree on the West Front began a little later.
The trimmings The Architect of the Capitol and his team have decorated the tree with ornaments handmade by Idahoans. All told, there are 18,000 ornaments to go on the big tree and 70 companion trees around Capitol Hill.
The toys The tree lighting ceremony is surrounded by events that honor what the season is all about. Every year, we part in an annual toy collection drive organized by the Marine Corps Liaisons for the House of Representatives.
The good tidings To flip the switch, Speaker Ryan will be joined by Boise fifth-grader Isabella Gerard, who submitted a poem as part of a statewide contest. Here is an excerpt from Isabella's poem: “Idaho is blessed with beautiful mountains and immense forests. In the winter the mountains and forests are covered with snow, making the landscape look like never ending clouds with skyscrapers covered in snow.”
The splendor This year's tree will stand in front of the newly restored Capitol Dome, and it will be lit every evening through Christmas night.Read More
Last night, Speaker Ryan appeared on CBS’s 60 Minutes for a conversation with Scott Pelley, ranging from what Congress plans to tackle in 2017 to working with President-elect Trump. Below are excerpts from their conversation:
Obamacare: “The first bill we’re going to be working on is our Obamacare legislation. . . . What we know is we have to make good on this promise. We have to bring relief as fast as possible to people who are struggling under Obamacare. . . . Patient-centered healthcare that gets everybody access to affordable healthcare coverage. So they can buy what they what they want to buy. . . . We will give everyone access to affordable healthcare coverage.”
President-elect Trump: “He’s basically giving voice to a lot of people who have felt that they were voiceless. He’s communicating with people in this country who’ve felt like they have not been listened to. He’s going to be an unconventional president. I really think we have a great opportunity in front of us to fix problems, produce results, and improve people’s lives—that’s why we’re here in the first place. And so that’s what’s going to matter at the end of the day. Did we improve people’s lives? Did we solve the problems that the American people need solved? Are we addressing the concerns of people who are tired of being tired. . . . That’s just the way I look at this.”
Poverty: “We feel very strongly about making work pay, about getting people transitioned from welfare to work. Get people skills they need, help they need, so they can get on the ladder of life.”
Economy: “We really want to focus on economic growth and growing the economy. There are a lot of regulations that are really just crushing jobs. Look at the coal miners in the Rust Belt that are getting out of work . . . the loggers and the timber workers and the paper mills on the West Coast . . . the ranchers or farmers in the Midwest . . . We’re talking about smarter regulations that actually help us grow jobs in this country. . . . We have a real economic growth problem in America. We are limping along. Wages are flat, and jobs aren’t being created near to the extent that they could and should be. So we think regulatory relief is very, very important. And that’s something we’re going to work on day one.”
BONUS: Want to know what 2017 holds in under 60 seconds? Speaker Ryan lays out six priorities on 60 Minutes overtime.Read More
Yesterday, before I headed home to WI, I signed a bunch of really good bills that are all now headed to the president's desk to become law.— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) December 3, 2016
The Veterans Mobility Safety Act reforms outdated VA policies to improve the quality and safety of equipment used by disabled veterans. pic.twitter.com/wi1FN7PCcF— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) December 3, 2016
The Northern Border Security Review Act requires the government to analyze & address current & potential threats along our northern border. pic.twitter.com/ENDIJIh0Fi— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) December 3, 2016
The Consumer Review Fairness Act protects the right to submit online feedback without fear of retribution. pic.twitter.com/GoYedDhqtH— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) December 3, 2016
The First Responder Preparedness Act makes the anthrax vaccine available to first responders in the event of an attack. pic.twitter.com/DjkC9Ix84r— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) December 3, 2016
The Iran Sanctions Act keeps a critical tool in place for Congress to hold the Iranian regime accountable. pic.twitter.com/f8PV3CLDgH— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) December 3, 2016
WASHINGTON—Today, Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) congratulated Architect of the Capitol Stephen T. Ayers and his staff on completing the first comprehensive restoration of the Capitol Dome in more than 50 years. Ayers and his team have repaired more than 1,300 cracks and deficiencies in the dome’s cast iron. At a morning celebration marking the project’s successful completion, the speaker thanked everyone involved for all their hard work. Below are his remarks.
All I can say is, I am very, very impressed. This was a huge, huge job, and you did it flawlessly. Look, I remember, Stephen, not too long ago, we were up climbing the scaffolding on the outside with ["The Today Show"], looking at the progress. On time, under budget, accident-free — it’s amazing; it really is. This is my 18th year in Congress. I just got elected, as Stephen said, to my tenth term. I was here as a staffer five years before that. So it has been a long time since I’ve heard the words "on time and under budget." And I don’t need any reminding, but I just want to stress to you, really, just how important your work is to all of us.
I remember — because as you know, my office is right off the side of the Rotunda — I remember when they closed off the Rotunda just to take down the scaffolding. It was just a couple of weeks. But it was just, for a couple of weeks, a big loss. It was just this sense you couldn't go in the Rotunda, you couldn't take constituents, people couldn't go see their Rotunda. And even though it wasn’t very long, I was kind of bummed. Think if it was shut down forever. Think if the artwork wasn't preserved. What a disappointment and a loss that would be.
Winston Churchill — We just did a Churchill event because we have a bust in Freedom Foyer the other night. And there are so many great Churchill quotes. I'm a huge Churchill fan. He once said that we shape our buildings and then our buildings shape us. There is no place where that is not more true than the Rotunda and the U.S. Capitol. All the statues, all the chandeliers, the staircases, just everything, it has an effect on us. You walk through and you know this is where the greats that stood before us, you know, adjudicated. This is where Lincoln, you know, argued. This is where Adams, you know, did these things. It's an amazing, inspiring place. And we have you to thank for preserving this daily dose of inspiration for us. This is one of those kinds of places that inspires us to be bigger and to be better than our everyday selves. And the day if you're in Congress you don't look up in awe of this awesome responsibility that we've been given is the day you shouldn't be here. And so this building is really such an inspiration to those of us who serve here.
And you showed us all how a group of hardworking people working together can truly do something that's grand. When you think about it, that’s kind of what this country is all about. When you think about the symbolism of what you've been able to accomplish here, and what it does to lead and to inspire and to raise our gaze to a bigger horizon, to be bigger than ourselves, and to think about how great our potential truly is, it is just the perfect symbolism for where we have to go. And I just want to say on behalf of the entire House of Representatives, on behalf of the United States Congress, and on behalf of the 300 million-plus Americans who have the opportunity to come here and see this great beacon of democracy, “Thank you.” Thank you for what you've done to make us proud. Thank you for what you've done to preserve this beautiful and inspiring legacy.Read More
I just signed a 10-year extension of the Iran Sanctions Act. Next stop → The president's desk. pic.twitter.com/ucSF9k4Mvm— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) December 2, 2016
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement after signing H.R. 6297, the Iran Sanctions Extension Act:
“I am pleased that despite initial hesitation, the White House has heeded our call and indicated that it will sign this bipartisan legislation. As Tehran continues to sponsor terrorism, test-fire ballistic missiles, and violate the nuclear agreement, Congress must maintain the ability to immediately reinstate sanctions against Iran. Now President-elect Trump will have the opportunity to evaluate our policy towards Iran independent of additional interference from the outgoing administration.”
NOTE: The House passed H.R. 6297, authored by House Foreign Affairs Comittee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA), by a vote of 419-1. The Senate passed identical legislation by a vote of 99-0.Read More
BREAKING NEWS → The House just passed the largest pay raise for our troops in six years. And it is well-deserved.Posted by Speaker Paul Ryan on Friday, December 2, 2016
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement on House passage of S. 2943, the Conference Report to accompany the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act:
“Our Better Way agenda calls for building a 21st century military, and this defense bill delivers important reforms to get us there. In addition to boosting base funding to tackle this readiness gap and equip our troops with cutting-edge technology, it maintains strict prohibitions on transferring Guantanamo Bay detainees to American soil. I’m particularly proud that this NDAA includes the largest pay raise our troops have seen in six years—and it’s well-deserved. I want to commend Mac Thornberry and all the members of the Armed Services Committee for their work on this legislation."Read More
WASHINGTON — One year after their sit-down in Janesville, WI, this Sunday, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) will appear on CBS's 60 Minutes for an interview with host Scott Pelley. Filmed in Speaker Ryan's Capitol office, the wide-ranging interview will air in full on December 4 at 7:00 p.m. ET.
Details: Speaker Ryan on CBS's 60 Minutes with Scott Pelley Sunday, December 4, at 7:00 p.m. ET Learn more about 60 Minutes here.Read More
General Mattis is exactly the right choice to lead the Pentagon after 8 years of fecklessness under President Obama.My full statement ↓ pic.twitter.com/TDaFGef7sU— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) December 2, 2016
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement commending President-elect Donald Trump’s selection of General James Mattis to serve as Secretary of Defense:
“General Mattis is exactly the right choice to lead the Pentagon after eight years of fecklessness under President Obama. With this selection, it’s clear President-elect Trump is serious about rebuilding our military, defeating ISIS, and keeping Americans safe. I applaud this decision, and look forward to working with General Mattis and the Trump administration to restore American leadership at home and abroad.”Read More
WASHINGTON—The House Republican Steering Committee today approved the following recommendations for committee chairs in the 115th Congress.
Agriculture: Rep. Mike Conaway (R-TX)Appropriations: Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ)Armed Services: Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX)Budget: Rep. Tom Price (R-GA)Education and the Workforce: Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC)Energy and Commerce: Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR)Financial Services: Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX)Foreign Affairs: Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA)Homeland Security: Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX)Judiciary: Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA)Natural Resources: Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT)Oversight and Government Reform: Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT)Science, Space, and Technology: Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX)Small Business: Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH)Transportation and Infrastructure: Rep. Bill Shuster (R-PA)Veterans’ Affairs: Rep. Phil Roe (R-TN)Ways and Means: Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX)
In addition, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) has made the following committee chair appointments:
Administration: Rep. Gregg Harper (R-MS)Ethics: Rep. Susan Brooks (R-IN)Joint Economic Committee: Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-OH)Intelligence: Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA)Rules: Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX)
NOTE: These recommendations will be presented to the full House Republican Conference tomorrow for official ratification.Read More
In case you missed it, last night, the House passed the 21st Century Cures Act with an overwhelming bipartisan vote. Speaker Ryan thanked those who contributed to its success, especially Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and members of the Energy and Commerce Committee, this morning at his weekly press briefing:
“First of all, I just want to say how excited we are with the fact that we passed the 21st Century Cures legislation yesterday with a vote of 392. This was fantastic bipartisan legislation, which also included our mental health reforms. Kudos go out to Fred Upton, Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, [and] Tim Murphy, who worked so hard on these pieces of legislation. I also want to thank the Democrats for working with us in good faith—on the [Energy and] Commerce Committee in particular—for getting this legislation across the finish line, and I expect this to pass in the Senate.”
Learn more about the 21st Century Cures Act here.Read More
— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) December 1, 2016
Tomorrow, the House will vote on final passage of the annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). This bill, which continues a more-than-five-decade tradition of bipartisan support, funds our troops and helps keep Americans safe.
You can get the full details here, but in short the 2017 NDAA:
A central plank of the House Republican #BetterWay agenda is to rebuild our military, support our troops, and protect our homeland. This is exactly what this year’s NDAA will help us accomplish. We expect a strong vote tomorrow, and urge President Obama to sign this critical bill into law once it reaches his desk.Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement after House passage of the 21st Century Cures Act, a bipartisan bill to reform our approach to medical research and delivery:
“We are about to change the very way we do medical research and development in this country. With this bill, we are laying the groundwork for medical breakthroughs that will help countless Americans suffering from what today are considered incurable diseases. We would not have gotten this far if it weren’t for the tireless leadership of Fred Upton. I join the many grateful patients and their families in offering him my deepest thanks.”Read More
43.8 million—that’s how many Americans experience some type of mental illness each year. One in every five adults live with it every day—meaning there’s a strong chance you or someone you love has suffered under the unrelenting weight of this disease. Sixty percent of adults living with mental illness didn’t receive care in the previous year.
For those who do seek help, many are often met with limited resources and a broken system that can’t properly address their needs. As Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA) said, federal agencies have become “feel-good programs” instead of emphasizing the evidence-based care Americans so desperately need. That’s why, last year, Speaker Ryan joined Rep. Murphy and families around the country in calling for mental health reform to be a national priority.
A years-long effort began to bear fruit in June, when the Energy and Commerce Committee approved Rep. Murphy’s Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act. In July, the House followed suit, passing the measure with 422 votes.
At a CNN town hall this summer, Speaker Ryan touted this common ground and the urgency of the problem: “We have got to get early intervention [to] people with mental illnesses so that we can see these problems before they materialize, and have the ability to do something about it.”
Later today, the House will take up the 21st Century Cures Act, a medical innovation package that will bring hope for patients and accelerate cutting-edge treatments for rare diseases. It will also include the most significant reforms to our mental health system in more than a decade. Among other things, these reforms will modernize our mental health programs, improve mental health services for children with serious emotional disturbance, and strengthen the nation’s mental health reform workforce.
These reforms represent a landmark shift. Mental illness should no longer be left for families to face alone. It can and should be a national priority. And with these reforms, there will be renewed hope for more people.Read More
Today, Speaker Ryan discussed the 21st Century Cures Act—legislation introduced by the Energy and Commerce Committee to bring American health care into the 21st century—at a weekly press conference with House Republicans:
“We are certainly very excited to bring a final bipartisan version of the 21st Century Cures bill to the House floor today. “This has been a long time coming. This is going to be a game-changer. It’s going to be a game-changer for patients and for their families. It will fundamentally transform the way that we treat and cure diseases in this country. Cures provides needed funding, but it does so in a responsible way. “I am also pleased, as you just heard, that this legislation includes Tim Murphy’s mental health legislation—mental health reform. Again, something a long time coming. Not only do we need to bring mental illness out of the shadows, we really have to improve how we address it. We need more coordination, more early intervention, and this bill takes a huge step in that right direction. “I just want to thank Fred Upton and Tim Murphy. They have been pushing this for years. And this is the result of their hard work and their collaboration with other people. I want to thank the Republicans and the Democrats on the Energy and Commerce Committee for making this possible. “These are ideas that we’ve been working on for years. They did not quit. They did not give up. And this is a result of their hard work.
“And that’s really the driving principle of this legislation: We don’t give up on anybody in the country. Nobody is alone. No matter how rare the disease—no matter how dire the situation—there can always be hope. There should always be hope. And with this legislation, there will be more hope for more families. “We expect very good bipartisan support today, and then we hope the Senate will act swiftly so we can get this bill to the president’s desk.”
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement on President-elect Donald Trump’s selection of Steven Mnuchin, Wilbur Ross, and Todd Ricketts to key economic posts in the incoming administration:
“I am excited to get to work with this impressive team to fix our broken tax code, ease the regulatory burden on American businesses, and grow our economy. These men together bring decades of experience across a wide spectrum of industries to their respective roles. I have the utmost confidence that they will serve President-elect Trump and the American people well.”Read More
As part of the Better Way health care agenda, we laid out a plan to accelerate the development of cutting-edge cures and treatments. Right now, there are 10,000 known diseases, but we only have treatments for 500 of them. The 21st Century Cures Act, which the House will take up today, seeks to close this gap. Its passage would mean:
It’s important to note that any new funding in this legislation will be fully offset. We have also made this discretionary spending subject to annual review in order to maximize accountability for taxpayers.
Today’s vote is the culmination of a national effort under the leadership of Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Starting in 2013, Chairman Upton and his committee took ideas and stories from all walks of life. They held countless hearings and roundtables. They picked up support from hundreds of organizations. It is a story that can be told in 109 seconds, but for many families, the impact of this work will last a lifetime.Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement after House passage of H. Con. Res 165 reaffirming Congress’s opposition to UN Security Council resolutions imposing a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict:
“Republicans and Democrats agree that a lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians can only be achieved through direct negotiations. Today, the House urged the Obama administration to forcefully oppose any unilateral moves by the UN to impose a solution to the conflict. These efforts, which almost always place disproportionate pressure on Israel, only push the parties further apart and undermine the cause of peace.”Read More
Elaine Chao is an outstanding choice to serve as the next Secretary of Transportation.
My full statement ↓ pic.twitter.com/rITyxMFb9r
— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) November 29, 2016
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) today issued the following statement commending President-elect Donald Trump’s selection of former Labor Secretary Elaine Chao as Secretary of the Department of Transportation:
“Elaine Chao is an outstanding choice to serve as the next Secretary of Transportation. She is a conservative reformer with unrivaled experience and a great passion for improving the lives of working families. We will be particularly fortunate to have Elaine leading the charge as we work to ensure America has the infrastructure needed to keep our economy moving in the 21st century. I congratulate Elaine, and applaud the president-elect on this choice.”Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement regarding President-elect Donald Trump's nomination of Chairman Tom Price, M.D. (R-GA) as Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services:
"This is the absolute perfect choice. Tom Price has made health care his life's work. As a doctor, he has practiced and taught medicine, and he knows exactly how Washington's decisions affect patients. As a legislator, he has played a leading role in developing conservative health care solutions that put patients first. We could not ask for a better partner to work with Congress to fix our nation's health care challenges. I'm so happy for Tom and his family, and I commend President-elect Trump for this excellent nomination."Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) today issued the following statement regarding the death of Fidel Castro:
“Now that Fidel Castro is dead, the cruelty and oppression of his regime should die with him. Sadly, much work remains to secure the freedom of the Cuban people, and the United States must be fully committed to that work. Today let us reflect on the memory and sacrifices of all those who have suffered under the Castros.”Read More
WASHINGTON—In this week’s Republican address, incoming House GOP Conference Vice Chair Doug Collins (R-GA) delivers a special Thanksgiving message and previews the opportunities that await with a unified Republican government. “Every day, we are guided by our belief in the dignity of every person, and the hope that we will leave our children with a stronger nation than we inherited,” said Rep. Collins. “In the weeks ahead, our mission is to set things on the right course. A unified Republican government offers the people a better way to address some of our biggest challenges.”
NOTE: The audio of the weekly address is available here. Learn more about Rep. Collins by following him on Twitter, liking his Facebook page, or visiting his website.
Representative Doug Collins of Georgia Weekly Republican Address Washington, DC Wednesday, November 23, 2016
Thanksgiving always brings with it the promise of renewal. Renewal of common values and traditions. These things are especially important this year. Our nation faces pressing problems. We have just been through a long and at times divisive campaign. Thanksgiving dinner discussions may be a little more spirited this year than in previous years. But we can be proud to live in a nation where we are free to voice our differences passionately, and resolve them peacefully. We honor these values by gathering together. There is perhaps a timely lesson in the heritage of the holiday itself. It was President Lincoln who, amid the anguish and division of the Civil War, made Thanksgiving a formal holiday. It was a way to bring the country together to honor the blessings that—in his words—“should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged.” And so this pause for reflection has been our annual ritual for more than 150 years. There is much to be grateful for Thanksgiving. We are thankful for the men and women who fight for us, who spend this holiday away from home. We are thankful for the police, first responders, doctors, and nurses who work around the clock to keep us safe. We are thankful for everyone who opens their doors and hearts to those who are less fortunate and in need. Every day, we are guided by our belief in the dignity of every person, and the hope that we will leave our children with a stronger nation than we inherited. In the weeks ahead, our mission is to set things on the right course. A unified Republican government offers the people a better way to address some of our biggest challenges. The work will not be easy. There will always be difficult days. But if we listen and learn from one another, if we seek to empower—and not exploit—one another, our journey ahead will be brighter than the path behind us. And we’ll gather together to give thanks for the heritage we share, for a more perfect union. This Thanksgiving, we are humbled by the opportunity to serve, and the chance to walk with all Americans towards a better way and a brighter future. We wish you and yours a happy and healthy Thanksgiving. And may God always bless the United States of America.Read More
What is your favorite Thanksgiving tradition? How about your favorite Thanksgiving food? Who carves the turkey at your house?
We asked Speaker Ryan these questions and more in rapid-fire succession. Find out his answers in the 49-second video below:
Thanksgiving Q&ARead More
Happy Thanksgiving! Here are a few of my favorite things about the holiday.Posted by Speaker Paul Ryan on Wednesday, November 23, 2016
— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) November 22, 2016
WASHINGTON—Today, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), and Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) sent a letter to President Obama asking him to halt any plans for new concessions to Iran during his final days in office. The letter, which comes amid reports about the administration taking additional steps to bolster Iran’s economy, also encourages President Obama to sign bipartisan legislation currently pending in the Senate to extend the Iran Sanctions Act for ten years.
The lawmakers write:
“We respectfully request that your administration take no further actions designed to bolster international investment in Iran, or otherwise change or alter the existing sanctions regime within international organizations through the use of waivers or through administrative actions to include the issuance of new regulations, general licenses, frequently asked questions, or other guidance.”
Click here to read the full letter.Read More
The first full week as a representative-elect is a busy one. Members-to-be have a jam-packed orientation schedule as they learn how to get a Congressional office up and running, meet their colleagues, and simply navigate the tunnels in and around the Capitol. Speaker Ryan made it a point to welcome more than 50 incoming freshmen and also offer some friendly advice along the way."The campaign is over. Now the real work begins." - Speaker Ryan
Incoming members of the House will be sworn into office in January, when the 115th Congress begins, but a few members who won special elections to fill vacant seats swore their oaths last week, including Rep. James Comer (R-KY).
On their first evening in the Capitol, incoming Republicans join Speaker Ryan for dinner in the Old Hall of the House, where the House met for legislative business from 1807 to 1857. Here, the House Historian points out where many of our forefathers once sat—James Madison, John Quincy Adams, Abraham Lincoln—and the incoming class begins to get a sense of history for the institution of which they are now a part.3. A Bipartisan Reminder
Being Speaker of the House means exactly that—being Speaker of the whole House. That's why Speaker Ryan offered this tongue-in-cheek reminder before the entire incoming class of Republicans and Democrats: "No matter your party, remember: our fight is not with each other. . .It’s with the Senate."4. Family First
Speaker Ryan and Majority Leader McCarthy were joined by their wives, Janna and Judy, in welcoming the spouses of the recently-elected Republican members. As a father of three, the Speaker encouraged the husbands and wives that a work-life balance is indeed possible, adding that "nothing is more important than family."
For more behind-the-scenes photos and video, follow @SpeakerRyan on Instagram and check in on his "Instagram Stories."Read More
Ask his staff what he’s like as a boss, and they’ll tell you without missing a beat: He’s a Marine. That’s the kind of man Rep. John Kline (R-MN) is. Tough. Loyal. Hardworking. And now that he is retiring after six years as chairman of the Education and Workforce Committee, his portrait will hang in the committee’s hearing room.
Last Wednesday, Speaker Ryan recounted Kline’s many successes as he celebrated Kline’s career: replacing No Child Left Behind, a major overhaul of our job-training programs, and saving pension plans from bankruptcy. “I bet you that any congressman who looks at this portrait for too long will turn green with envy,” Speaker Ryan said.
And so Speaker Ryan gladly accepted the portrait into the official collection on behalf of a grateful House—and a grateful country. John Kline served 25 years in the Marine Corps. He was a military aide to Presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan. And he faithfully represented the people of Minnesota’s second district for 14 years. There’s no doubt that whoever looks up at this portrait—and knows the story behind it—will think to themselves, “This is a man who did his part.”Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement on the Obama administration’s five-year plan for offshore oil and natural gas lease sales:
“In its final days, the Obama administration is throwing up more barriers to American energy development. This plan to exclude the resource-rich Arctic from exploration possibilities squanders our ability to harness the abundant, affordable energy sources that power our economy. Our Better Way agenda outlines a plan to unleash our energy potential and create American jobs. That’s why we will work to overturn this plan, and to open up the Arctic and other offshore areas for development.”Read More
Yesterday, Speaker Ryan signed H.R. 5392, the No Veterans Crisis Line Call Should Go Unanswered Act—legislation introduced by Rep. David Young (R-IA) to assure veterans’ needs are prioritized. Prior to signing the bill, Speaker Ryan discussed its significance during his weekly press briefing:
“This week, Congress gave final approval to legislation that will help veterans in need. H.R. 5392 requires the VA [to] respond to calls to its crisis hotlines in a timely manner.
“This is one of those bills that should not even be necessary, but sadly—and tragically—it is. “Earlier this year, we learned that more than one out of three calls to the VA crisis hotline were going unanswered. Imagine a veteran calling for help and then getting sent to voicemail. There is no excuse for that. “This bill, authored by my colleague David Young, requires that the VA make improvements so that veterans actually get the help when they need the help. “As part of our Better Way agenda, we propose building a truly 21st-century VA. And this will be a priority of the new unified Republican government. But for now, this initiative is good news ahead of Thanksgiving, a time to be grateful for all the men and women who have fought for us.” For more from his weekly press briefing, click here.
A photo posted by Speaker Paul Ryan (@speakerryan) on Nov 29, 2016 at 1:04pm PST
Speaker Ryan and his friend Vice President-elect Pence had a terrific, productive meeting about the incoming administration's transition efforts. The meeting lasted roughly 45 minutes and covered a range of legislative priorities. The two leaders reaffirmed their desire to work hand-in-glove over the next two months to hit the ground running on day one of the Trump administration.Read More
Today, the House passed legislation to block President Obama from issuing new rules—also known as midnight regulations—during his final days in office. Speaker Ryan discussed the need for this bill at his weekly press briefing this morning:
“Earlier this week, House Republicans sent a letter to the Obama administration asking that they not advance any new regulations before leaving office. Remember, this is not unusual. The incoming administration made a similar request in 2008. “In addition, the House today will pass a measure making it easier to stop midnight regulations. There is a tradition of bipartisan opposition to regulations imposed at the end of an outgoing administration. We have seen just how the impact of just one rule can hurt entire industries and livelihoods.
“So the last thing that we need to see today or in the next weeks is unelected bureaucrats pushing through regulations at the 11th hour. We look forward to tackling regulatory reform in the new unified Republican government.”Read More
Sam Johnson served in the Air Force for 29 years, flying combat missions in both the Korean and Vietnam Wars, where he was also a Prisoner of War in the Hanoi Hilton for 7 long years. This man is my hero.Posted by Speaker Paul Ryan on Wednesday, November 16, 2016
Congressman Sam Johnson (R-TX) “is more than a colleague. He is more than a friend. He is my hero.” So said Speaker Ryan on Tuesday when he unveiled a plaque dedicating one of the Ways and Means Committee hearing rooms in Johnson’s name.
Johnson is renowned for his military career. He served in the Air Force for 29 years, flying combat missions in both the Korean and Vietnam Wars. In Vietnam, he was shot down and captured, enduring seven long years in the Hanoi Hilton. And yet after all that, once he was released, he came home and went back to flying—a testament to the man’s fortitude and sense of service.
It is that same selflessness that Johnson has shown over his 25 years of representing the third district of Texas. He relishes his work on the Ways and Means Committee, where he has tackled the big issues like fixing the tax code and saving Social Security.
As Speaker Ryan said, “Sam Johnson sweats the details because he knows they’re more than details—they’re people’s lives.” And so it is more than fitting that a Ways and Means Committee hearing room, where Johnson has worked for so long, will now bear this great man’s name.Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement following the election of Senate leaders:
“I want to congratulate Sen. McConnell and his leadership team. Over the last year, we have worked together to achieve some important reforms, from the biggest rewrite of our education laws in 25 years to comprehensive legislation combating the nation's opioid epidemic. We can't wait to get to work, and build on this progress in a unified Republican government.
“I also want to congratulate Chuck Schumer on his election as the leader of Senate Democrats. We look forward to working with him constructively for the good of the country.”
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement on House passage of H.R. 6297, the Iran Sanctions Extension Act:
"The Iranian regime continues to finance terrorism, test-fire ballistic missiles, abuse its people, and, as recently as last week, violate the nuclear agreement. Today’s bipartisan vote will help maintain our ability to immediately reinstate sanctions against Iran over the next decade. I appreciate Chairman Royce and his entire committee for their work on this important bill, and hope the president will agree to sign it.”Read More
— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) November 15, 2016
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) made the following comments after House Republicans—including newly elected and returning lawmakers—elected their leadership team for the 115th Congress:
"I just want to say a couple of things. Number one, to all Americans, to every citizen in this country who's worried about the future of this country, who's worried about their future, who's worried about the direction we've been going: We hear you and we are here to fix problems. We're very excited to get to work.
"This leadership team is unified. This entire House Republican conference is unified. And we are so eager to get to work with our new president-elect to fix America's pressing problems. This is something we're ready to do, and this is something we're going to look back upon as a moment where we met the moment the way it needed to be met by confronting America's problems and fixing them so that all of our citizens are better off."
NOTE: House Republicans today elected the following members of their leadership team for the 115th Congress:
Speaker of the House: Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) | @SpeakerRyan Majority Leader: Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) | @GOPLeader Majority Whip: Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) | @SteveScalise Conference Chair: Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) | @cathymcmorris NRCC Chairman: Rep. Steve Stivers (R-OH) | @RepSteveStivers Policy Committee Chairman: Rep. Luke Messer (R-IN) | @RepLukeMesser Conference Vice-Chair: Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) | @RepDougCollins Conference Secretary: Rep. Jason Smith (R-MO) | @RepJasonSmith Sophomore Representative: Rep. Mimi Walters (R-CA) | @RepMimiWaltersFreshman Representative: Rep. Paul Mitchell (R-MI)Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement ahead of a House vote on H.R. 5732, the Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act to sanction the Syrian government:
“Republicans and Democrats recognize the need to isolate the Assad regime for its continued atrocities against the Syrian people. I’m glad the White House has stopped blocking these critical sanctions, which are a necessary response to Assad’s crimes against humanity. I want to thank Chairman Royce and Ranking Member Engel for working together in a bipartisan fashion to bring this bill to the floor.”
NOTE: Speaker Ryan has repeatedly urged the White House to stop blocking this bipartisan legislation. In September, he argued “I think that this administration is essentially protecting some of the world’s worst war criminals. That’s why I’m calling on the White House to allow House Democrats to work with us to pass these sanctions in short order.” Read more below:Read More
“We have to go big.” That was the message Speaker Ryan delivered this morning at a press briefing with House Republican leaders. Below are his full opening remarks: “Welcome to the dawn of a new unified Republican government. It feels really good to say that, actually. This will be a government focused on turning President-elect Trump’s victory into real progress for the American people. Our team is very excited, and we cannot wait to get to work.
“At the same time, we recognize that the task ahead of us is enormous. If we are going to put our country back on the right track, we have got to be bold, and we have to go big. This country is expecting absolutely no less.
“In the days and weeks ahead, we will be working very closely with the president-elect and his transition team to lay out our ambitious path for 2017. That team, of course, is led by Vice President-elect Mike Pence, and it includes several of our own members. So we are working hand-in-glove from the start.
“We want to make sure that we hit the ground running in January, so that we can deliver on the new president’s agenda. A better way, and better days, lie ahead for our country.”Read More
Last night, Speaker Ryan swore in three new members of Congress on the floor of the House of Representatives, all of whom won special elections to fill vacant seats. Before the official proceedings took place, Speaker Ryan greeted the members and their families in his Capitol office for a ceremonial swearing-in, welcoming them to the 114th Congress.Speaker Ryan and Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D-HI) Speaker Ryan and Rep. James Comer (R-KY) Speaker Ryan and Rep. Dwight Evans (D-PA)
Earlier this morning, Speaker Ryan appeared on Wisconsin's WBEL for an interview on The Stan Milam Show. Following are excerpts from their conversation:
On President-elect Trump's chief of staff: "Hiring Reince [Priebus] as his chief of staff is a perfect indication of our new president’s desire to get things done. He had somebody who he trusts and who has a good working relationship with [in] Reince. Reince put together the most impressive ground game that the Republican Party has ever seen, and used it for Donald Trump’s election. Not to mention the fact that we all know Reince very well. . . . What Reince brings to the table is a person of hard work, determination, grit, ability, and trust from both sides of Pennsylvania Avenue—the Capitol and the White House—and that’s a very, very good indication of us getting together, having a good working relationship moving forward."
2017 starts with better.gop: "Go to better.gop and look at our six-point plan. It fully complements, and even extends in greater detail, the kinds of reforms that President-elect Trump is talking about. And so, I would just say, take a look at the substance. And just remember the fact that 70 percent of Americans believe that the country is on the wrong track. . . . So now, we have an opportunity and an obligation to take the country in the right direction. And if you want to get a sense of what that right direction looks like from our perspective, just go take a look at better.gop. It’s how we think we can have a better health care plan than Obamacare. It’s how we think we can have better tax reform to create jobs and economic growth, move people from welfare to work, secure the border—[stronger] national security so we can keep ourselves safe—[and] restore the Constitution. You know, those are the things that we think represent going in the right direction, putting us on the right track."Read More
Today, Speaker Ryan appeared on CNN’s State of the Union for an interview with host Jake Tapper. Below are excerpts from their conversation: America’s inclusive society: “America is a pluralistic, inclusive country. It is, it has been, and it will continue to be. So I really think that people should put their minds at ease. We’re going to get to work on solving the country’s big problems—getting this economy growing, fixing our national security, fixing our health care problems, getting our budget put together. You know, the things that we’ve been talking about. So I think people should just really put their minds at ease. We are pluralistic, we’re inclusive. That’s the kind of country we want, that’s the kind of country we are, that’s the country we’re still going to have.”
Replacing Obamacare: “Well, what I encourage people to do is go to better.gop—it’s number five in our plan. We put the most detail out of anybody that’s put out an Obamacare replacement plan. And it is to have an answer for everyone with pre-existing conditions, people who were uninsured. The point I would say is this, Jake: We can have a health care system in America where everyone—regardless of income or health condition—can get affordable health insurance, can get affordable health care. This is what we propose. We think a patient-centered system is the right way to do that. And you can have this system without a costly government takeover like Obamacare that is cranking up premiums, that is making deductibles so high, it doesn’t even feel like you have health insurance. Obamacare is failing—it must be replaced.”
President-elect Trump: “What I think people need to stop doing is stop underestimating Donald Trump. A lot of us did that. I think he’s very much of the mindset that there is a need to unify this country, to heal the division in this country. But also there’s a mandate, and a desire, and a commitment to fix the problems as we’ve laid the solutions out. So, we all laid out very concrete solutions for why we need to get this country back on track. We’re now going to implement those solutions. We think this is good. We think this is going to help people get out of poverty, we think this is going to grow the economy, make our country more secure, make our border secure, help the military go on offense against ISIS, clean up the red tape that is strangling small businesses so they can hire people again. These are good things that we have in store that we’re really excited about getting to work on for the American people.”Read More
WASHINGTON—Today, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) attended the Janesville Patriotic Society’s Veterans Day Program in Janesville, Wisconsin. Following are his remarks as prepared for delivery:
"Well, thank you very much. I’m always happy to spend time in Janesville. But it’s a special honor to spend this day with all of you. Simply put, I couldn’t be prouder of our veterans. They are the pride of our community. They, better than anyone, demonstrate those classic American values: duty, honor, country. They give those words real meaning. And that’s why we set aside this day to honor them.
"I’ve been coming to events like these for years. And every time, I struggle to find just the right words to express my gratitude and admiration. To be honest, I don’t always feel up to the task—because whatever I come up with seems wholly inadequate. But after thinking it over, I’ve decided there are only three ways to properly honor our veterans: to remember, to reflect, and to pray.
"There are so many great stories about our state’s veterans—stories of heroism and derring-do. I think of Thomas Griffin, of Green Bay, who was a bomber navigator in Doolittle’s Raid; or John Bradley, of Antigo, who helped raise the American flag over Iwo Jima. Then there are the Janesville Tankers—the 99 men from Company A of the 192nd Tank Battalion, who braved the brutal Bataan Death March. Only 33 survived. And, of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Army Cpl. Donald R. Hendrickson, who is now being recognized after being reported missing in action during the Korean War 60 long years ago.
"These are amazing stories. They remind us that greatness is not the domain of the rich and powerful. It is found in the hearts of everyday people—people who can be called upon at any moment, no matter what their lot their life. These stories are our most precious inheritance—because they do not simply preserve the memory of the past; they inspire us to even greater feats in the future. That’s why we must pass them on to the next generation. We must always remember the heroes in our midst.
"I’d say these stories are so inspiring that they should prompt us to reflect. Do we truly appreciate what it took to make this country free? Do we make the most of our freedom? Would our veterans be as proud of us and our daily lives as we are of them and their heroic deeds? In a way, Veterans Day is not solely for our veterans; it is for all of us. It is a day to take stock of what we are doing with the freedom our veterans have sacrificed so much to protect. I’d like to think that most of the time we would be found worthy. But there’s no denying that sometimes we fall short.
"And that’s why, on a day like this, we can’t help but turn to God—to ask for his mercy and to seek his guidance. This is a great country he has given us. He has blessed us many times over. We should recognize those blessings. We should give thanks. We should pray. And so I just want to say to you, on this Veterans Day, thank you. Thank you for all you have done for our country. It is an honor to work for you. It is an honor simply to know you. And that is why, I am so glad to salute all of you—this little platoon of moral might—the veterans of Janesville, Wisconsin. Thank you."Read More
WASHINGTON—In this week’s Republican address, Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) pays a special tribute to our nation’s veterans, thanking them for their service and discussing House Republican ideas to honor their sacrifices. “The cost of war never leaves a veteran, and it’s our duty to properly honor their dedication,” said Rep. Wilson. “Not only because it’s the right thing to do. It shows young people who raise their hand to serve that we will always take care of them and their families. Republicans are committed to honoring those who served by modernizing the institutions that serve them.”
To learn more about the #BetterWay agenda, visit better.gop. Note: The audio of the weekly address is available here. Learn more about Rep. Wilson by following him on Twitter, liking his Facebook page, or visiting his website.
Remarks of Representative Joe Wilson of South Carolina Weekly Republican Address Columbia, South Carolina Friday, November 11, 2016
It is fitting that at the end of a long campaign, we take time to honor our nation’s veterans. After all, their dedication affords us the blessings of self-government. A peaceful transition of power is one of our finest democratic traditions, and generation after generation, it is protected by brave men and women. Politicians come and go, but the service of our veterans is an unbroken chain.
In South Carolina, we’re a patriotic state with more than 37,000 active duty members serving our country. As the grateful son of a World War II flying tiger, a 31-year veteran myself, and as the father of four sons who have served overseas in the South Carolina Army National Guard and [the] Navy, I can personally attest to the truth, that when a loved one goes to war, the entire family does as well. The stories of our veterans—our heroes—never cease to inspire me.
But far too often in recent years, the stories we hear are ones of struggle. Many veterans have had a hard time making the transition. They struggle to find steady work. They drive miles to their VA clinic or hospital and fail to get quality care, or any kind of care whatsoever. The system is riddled with delays and mismanagement.
Sadly, we’ve had veterans die while waiting for care. And just one VA executive has been fired for manipulating wait lists. It’s just tragic, and unacceptable. The cost of war never leaves a veteran, and it’s our duty to properly honor their dedication. Not only because it’s the right thing to do. It shows young people who raise their hand to serve that we will always take care of them and their families. Republicans are committed to honoring those who served by modernizing the institutions that serve them. The House has passed a series of reforms to deliver a 21st-century health care system for our veterans.
We have also acted to reform the VA itself. For example, bureaucrats who fail our veterans shouldn’t be given big bonuses; they should be held fully accountable. We will keep passing reforms, but what the VA truly needs—and what our veterans truly deserve—is a sweeping change of culture at the VA. Today we recommit ourselves to this work. One thing we can all do today—wherever we are—is take time to thank a veteran. Thank them for their service. Thank their families for their commitment. As a military parent, I can’t tell you how much this means. It shows that we do not take our veterans for granted. And it reminds us how truly fortunate we are to live in a free—and grateful—nation. Freedom is not free, as Specialist Thomas Coffman valiantly wrote in his last letter to his family before he gave his life for America in Iraq.
God bless our troops. God bless their families. And God bless the United States of America.Read More
Earlier this evening, Speaker Ryan appeared on Fox News’s Special Report with Bret Baier to discuss his meeting with President-Elect Trump. Here are excerpts from the interview:
More on today’s meeting: “We had a great working lunch . . . What I got out of Donald Trump today is: This is a man of action. He is ready to get working. He wants to get it done for the country. . . .We’re already talking about how to execute plans, how to get the transition working, how to make 2017 a success for the American people that just asked him to be president of the United States. . . . Look, Donald Trump heard something out there in America that no one else heard. He heard and he saw a movement out there. He pulled off, like I said yesterday, one of the most impressive political feats I have seen in my lifetime. It is an amazing thing. And so, Donald Trump deserves all that credit.” Progress for the American people: “What we got from our president-elect today is: Let’s go now and execute. Let’s go get these things done. I think about just the regulations. Think about the out of work coal workers. Think about the out of work timber workers in the West. Think about the ranchers who are getting hit by the interior department. Think about all these regulations that Obama’s planning on rolling out that will put a wet rag, a dark cloud on our economy. It’s being lifted. Donald Trump’s election right there just from regulations helps saves millions of jobs, helps the economy. And that’s before we even get going on passing a legislative agenda to get people back to work to fix our country’s problems. So, we’re all very excited about getting to work on this.” Obamacare’s problems: “You have to remember when Obamacare became [law], Obamacare rewrote Medicare, rewrote Medicaid. So if you’re going to repeal and replace Obamacare, you have to address those issues as well. So what a lot of folks don’t realize is this 21-person board called the IPAB is about to kick in with price controls on Medicare. What people don’t realize is because of Obamacare, Medicare is going broke, Medicare is going to have price controls. Because of Obamacare, Medicaid is in fiscal stress. So you have to deal with those issues if you’re going to repeal and replace Obamacare. Medicare has got some serious problems because of Obamacare. So those things are part of our plan to replace Obamacare.”Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and President-elect Donald Trump made the following remarks today after their meeting on Capitol Hill:
SPEAKER RYAN: “Let me just say how excited we are about these opportunities for the country. We had a fantastic, productive meeting about getting to work, rolling up our sleeves, and going to work for the American people. Donald Trump had one of the most impressive victories we’ve ever seen. And we’re going to turn that victory into progress for the American people, and we are now talking about how to hit the ground running, and make sure we get this country turned around, and make America great again.” PRESIDENT-ELECT TRUMP: “Well thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. It’s been an honor. We had a meeting with the president, as you know, before, and it was an excellent meeting. We just spent quite a bit of time together, and we’re going to do some absolutely spectacular things for the American people. We look forward to starting, because truthfully, we can’t get started fast enough. Whether it’s health care or immigration, so many different things, we’ll be working on them very rapidly, and I think we’re going to putting things up very quickly. We had a very good meeting, a very detailed meeting. We’re going to lower taxes, as you know. We’re going to fix health care, make it more affordable, and better. We’re going to do a real job for the public. That’s what we want to do, and that’s why we’re excited.”
After the media availability, Speaker Ryan showed President-Elect Trump the Speaker’s Balcony overlooking the West Front of the Capitol, where he will be sworn in as the 45th president of the United States. Watch the video on Facebook Live here.
Showing President-elect Donald Trump where he'll be sworn in as the 45th President of the United States.Posted by Speaker Paul Ryan on Thursday, November 10, 2016
Everyone knows the rules: this is a rundown of the things we didn’t e-mail out recently. You already get enough roundups, so we like to do something different. Don’t get me wrong, the stuff we did e-mail out was great. Of our 33 pieces of original content in October, many were about the Better Way agenda, including this whiteboard video series. We looked at the latest Obamacare problems. And the latest Iran Deal problems too. We heard from Speaker Ryan about this important generational moment that we're in, and his style of hopeful and inclusive conservatism.
With that--and an unnecessary 'by the numbers' theme--here are five moments that you may have missed:
5 in 20. Typically, Speaker Ryan signs bills towards the end of the week before they go off to the president's desk. Sometimes, we take a photo with the author of the bill. Sometimes, we hold an enrollment ceremony. Or we just have a stack for him to sign before he flies home to the family, and we try to make it efficient as possible.
4 in 1. The view from the Speaker's Balcony is great, but it's the visitors who make it so special. And these photos feature four (very) different types of visitors, from the Prime Minister of Australia to Challenger the Eagle.
It's been how long? The restoration of the Capitol Dome--a three-year project--is nearly complete, which means the Rotunda recently re-opened without any scaffolding or construction for the first time in quite a while.
One year. Last Saturday marked one year since Speaker Ryan was elected Speaker. "We've started making changes to how Congress does business," he said on Instagram, "but there is a lot that still needs to be done."
A photo posted by Speaker Paul Ryan (@speakerryan) onOct 27, 2016 at 8:56am PDT
Since news broke that Obamacare premiums will rise by double digits next year, we’ve been waiting for the law's defenders to level with the American people. Instead, their emotions have been all over the place: Guilt. Laughter. Denial. Blame.
Even though Obamacare was written and rushed through Congress by Democrats, it’s somehow Republicans and the media who are to blame for its shortcomings (see: rising premiums, minimal millennial interest, unsustainable costs, etc.) But try as they might to cast blame upon everyone else, “this law can't be fixed” because of its design—and that’s causing a lot of mixed feelings on the left. Take a ride on this emotional rollercoaster with us:
“Bad PR.” According to an architect of Obamacare, the law isn’t popular simply because of “bad PR.” “Obamacare, as you know, is not popular,” Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel said in a recent interview. “It’s been bad PR, but not bad on the substance.” That’s interesting—we thought higher prices, restricted access, and lower quality make for some pretty terrible substance.
Making a joke of it. In an interview conducted earlier this year, a trio of President Obama’s former speechwriters discussed the best parts about their old jobs. When the now infamous “if you like your plan, you can keep it” line was mentioned, the group broke out into a fit of laughter. Seems like an odd reaction to millions of Americans losing their health coverage.
It's not me—it's you. Even the Democrats who are owning up to Obamacare’s flaws are still blaming congressional Republicans. Whether it’s begging Republicans for help or comparing Obamacare to the Ten Commandments (what?), somehow, President Obama and his liberal colleagues don’t feel responsible for the law’s failures. But no matter how they try to spin it, Americans nationwide are rejecting what Obamacare has to offer.
When all else fails... When blaming Republicans doesn’t work, apparently it’s the media’s fault that people aren’t signing up for Obamacare. Referring to the recent news that premiums will double all across the nation next year, President Obama said volunteers will need to “clear the mud off the windshield” to convince people to sign up. But as you and I both know, the only thing that needs cleaning up is the law itself.
Americans deserve better. House Republicans are offering a #BetterWay for your health care. If you’re a fan of more choices, lower costs, and higher quality care, then you’ll like what we have to offer—check it out now on better.gop.Read More
Republicans continue to take the Better Way agenda to the country, promoting positive solutions to address the big challenges of the day. Here’s a recent snapshot from a dozen states around the country:
Rep. Martha Roby (R-AL) “spoke to members of the Greenville Chamber of Commerce to promote the Republican agenda called A Better Way. … National Security, getting the government out of the health care business, tax reform, focusing on our economy, and our job creation and how important that is to American families,’ Roby said.” (WSFA)
And here’s Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-AL) speaking to the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce: “Byrne … offered a remedy: the ‘Better Way’ agenda being presented by House Republicans. … Championed by House Speaker Paul Ryan, the ‘Better Way’ is a six-point plan addressing poverty, national security, the economy, health care, tax reform and the Constitution. Byrne described it as ‘the stuff we need to be doing the day after next Tuesday.’” (AL.com)
— Rep. Bruce Westerman (@RepWesterman) November 1, 2016
This week, Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-AR) discussed A Better Way at Jasper City Hall in Newton County.
— Mimi Walters (@RepMimiWalters) October 31, 2016
Appearing on This Day in Laguna Woods, Rep. Mimi Walters (R-CA) said, “We actually have a very good plan in place, and it’s called ‘A Better Way.’ … It’s a six-point plan. First of all, how do we get the economy started again?”
In a four-part interview with KRAI, Rep. Scott Tipton (R-CO) “gave Wild West Radio an overview of The Better Way Program, which is House Republicans’ response to policies enacted by the Obama administration.” (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4)
From Rep. Ken Buck’s interview with The Lamar Ledger: “‘There is a plan we have put out and it is called a better way,’ he said. … It dealt with six different subjects, he said, including taking people out of poverty and national defense. … ‘There is a very specific how Republican plan on what to do with health care in this country,’ he said.”
— John Shimkus (@RepShimkus) October 31, 2016
Rep. Susan Brooks (R-IN) recently visited a local YMCA to talk about child care: “Brooks, R-5th District, made the stop in Kokomo to get a look at the inter-workings of child care centers as part of a congressional initiative to make quality child care available to all families. … The initiative, called ‘The Better Way,’ features a section on poverty that puts an emphasis on ensuring “poor kids have more opportunities to succeed, from childhood to college.” (Kokomo Perspective)
Speaking at the Elkhart Rotary Club, Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-IN) “said she is excited to be part of a Republican-led initiative called ‘A Better Way,’ designed to reform the country's welfare system. ‘We need to help build a bridge that will take people out of poverty,’ she said. ‘I want to work towards a solution that will end the cycle of poverty many families are experiencing. Right now our system is built for failure.’” (The Elkhart Truth)
“Lynn Jenkins takes pride, she says, in listening to the voices of everyday Kansans. … ‘Our better way agenda, proposes common sense reforms to get the government out of the way by implementing practical solutions to real problems,’ said Jenkins.” (6News)
Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-OH) talked about the plan during an appearance on Around Miami Township: “We addressed poverty, tax reform, economic reform, health care, national security, and the probably biggest one affecting America today, is how we’ve drifted from constitutional authority. … There are many people that are in poverty that don’t know how to get out. They find it’s a full-time job just to work through the system … One of the things we’re working on in A Better Way is bringing this down to the local level...”
“U.S. Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., is highly concerned about the precedent being set by President Barack Obama with a continuing “overreach” of authority that threatens the separation of powers in the U.S. Constitution. …He invites people to check out ‘A Better Way,’ the Republican vision for a confident America in addressing issues with foreign policy and domestically at better.gop.” (The Dalles Chronicle)
“Rothfus hosts session on drugs, poverty, other local issues. ... He discussed upward mobility in context of House Republicans’ Better Way agenda that has steps designed to address poverty, national security, bailouts, executive branch power, tax codes and the Affordable Care Act. (The Tribune-Democrat)
“U.S. Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Clarendon, in a letter to constituents urged people to meet with health insurance professionals for help signing up for plans. ‘Those of us who have opposed this law at every step have known that Americans would end up paying more for less coverage," he said. ‘House Republicans will be ready in 2017 to push our 'A Better Way,' which includes real solutions to fix our health care system.’” (Times Record News)
Rep. David McKinley (R-WV) recently sat down with The Dominion Post editorial board: “House GOP leadership … has formulated a plan called ‘A Better Way’ that addresses six topics, including health care and tax reform. It notes that the current code is 70,000 pages ‘We know our tax code is broken.’”Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement on Obamacare’s Open Enrollment period for 2017, which began today:
"For far too many Americans, Obamacare open enrollment means it’s open season on their wallets. These eye-popping premium hikes are just more evidence that Obamacare is not working. Here’s a better way: repeal this broken law and implement real, patient-centered solutions so that you can pick the plan the meets your needs—not Washington’s mandates."Read More
Right now, our tax code looks like a block of Swiss cheese. It’s got all these carveouts and loopholes. And the IRS is the one calling the shots. There is a better way. Our plan makes the tax code flatter. We close those loopholes and use that money to cut tax rates for everyone: workers, families, and small businesses too. And one more thing: Our plan makes the tax code simpler—so simple, in fact, that you can do your taxes on a form the size of a postcard. Learn more at better.gop.
We have a plan to simplify the tax code so most Americans can file on a form the size of a postcard.Posted by Speaker Paul Ryan on Monday, September 19, 2016
BREAKING NEWS → The FBI is reopening its investigation into Secretary Hillary Clinton.My full statement ⇩ pic.twitter.com/LHfyg46dWk— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) October 28, 2016
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement on the FBI reopening its investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s email arrangement:
“Yet again, Hillary Clinton has nobody but herself to blame. She was entrusted with some of our nation’s most important secrets, and she betrayed that trust by carelessly mishandling highly classified information. This decision, long overdue, is the result of her reckless use of a private email server, and her refusal to be forthcoming with federal investigators. I renew my call for the Director of National Intelligence to suspend all classified briefings for Secretary Clinton until this matter is fully resolved.”
BREAKING NEWS → The FBI is reopening its investigation into Secretary Hillary Clinton. She has no one but herself to blame.Posted by Speaker Paul Ryan on Friday, October 28, 2016
WASHINGTON—In this week’s Republican address, Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-TX) discusses the #BetterWay alternative to Obamacare—one that, instead of imposing higher costs and limited choices, offers affordable, reliable health care.
“Republicans are offering a plan to repeal Obamacare and replace it with real, sensible, patient-centered solutions,” said Rep. Ratcliffe. “Because in a nation of 323 million people, it makes no sense for unelected bureaucrats to dictate your health insurance plans. . . . We can bring hope, lean on one another, and share in the work of getting our country back on track. That really is a better way.”
NOTE: The audio of the weekly address is available here.
Remarks of Representative John Ratcliffe of Texas Weekly Republican Address Rockwall, Texas October 29, 2016
Twenty-two percent. That’s how much more the average midlevel Obamacare plan will cost next year.
Now that’s just an average. For many families, the increase will be much more. In Pennsylvania, the average increase will be 53 percent. In Tennessee, 63 percent. And in Arizona, the average increase will be—get this—116 percent. That translates to hundreds of dollars out of your pocket each and every month. This is money that you could be using to save for your children’s college education, to put food on the table or to pay your utility bills.
And here in Texas, the Obama administration has just approved rate increases for health care plans that will go up as much as 70 percent.
If you try switching your plan to avoid these sky-rocketing premiums, that, of course, means that you very well may have to find a new doctor or a new hospital. And if you’re getting treatment from a doctor you’ve trusted for years, it’s easier said than done to simply abandon that relationship and start over from scratch. So the reality is you’re stuck paying these higher premiums.
If you do decide to switch coverage, you’ll have even less to choose from. Here’s how I can best illustrate it. This next year, ten times the number of customers using the federal exchange will have only one insurance company to choose from—if you can even call that a choice.
As you can see, Obamacare is more than just another pile of broken promises. It’s the worst of all worlds. It’s higher costs and fewer choices. It’s less freedom and more government. It’s more uncertainty and less peace of mind. But there is a better way.
Republicans are offering a plan to repeal Obamacare and replace it with real, sensible, patient-centered solutions. Because in a nation of 323 million people, it makes no sense for unelected bureaucrats to dictate your health insurance plans.
Our plan gives you more control so you can choose the plan that best fits your needs—not Washington’s mandates. That means things like making it easier to take insurance from job to job. Giving small businesses more leverage to negotiate better rates. And finally allowing health insurance to be sold across state lines.
This plan is one plank of the agenda we call a Better Way. You can get all the details by going to better.gop.
A Better Way is built on our founding principles—of liberty, free enterprise, and consent of the governed.
And it’s bold, too. In addition to health care, a Better Way takes on poverty. It takes on our broken tax code and the IRS. It takes on this sluggish economy. And it takes on big government—all of the overreach, all of the abuses, all of the arrogance coming out of Washington, DC.
This plan restores the separation of powers needed to stop unelected bureaucrats from steamrolling hard-working Americans with regulations out of thin air.
Look, we don’t have to throw in the towel on the tough issues. We can tackle them head-on. Instead of the usual finger-pointing, we can take a positive approach to the problems that we face.
We can be open and transparent, and have a government that honors the Constitution and works for the people. We can bring hope, lean on one another, and share in the work of getting our country back on track. That really is a better way.Read More
America’s economy is the greatest in the world, but we are far from our potential—anemic growth, flat wages, and more than 94 million people out of the workforce. There is a better way, and it starts with getting government OUT of the way.
Our plan caps the amount of regulatory costs that Washington can impose on you and your family. We end needless delays of energy projects and pipelines, meaning lower costs and more good-paying jobs. And no more bailouts. Instead, we will reward people who work hard and do the right thing.
Learn more at better.gop.
WASHINGTON—Today, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) announced that Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-TX) will deliver the Weekly Republican Address on Saturday, October 29. Earlier this week, the Obama administration confirmed that Obamacare premiums will rise by double digits next year. As communities nationwide are preparing for these devastating price increases, Rep. Ratcliffe will discuss how House Republicans are offering a #BetterWay to achieve quality, more affordable health care.
“The drastic premium rate hikes confirmed for next year and the rapid drop-out of insurance providers from the federal exchanges are just a couple of symptoms that make it clear Obamacare is flawed at its core,” said Rep. Ratcliffe. “That’s why House Republicans are doing more than pointing out Obamacare’s problems—we’ve laid out specific, patient-centered solutions that will put people back in control of their own healthcare.”
“It’s been a rough week for Obamacare—but not nearly as rough as next year will be for everyone who’s forced to use it,” said Speaker Ryan. “This law is fundamentally flawed and hurting the people it was supposed to help the most. As John will discuss in his address, Americans deserve better than this—and House Republicans are offering a plan that gets us there.”
Rep. John Ratcliffe is the congressman representing the Fourth District of Texas. He is a limited-government conservative with a well-established record of defending the Constitution and balancing budgets without raising taxes. He believes the strength of our country comes from the liberty and ingenuity of the American people, not the stifling overreach of the federal government.
NOTE: The Weekly Republican Address will be available starting Saturday, October 29, at 6:00 a.m. ET on speaker.gov.Read More
Government has gotten out of control—too big and too arrogant. After decades of overreach by both parties, it is time we restore our Constitution. Here is a better way. Under our plan, Congress will impose new limits on spending and enforce clear lines of authority. This way, the laws we live under are being written by the people we vote for—not unelected bureaucrats in some nondescript building. And we will increase transparency for taxpayers across the board. After all, sunlight is the best disinfectant. Learn more at better.gop.
“If you already have health insurance,” then-Senator Obama told us, “the only thing that will change for you under this plan is that the amount of money you will spend on premiums will be less.”
That was back in 2007, and it sounded too good to be true.
Fast-forward to yesterday, when the Obama administration casually announced that premiums will skyrocket 25 percent on average.
Over the past several years, Democrats have continued to push the false narrative that Obamacare would lower premiums for hardworking American families with stuff like this:
Don’t forget this:
Oh yeah, and this:
But hey, at least one prominent Democrat chose to level with the American people:
Interestingly enough, you won't find any of these Democrats tweeting about lower premiums lately (especially not this week). That's because they know this law is raising costs and diminishing care, and they know this is the biggest broken promise used to sell the Obamacare since “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it.” They're now desperate to fix this law, but there is only one way—one better way—to fix it.
As Speaker Ryan said yesterday, Obamacare is blowing up like a Samsung Galaxy. That’s why House Republicans are offering a Better Way to ensure all Americans have access to quality, patient-centered health care. Learn more about our plan at better.gop.Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement on the Department of Defense’s decision to suspend the collection of bonuses awarded to our veterans:
“I'm glad the Pentagon came to its senses. I want to thank everyone who spoke out on this issue, particularly Leader McCarthy and our committee chairs, for standing up for the brave men and women who serve our country in uniform. Congress will continue to work on any reforms necessary to ensure this doesn't happen again. As part of our Better Way agenda, House Republicans have put forward a plan to ensure we keep the promises made to our veterans and their families.”
The Pentagon tried to take back bonuses paid out to American veterans. Today, under pressure from Congress, they came to their senses. This is very good news for our vets.Posted by Speaker Paul Ryan on Wednesday, October 26, 2016
We want America to lead the world. But President Obama has created a void, one filled by aggressors and terrorists on the march. Our enemies no longer fear us, and our allies no longer trust us. There is a better way. Our plan sets out a clear strategy to defeat ISIS and radical Islamist extremism. We will protect the homeland, keeping terrorists out of America and securing our borders, and we will make sure that our troops always have the tools they need. What's more—they’ll get a well-deserved raise too.
Learn more at better.gop.
Our veterans deserve better than what the VA is offering.Posted by Speaker Paul Ryan on Friday, October 14, 2016
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement on the Department of Defense's demand for our veterans to repay their bonuses:
"When those Californians answered the call to duty they earned more from us than bureaucratic bungling and false promises. The House has already taken steps to fix this kind of injustice in the future. Now, the Pentagon should immediately suspend efforts to recover these overpayments, so Congress has time to complete the work we began in May to protect service members from lifelong liability for DOD's mistakes."
Background: Section 642 of the FY 2017 National Defense Authorization Act, which passed the House on May 18, would establish a statute of limitations on the military's ability to recover future overpayments and would scrutinize the Defense Finance and Accounting Service’s management of existing cases of service member debt. Section 642 is an important first step toward establishing a common standard for correcting accounting errors that applies equally to both the Department of Defense and the individual service member.Read More
In a nation of 323 million people, it makes no sense for one federal bureaucracy to dictate Americans' health insurance plans. But that’s exactly what Obamacare does, and it is not working.
Our plan gives you more control so you can choose the plan that best meets your needs—not Washington’s mandates. We will:
You can do it for your car, why can’t you do it for your care too?
All of this will help lower premiums. And instead of Washington at the center of your health care, it will be you and your doctor.
Learn more at better.gop.
President Obama promised Obamacare would lower premiums for the typical family by $2,500. Instead average premiums in job-based coverage increased by $3,775.
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement after the Obama administration confirmed that premiums will rise by double digits next year under its health care law:
"The president recently compared Obamacare to a Samsung Galaxy Note 7, and he's right: this disastrous law is blowing up. But at least you can return the phone. Families are stuck paying these higher premiums, and Democrats only want to double down on Obamacare. There is a better way. Republicans are offering a plan to repeal Obamacare, and replace it with real, patient-centered solutions that fit your needs and your budget. We don't have to accept this kind of sticker shock."
NOTE: Learn more about our health care plan at better.gop.
The president recently compared Obamacare to a Samsung Galaxy Note 7, and he's right: this disastrous law is blowing up....Posted by Speaker Paul Ryan on Monday, October 24, 2016
There's a better way to start your mornings—with a new whiteboard video every day this week. Each animation will focus on one plank of the 6-part Better Way plan from House Republicans. Today, it's all about fighting poverty.
Say you’re a mother of two making about $28,000 per year. If you get a job that pays a little more, you will lose 80 cents on the dollar. This is the problem with our welfare system today; it is basically a work replacement system. It discourages work. It penalizes work.
Under our plan, we will remove penalties so that it always pays to work. We will improve skills and job training. And we will innovate, measuring success not by how much we spend, but by how many people we help. This is how we get more Americans out of poverty and on to the ladder of opportunity.
Learn more at better.gop.
Welfare should be tied to work. ← 89% agree
The stakes are as high as they've ever been.
Every single generation of Americans has always left the next generation better off, but we know that if we stay on the path we are on, that won't be the case. We've never done that before.
That's why Republicans in the House of Representatives are offering a better way. We see this as a make-or-break time for America.
If we keep kicking the can down the road, these problems will get worse, and the solutions will not be pleasant.
But the good news is that it's not too late to get our country back on track. It's not too late to fix America's core problems. If we do it now, we can get it right, and all Americans can be better off.
P.S. I hope you'll take a few minutes to check out some of the hundreds of conservative solutions that House Republicans have proposed at better.gop.Read More
WASHINGTON—Today, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement in response to President Obama’s address to college students on the Affordable Care Act: “After listening to the president’s speech, I’m not sure what health care law he’s talking about. "He wondered out loud why there's been such a fuss. It's no secret: It's because of Obamacare. That's why we’ve seen record premium hikes. That's why millions of people—including millennials—have lost their plans, or been forced to buy plans they don’t like. That's why we've seen waste, fraud, and abuse. And at this point, one thing is clear: This law can't be fixed. “That’s why we need to repeal Obamacare and replace it with patient-centered reforms—and our plan does just that. It’s a step-by-step approach that ensures every American has access to quality, affordable health care. We believe people should have more choice—and more control—over their health care needs, and not be under the thumb of Washington bureaucrats. “Because if we want a stronger, healthier nation, we have to offer a better way for tomorrow’s generation. America’s young people know a bad deal when they see one—and Obamacare is a bad deal. It’s time to give every generation of Americans the real hope and change they deserve.”Read More
The Real Obama Liberal Legacy is a periodic series to highlight the results of liberal progressivism put into practice.
Next up, a look at how Obamacare is hurting millennials.
Later today, President Obama is heading to Miami to speak to college students about Obamacare and the progress it’s made.
But something tells us they won’t end up buying what he’s selling. They certainly haven’t so far.
Obamacare has been anything but a hit with millennials—the group has among the highest rates of uninsured in the country. This, of course, is much to the dismay of the Obama administration—that whole subsidizing thing isn’t exactly working out as planned.
Here’s the thing: President Obama desperately needs millennials to sign up for coverage in order for the program to work, but young people are choosing not to. Why’s that?
For starters, many can’t afford it. Under Obamacare, insurance companies need to sell plans to young, healthy people at steep prices to keep the system above water (more on that here.) But in a time when students are juggling rising everyday costs, record student debt, and a sluggish job market, the last thing they need is another huge expense.
Others simply don’t want to—roughly 16 percent of Americans ages 25 to 34 have chosen to remain uninsured, and about 14 percent of those ages 35 to 44 have done the same. If you’re young and healthy, why pay for something you can’t afford?
Not to mention, millennials like to customize. Whether it’s Spotify or Apple Music, Uber or Lyft, Amazon Prime or . . . (well, everyone likes Amazon Prime), the point is: We encourage the power of making your own decisions, and the freedom in it, in most aspects of life—why should that stop with health care?
Plus, it isn’t an encouraging sign for their future. A few weeks ago, one university announced it will cut the working hours of its student employees to avoid Obamacare penalties, continuing a trend we’ve seen nationwide. Yep—because of Obamacare’s employee mandates, college students are now forced to choose between prioritizing their studies and paying their bills. So basically, even if they wanted to try and make their Obamacare plan work, Obamacare itself is making it harder for them to afford it.
C'est la vie? Not if we can help it.
Republicans believe it’s the patient and their physicians who know what’s best, not the government or an insurance company. We shouldn’t force people of any age into plans they don’t want—and can’t afford—to make the system work; we should have a system that works for whoever wants to be a part of it.
And that, my friends, is what a #BetterWay is all about: patient-centered, affordable, quality health care. Learn more at better.gop.Read More
Shhh. President Obama doesn’t want you to know this, but the VA is still broken.
The president recently asserted at a CNN town hall that he “fired a whole bunch of people” who oversaw corrupt VA facilities.
The Washington Post fact checker gave this claim Four Pinocchios. That is actually more Pinocchios than senior VA officials fired for manipulating waitlists at agency health care facilities. As the Post notes, a grand total of one executive was fired for waitlist violations. One.
Then there’s VA Secretary Bob McDonald’s claim that 90 percent of VA medical center heads have been replaced since the start of his tenure in 2014. That sounds like a great talking point, but a new report from USA TODAY shows this number is just—well—manipulating the facts:
“[O]f 140 medical center directors, 92 are new since McDonald took office in July 2014. That’s 65%. Of those, only 69 are permanent placements; the rest are interim appointees. And all but eight of these directors already worked at the VA.”
These attempts to whitewash the corruption at the VA throughout the course of this administration are shameful. You can’t fix a problem if you insist it no longer exists. Here the facts speak for themselves:
This agency continues to be a national embarrassment under President Obama’s failed leadership. That’s why, as part of our Better Way agenda, House Republicans have a plan to completely overhaul the VA so it works for every single veteran and their families. As our report explains,“The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, is directly proportional to their perception of how the veterans of earlier wars were treated by their nation. We will honor those who served by modernizing the institutions that serve them.”
Learn more about our plan at better.gop.
On Monday, the president gave what was billed as a speech about his education record at a high school in Washington, DC. One line in particular was striking: “For too many students in America,” he said, “zip code still determines how far they’ll go. And that’s not acceptable.”
It certainly isn’t acceptable, which is why it so important that we promote the great diversity of schools in America, whether it’s public schools, private schools, charter schools, magnet schools, online universities, or homeschooling.
A new law—the Every Student Succeeds Act—expands school choice, including support for high-quality charter schools. In the spring, the House passed legislation reauthorizing the DC Opportunity Scholarship Program. And our Better Way agenda calls for doing more to support state and local efforts to further expand school choice.
Indeed, school choice is a lifeline for students trapped by their zip code, yet it received no mention whatsoever during the president’s speech. Not even a nod to it. Nothing.
Here was the president touting “real progress” in education, and he made no mention of charter schools—even when half of kids in DC are in charter schools, and more than 3 million students nationwide go to charter schools.
No mention of the groundbreaking DC Opportunity Scholarship Program (OSP), either. The only program where the federal government allows families to choose the schools that best fit their kids’ needs, OSP has helped thousands of DC students escape underperforming schools. Looking at last year’s results, the program had a 95 percent graduation rate, and an 87 percent satisfaction rate among parents. Nearly 82 percent of placed students were African American or Hispanic.
Perhaps the president didn’t bring up any of this because, if he had his way, the program wouldn’t even exist anymore. The administration has repeatedly zeroed out funding for DC’s school choice program, only to be foiled by a bipartisan coalition.
The president has always had it out for school choice, inside the Beltway and out. His administration sued to shut down Louisiana’s school choice program, but the suit was thrown out. And there was the Justice Department’s years-long investigation into a school choice program in Wisconsin.
School choice thrives despite all this for the very reason the president opposes it: It shifts power away from government and unelected bureaucrats, embracing local reform and empowering people on the front lines.
So now, with little to show for his quest to shut down school choice, President Obama has to settle for ignoring it. He has become, in effect, a school choice denier. And in doing so, he discounts the work of so many, year in and year out, who save kids from falling through the cracks and help get them a quality education.
Of course, school choice isn’t just something we ought to talk about—it’s something we should fight for and support every day.Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement on the Obama administration’s unilateral move to lift trade restrictions on Cuba, which took effect yesterday:
“The Castros continue to jail pro-democracy activists at a rate of hundreds per month, yet it is full steam ahead for the Obama administration’s efforts to appease this oppressive regime. President Obama’s latest move will only help finance the Castros’ grip on power and jeopardize the intellectual property rights of American businesses. As the past two years of normalizing relations have only emboldened the regime at the expense of the Cuban people, I fully intend to maintain our embargo on Cuba.”
My statement on new documents from the FBI investigation of Secretary Clinton ⇩ pic.twitter.com/TsUAlWKFUh— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) October 17, 2016
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) today responded to new documents released under a Freedom of Information Act request related to the FBI investigation of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s private email server:
“These documents further demonstrate Secretary Clinton’s complete disregard for properly handling classified information. This is exactly why I called on DNI Clapper to deny her access to classified information. Moreover, a senior State Department official’s attempt to pressure the FBI to hide the extent of this mishandling bears all the signs of a cover-up. This is why our aggressive oversight work in the House is so important, and it will continue.”
Posted by Speaker Paul Ryan on Monday, October 17, 2016Read More
“Our plan is based on the notion that the best way to restore our prosperity is to tap into the talents and aspirations of our people and then get out of their way and let them be successful,” said Rep. Cramer. He continued, “Our plan promotes reliable and affordable American energy, enhancing our global competitiveness. . . . Our plan offers a better path—an inspiring path—so we can have more success stories and more comebacks.”
NOTE: The audio of the weekly address is available here.
Remarks of Representative Kevin Cramer of North Dakota Weekly Republican Address Grand Forks, North Dakota October 15, 2016
Hi, I’m Kevin Cramer. You know, everyone loves to celebrate success. And that’s what I am doing today as I speak to you from Grand Forks, North Dakota, where the University of North Dakota College of Engineering and Mines has just dedicated a cutting-edge collaborative energy research complex. This center will bring students, faculty, and industry professionals together to develop better strategies for the next level of energy production in oil, natural gas, coal, wind, and biofuels. Our state’s “all of the above” energy policy has elevated North Dakota’s economy to the top in the nation. At the same time, we enjoy the cleanest ambient air quality in the country. And we’ve proven that a strong economy and responsible environmental stewardship can go hand-in-hand. And with this same approach, other states can achieve North Dakota’s economic success. Yet as I travel around our state, I hear from people frustrated with how needless regulations out of Washington are making things tougher—for their farms, their ranches, and their small businesses. People feel the system is working against them, no matter how hard they work, no matter how much they plan. This is always my cue to hold up this Better Way booklet and share the bold agenda that Republicans have for a more confident America. It contains more than 100 ideas to get our economy back on track, many that have worked for us right here in North Dakota.
Our plan is based on the notion that the best way to restore our prosperity is to tap into the talents and aspirations of our people and then get out of their way and let them be successful.
We will cut down on needless regulations. To do this, we want to require a vote in Congress before any major regulation can take effect. Unelected bureaucrats should not have the final say—the people and their representatives should. And we believe that there should be a cap on the amount of regulatory costs Washington can impose each year.
Our plan promotes reliable and affordable American energy, enhancing our global competitiveness. North Dakota has been a leader in our country’s energy boom—let’s continue to connect this success to the consumers and workers who benefit from it most. And no more Keystones—no more of these endless delays that hold up jobs and projects indefinitely.
This is truly a better way—far better than the path our country is on now. You know, over the last eight years, President Obama has led a regulatory onslaught the likes of which we have never seen. In fact, this administration is on pace to make this the "busiest regulatory year in history," and it won’t even be close. In the works are everything from regulating overtime pay to retirement planning.
And what do we have to show for this? This has been the slowest economic recovery since the Great Depression. People are working longer hours for less. We are not bouncing back because big government is in our way.
Our plan offers a better path—an inspiring path—so we can have more success stories and more comebacks. I encourage you to learn more about these Better Way ideas by visiting better.gop.Read More
WASHINGTON—Today, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) announced that Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) will deliver the Weekly Republican Address on Saturday, October 15. In the address, Rep. Cramer will discuss how the House Republican agenda—a #BetterWay—will help get government out of the way so businesses can create more American jobs and strengthen the economy.
“As I travel around North Dakota, my constituents tell me their greatest frustration is the overreach of the federal government,” said Rep. Cramer. “People feel the federal government is working against them, no matter how hard they work or how much they plan. That’s why the Better Way is a solution-based agenda that can help get big government out of the way and put our nation on a better path.”
“America’s energy boom has the potential to support an additional 2.3 million jobs over the next two decades—and our agenda will ensure government doesn’t get in the way,” said Speaker Ryan. “Kevin has seen firsthand what smart regulation does for economic growth. Now, it’s time to take these lessons learned and apply them on a national scale—that’s a Better Way.”
Rep. Kevin Cramer was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives on November 6, 2012. He serves on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, which has the broadest jurisdiction of any committee in Congress. He is North Dakota’s only member of the House of Representatives. A strong advocate for the free market system, Rep. Cramer has a proven record of cutting and balancing budgets, and encouraging the private sector through limited, common-sense regulations and limited government.
NOTE: The Weekly Republican Address will be available starting Saturday, October 15, at 6:00 a.m. ET on speaker.gov.Read More
WASHINGTON—The House of Representatives has filed an amicus brief to the United States Court of Federal Claims in Health Republic Insurance Company v. United States of America. The brief sets forth why insurance companies are not entitled to an Obamacare bailout. It also explains why the Obama administration's efforts to settle cases like Health Republic with billions of taxpayer dollars—when there is no legal obligation to do so—subverts the law and Constitution.
Key quote from the full brief filed yesterday evening by the House's general counsel:
"In other words, HHS is trying to force the U.S. Treasury to disburse billions of dollars of taxpayer funds to insurance companies even though DOJ has convincingly demonstrated that HHS has no legal obligation (and no legal right) to pay these sums. The House strongly disagrees with this scheme to subvert Congressional intent by engineering a massive giveaway of taxpayer money."
The follow is a longer excerpt from the brief:
“The law is clear that insurance companies operating on the health exchanges established pursuant to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act have no right to government handouts in excess of incoming funds under the Act’s risk corridors program. This is because the program was intended to be budget-neutral and self-funding – i.e., outgoing payments would be covered by incoming payments – and Congress has confirmed this intent, not once but twice, through annual appropriations legislation. The Constitution provides in unambiguous terms that ‘No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law,’ U.S. Const. art. I, § 9, cl. 7, and Congress has repeatedly exercised its constitutional authority to bar the payments at issue here.
“The Department of Justice (‘DOJ’) knows that insurers have no right to excess payments. In later-filed cases brought by other insurers seeking excess payments, DOJ moved to dismiss for failure to state a claim on the ground that the Department of Health and Human Services (‘HHS’) has no obligation to make risk corridors payments in excess of program receipts. But DOJ has inexplicably failed to apprise this Court of those arguments and of the controlling precedents that mandate dismissal of Plaintiff Health Republic Insurance Company’s complaint. HHS, for its part, is apparently bent on paying insurers despite the absence of any legal obligation to do so. Allegedly in light of a non-existent ‘litigation risk,’ HHS recently took the extraordinary step of urging insurers to enter into settlement agreements with the United States in order to receive payment on their meritless claims. In other words, HHS is trying to force the U.S. Treasury to disburse billions of dollars of taxpayer funds to insurance companies even though DOJ has convincingly demonstrated that HHS has no legal obligation (and no legal right) to pay these sums. The House strongly disagrees with this scheme to subvert Congressional intent by engineering a massive giveaway of taxpayer money.
“Particularly in light of Plaintiff’s recent motion for class certification in this case, DOJ’s troubling failure to raise these arguments here should not deprive this Court of the opportunity to consider these compelling grounds for dismissal of Plaintiff’s claims, so as to resolve this case in a manner that is consistent with binding precedent and avoids the unnecessary expenditure of judicial resources.
“The House urges this Court to dismiss Plaintiff’s claims with prejudice in light of the arguments set forth in the attached memoranda of law.”Read More
The Real Obama Liberal Legacy is a periodic series to highlight the results of liberal progressivism put into practice.
Next up, the president’s budgets. In eight years, the president has never proposed a balanced budget—not once.
The promise: “If we can get on a path of sustained growth, end the war in Iraq, end some of the special interest loopholes and earmarks that have been clogging up the system, then I think we can return to a path of a balanced budget.” — Sen. Barack Obama, 12/13/2007.
The reality: It’s pretty hard to get on that path if the president won’t propose a balanced budget. Not once in eight years has President Obama done so. Not in 2009, or in 2010, or in 2011, or in 2012, or in 2013, or in 2014, or in 2015, or in 2016.
Instead, the national debt has almost doubled under his watch—from $10.6 trillion in January 2009 to $19.4 trillion in August 2016.
The president never promised to balance the budget, but he did promise to cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term—a promise he conspicuously didn’t keep.
And though the deficit has fallen in recent years, the White House now says this year’s deficit will be $600 billion, an $162 billion increase from last year.
In other words, balancing the budget was never a priority for this president. Instead, he’s more interested in increasing spending by $2.5 trillion and raising taxes by $3.4 trillion over the next ten years. This is yet another disappointing part of the president’s liberal legacy.Read More
I get a lot of young people asking me: 'Why should I choose the Republican party or conservatism?'
Conservatism means we want to conserve what is good—liberty, freedom, free enterprise, self determination—so that we are in control of our lives.
The way I see it is that you don't want to just live a good life. You want to lead a good life. And if you want to be able to lead your life then you want to have a country founded on core principles that allow that to happen.
Conservatism is optimistic. It's hopeful. And it's inclusive because it applies equally to everybody.Read More
The Survivors’ Bill of Rights Act, introduced by Rep. Mimi Walters (R-CA) and Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), has a simple goal: to protect the rights of sexual assault survivors. In early September, it passed the House on an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote, guaranteeing survivors stronger protections and greater access to legal remedies.
After the Senate followed suit, thanks to the leadership of Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA), Speaker Ryan had the honor of signing this legislation alongside Rep. Walters. And today, the president signed it into law.
With this bill, Congress helps gives a voice to the voiceless. Because victims of sexual assault deserve full protection under the law—and this legislation reaffirms the fact that their right to justice is unconditional.Read More
The Obama administration has done just about everything possible to appease Iran.
Now they’ve gone ballistic.
Last week, we learned that the administration lifted some ballistic missile sanctions on Tehran on the very same day American hostages were released. This was also the day that Iran received its first installment of a $1.7 billion cash ransom payment paid in untraceable foreign currency.
So what’s going on here?
As you probably remember, the Obama administration sold this deal on the promise that non-nuclear sanctions targeting ballistic missile, terrorism, and human rights abuses would be left intact.
Check out how the White House fact sheet explains this:
The problem here is twofold:
First, by removing these sanctions a full seven years early, the administration apparently violated the nuclear deal.
And second, this was apparently part of the broader ransom deal with Iran—one that puts a price on Americans traveling abroad.
As Speaker Ryan said last week, “This story grows more disturbing with each passing day. . . . These additional secret concessions directly jeopardize our national security, and cast further doubt on this flimsy agreement. President Obama owes the American people an immediate explanation.”Read More
Recently, Speaker Ryan held a Facebook Live Q&A with Rep. Martha McSally (R-AZ), a 26-year veteran and the first American woman to fly a plane in combat.
The entire video is just 14 minutes long—considerably shorter than some other TV programming you likely watched earlier this week—but if you're still pressed for time, here are the three big takeaways:
The Speaker's office held another Facebook live event this week: a bill signing to honor veterans of the Korean War. Check it out here.Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement on the Paris climate agreement set to go into effect next month:
“The Paris climate deal would be disastrous for the American economy. It carelessly throws away the great gains that the United States has made over the past decade in energy development. The abundant, low-cost energy that we have unlocked will now be shut in the ground, eliminating the economic growth and jobs that come with development. The result will be higher energy costs for Americans—which will be especially painful for the poorest among us. Furthermore, President Obama has once again acted unlawfully by signing an international treaty without Senate ratification, as required by the Constitution.”
Religious liberty around the world is in peril. The plight of Christians in the Middle East and the state of Christians’ religious liberty here at home are top priorities of House Republicans and the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic fraternal brotherhood which provides charitable relief at home and around the world, and of which Speaker Ryan is a proud member.
Speaker Ryan met with Supreme Knight Carl Anderson last month to discuss the need to stand by Christians in their time of persecution.
In many Middle Eastern countries, Christians are not free to openly practice their religion. If discovered, they are demoted to second-class citizens. But it doesn’t end there. There have been systematic, targeted attacks of Christians by ISIS and dictators like Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Congress has taken this horrifying persecution very seriously. Earlier this year, Speaker Ryan demanded the administration call the persecution of Christians what it was: a genocide. In March, the administration complied and finally named it a genocide.
Unfortunately, religious liberty in the United States is also under fire from the Obama administration. This has been a top issue for House Republicans, who have stood with the Little Sisters of the Poor in their fight against the HHS mandate that would cause them to violate their beliefs. We have repeatedly called upon the administration to give the nuns relief from the mandate and have filed an amicus brief in their case in front of the Supreme Court. The Little Sisters have been Speaker Ryan’s honored guests at this year’s State of the Union address.
One of Speaker Ryan’s proudest moments was in July, when the House passed the Conscience Protection Act, which protects health care providers that refuse to be involved in performing abortions because it violates their conscience.
As he said on the House floor,
“The federal government has not been protecting people’s rights. . . . allowing this trend to continue will only erode our First Amendment rights even further. It will continue to push people of faith onto the sidelines of society. That is not the kind of country we want to live in—any of us. There is nothing more fulfilling than to live out our faith. We want all people—of all faiths—to live freely in our country. But we can live out our faith only if our government respects our faith.”
House Republicans are absolutely committed to protecting and promoting religious liberty. This is a principle inherent to the flourishing of American civil society and it’s critical for groups like the Little Sisters of the Poor and the Knights of Columbus, which add so much to the welfare of Americans here at home and around the world.
The Real Obama Liberal Legacy is a periodic series to highlight the results of liberal progressivism put into practice.
Next up, the Obama administration's "free" community college plan.
The promise: On January 9, 2015, the Obama administration unveiled a plan to offer two years of community college for “free” to American students.
The reality: There was nothing free about this plan—not even in our Wildest Dreams™. The president’s fiscal year 2016 budget revealed that this program would actually cost taxpayers $60 billion over ten years—a figure that increased to $90 billion in a draft bill unveiled by Senate Democrats. Reducing high college costs is a top priority on both sides of the aisle—but that won’t happen by unfairly raising taxes on the middle class.
Don’t resources already exist to help make college more affordable? Indeed. Consider this: Public two-year colleges cost an average of $3,440 a year; a low-income student can receive up to $5,815 in Pell grants annually. As Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline explained, ushering in a “free” community college program would “compete with existing programs for limited taxpayer dollars,” complicating current commitments to Americans already pursuing higher education using other federal resources.
So what does real reform look like? Glad you asked, because House Republicans want to make college more affordable—and that’s a promise we can keep. The House has passed a number of bills to strengthen higher education, from simplifying the financial aid process to enhancing support and transparency—and that’s just the beginning. We will continue to expand access to 529 plans—college savings accounts available for families planning ahead. We will write more legislation that actually keeps student loan interest rates low—and manageable. But most importantly, instead of implementing another bureaucratic, top-down scheme, we will leave the decision-making to the states and American taxpayers—allowing for tailored solutions that help expand opportunity for continued education.
That would be a—you guessed it!—#BetterWay. The Obama administration’s “free” community college would result in higher taxes on families already saving for college—and more infighting for federal dollars that are already stretched too thin. Under current law, tax benefits are too complicated, leaving many taxpayers unaware of what they are eligible for. House Republicans want to streamline education benefits and help more Americans earn a college education—and we invite our friends on the other side of the aisle to hop on the bus toward more fiscally responsible solutions.Read More
So crazy. Everyone's talking about this Bill Clinton analysis of Obamacare's problems:
“You’ve got this crazy system where all of a sudden 25 million more people have health care, and then the people who are out there busting it, sometimes 60 hours a week, wind up with their premiums doubled and their coverage cut in half and it’s the craziest thing in the world. … But the people getting killed in this deal are the small-business people and individuals who make just a little bit too much to get any of these subsidies.”
Before this gets out of hand, we are going to FACT CHECK this thing:
Another day, another domino: now Maryland’s Obamacare co-op has failed, forced to become a for-profit company to survive. The Washington Post sums up the grim state of things:
“If the switch is approved as expected by federal and state officials, Evergreen’s unprecedented move will leave standing only five of the 23 co-ops, or Consumer Operated and Oriented Plans, which started nearly three years ago. The other 17 co-ops have either collapsed or been ordered to close by state regulators because of their financial fragility, leaving hundreds of thousands of people to scramble for new coverage.”
All told, it has been estimated that these shutdowns have forced more than 800,000 people to look for new coverage.
There’s a better way. In stark contrast, Republicans are offering a better way—a plan to repeal Obamacare and replace it with real, patient-centered solutions:
- Rep. Diane Black (R-TN): “My conservative colleagues and I have offered ideas on health reform all along. Most recently, we compiled these proposals into a comprehensive plan that we are calling a “Better Way” for health reform; a substantive, 37-page policy agenda covering everything from medical malpractice reform, to maintaining guaranteed coverage for those with pre-existing conditions, to spurring competition by allowing the sale of health insurance across state lines.” (TheBlaze)
- Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-AL): “A major component of our ‘Better Way’ plan is to give Americans more choices when it comes to health care. We need to spur competition and innovation, which in turn will help drive down costs. We do this by making health care portable and offering a refundable tax credit to help you buy insurance on the individual market.” (Alabama Political Reporter)
- Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO): “Health care is being hampered by Obamacare, there’s no two ways about it. That’s why the Better Way would offer more choices and lower costs, implement real protections and cutting-edge treatments, and also protects and preserves Medicare.” (Colorado Springs Business Journal)
— Rep. Steve Scalise (@SteveScalise) October 3, 2016
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then here are 10,000 words dedicated to my favorite moments from September in the Speaker's office. Of course, you don't have to wait until the beginning of each month to see these photos; you can also follow @SpeakerRyan on Instagram to see them as they happen.
1. Staring contest
2. A House united in remembrance of September 11th
3. The new librarian of Congress
4. Setting the stage for the presidential inauguration
5. Airmen of the Year
6. Thomas Edison comes to the Capitol
7. The handoff
8. Sunset with the Australian Prime Minister
9. A legislative victory for Korean War veterans
The Korean War is often referred to as 'the forgotten war,' but we want to make sure that is never the case. That's why...Posted by Speaker Paul Ryan on Thursday, September 29, 2016
10. Kyle Busch makes a right turnRead More
WASHINGTON—In this week’s Republican address, House Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price, M.D. (R-GA) discusses our plan to repeal Obamacare and replace it with patient-centered solutions.
The address comes on the third anniversary of the rollout of Obamacare. It serves as a prebuttal to a health care speech the president will give on Wednesday in Tampa, Florida.
"House Republicans are listening, and we know it’s not enough to simply acknowledge the failures and the fallout," Chairman Price says in the address. "It’s up to us to offer an alternative. And that’s what we have done. We’re calling it a Better Way for Health Care. And you can read the whole plan on our website: better.gop."
Remarks of House Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price, M.D. of Georgia Weekly Republican Address Washington, DC October 1, 2016
Ever since President Obama and a Democrat-led Congress passed Obamacare six years ago, the law’s failures have been piling up. You know the stories. Premiums and deductibles going through the roof. Patients losing their doctors. Millions of people getting insurance cancellation notices in the mail. Some of the more recent fallout has been the near total collapse of the Obamacare COOPs. The law set up 23 non-profit health insurers in an attempt to provide Americans additional insurance options. But today, the coops are failing at an alarming rate – shutting their doors and dropping their customers. Only six out of the original 23 remain. Just six.
Hundreds of thousands of people have lost health coverage because of these coop failures. And the damage does not end there. Because of Obamacare’s individual mandate, those same folks are now subject to a tax penalty for not having insurance. The same law that encouraged people to sign up for these doomed coops – and did nothing while they imploded – is now penalizing folks who lost their coverage. This is ridiculous, and the American people should not have to put up with it.
That’s why we in the House of Representatives passed a bill this week that would exempt those who lost coverage due to the failure of Obamacare’s coops from the individual mandate. After all the harm Obamacare has caused, it’s the right thing to do.
Now we know that those who still defend Obamacare will come up with one excuse after another to protect the broken status quo. They’ll ignore the evidence and the voices of those who are being harmed by Obamacare. They also ignore the desires for all Americans to have a healthcare system that’s affordable for all, accessible to all, of the highest quality and one that gives patients the choices they need. Obamacare fails on each of those.
But House Republicans are listening, and we know it’s not enough to simply acknowledge the failures and the fallout. It’s up to us to offer an alternative. And that’s what we have done. We’re calling it a Better Way for Health Care. And you can read the whole plan on our website: better.gop.
Our first priority is to put you, the patient, in charge, not Washington bureaucrats. So we repeal things like the individual mandate and say, “You should be free to pick whatever insurance plan meets your needs, not one Washington forces you to buy.” We give you real protections so you never have to worry about being turned away because of your age, your income, or your health. We also clear out the bureaucracy so that our researchers and innovators can develop more life-saving treatments. We save and strengthen and secure Medicare so that it’s there for today’s seniors and future generations. We reform Medicaid so that states have the flexibility to offer the kind of coverage that best serves their communities.
Before going into public service, I practiced orthopaedic surgery for over 20 years. That firsthand experience taught me that there is nothing more sacred in health care than the doctor-patient relationship. Our Better Way plan respects and protects the doctor-patient relationship. It is the plan America needs. It is how we can turn things around – a bold vision to bring America’s health care system into the 21st century. House Republicans are offering a clean break with the past: a plan to repeal Obamacare and start over with real, patient-centered solutions – that puts patients and families and doctors in charge – not Washington DC. Thanks for listening.Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement on the 40th anniversary of the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits federal funding for abortions:
“No American taxpayer should be forced to pay for abortions. The Hyde Amendment has been the cornerstone of protecting conscience for 40 years and is responsible for saving more than 2 million American lives. Make no mistake: The Hyde Amendment will remain central in our fight for life until the day Roe v. Wade is overturned entirely.”Read More
WASHINGTON—With Americans across the country facing another round of Obamacare sticker shock, House Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price, M.D. (R-GA) will promote patient-centered health care solutions in this week's Republican address.
“With each passing day, we see more and more the harm Obamacare is doing to America’s health care system – to patients, to doctors and other providers, to family budgets, and to the quality of care,” Chairman Price said. “The law has proven to be one long string of broken promises which the Obama Administration is always ready to excuse or ignore. The American people, however, are looking for something better, a real solution to the health challenges facing our nation. House Republicans are offering that better way. Our patient-centered solutions would put patients, families, and doctors in charge of health care decisions, not Washington. Our plan will make quality, affordable health care accessible to everyone.”
NOTE: This week's Republican address will be available starting on Saturday, October 1 at 6:00 am. ET on speaker.gov.
Watch recent weekly Republican addresses on the Better Way agenda:
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement on the Obama administration’s reported secret ransom agreements with Iran:
“This story grows more disturbing with each passing day. It now appears that on the same day American hostages were freed from Iran, the administration not only agreed to the $1.7 billion cash ransom payment, but violated a key term of the nuclear deal by prematurely lifting ballistic missile sanctions. These additional secret concessions directly jeopardize our national security, and cast further doubt on this flimsy agreement. President Obama owes the American people an immediate explanation.”Read More
The Korean War is often referred to as 'the forgotten war," but yesterday Congress took a big step towards making sure that is never the case.
Speaker Ryan signed and sent to the White House H.R. 1475, which creates a Wall of Remembrance located at the Korean War Memorial in Washington, DC. The wall will list the names of all those who were killed, wounded, missing, or prisoners during the war. A group of Korean War veterans also attended the ceremony—including the House's own Rep. Sam Johnson (R-TX) and Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY).Speaker Ryan's Remarks
"I want to recognize all the veterans that are here.
"The Korean War is often referred to as 'the forgotten war,' but more than 5.7 million Americans served in that conflict. More than 36,000 Americans gave their lives in the Korean War. To this day, thousands remain unaccounted for. All of these patriots deserve their due, and so this bill will create a wall of remembrance at the Korean War Memorial, listing the names of those who perished. This is an excellent and overdue addition to our National Mall.
"I am honored to sign this bill, and I am honored to be here with some of our veterans. . . It is an absolute joy to sign a bill authored by Sam Johnson, a man we all cherish, respect, and who has gone above and beyond in service to his country."Read More
Here are excerpts from Speaker Ryan's comments today at his weekly press briefing:
HOBOKEN “First, I just turned on the TV and saw what was happening out in Hoboken. We don’t know all the details, but this looks like—there’s already loss of life being reported. Our prayers go to the [victims and] first responders to make sure that they can get to people safely, to safety, and that people can be reunited with their families.”
RECENT ACCOMPLISHMENTS “This week, Congress sent to the president’s desk a bill that provides funding to train our military, and to improve care for our veterans—our MilCon VA bill. It will also provide resources to address the Zika outbreak, and relief for our fellow citizens recovering from recent floods in Louisiana, in West Virginia, some other places. “This concludes a pretty darn productive period:
“When we return in November, I look forward to completing work on some very important key initiatives that just haven’t quite gotten over the finish line—Tim Murphy’s mental health reform, Fred Upton’s 21st-century Cures initiative. Obviously we passed our water resources bill last night, the Senate’s passed theirs. We need to complete work on that. And I also am hoping that we can make progress on criminal justice reform." OBAMACARE
“Lastly, Saturday marks the third anniversary of the rollout of Obamacare. It isn’t so much limping towards that anniversary as [it is] this law is collapsing. This law is collapsing under its own weight. “In a matter of weeks, Americans are going to face another round of steep and massive premium increases. CO-OP programs are failing across the country, leaving people without coverage. These are fundamental problems. These are not problems that can be fixed by tinkering at the margins. “This law does need to be repealed and replaced. And it needs to be replaced with real, patient-centered health care reforms. This is our plan to do it—page 20, and you will see our plan for a comprehensive replacement of Obamacare to finally give people what they want: patient-centered health care, more choices, lower prices.
“We need to give the people a very clear choice . . . a clear path. That is what we’re endeavoring to do. We want to go bold. We are specific. And we are showing people that we are here to tackle the big challenges in this country before they tackle us. If you want to hear more about our Better Way agenda, go to better.gop. “This is why we are here—to show the country that we can get things fixed and that we have a better path. And that is the conversation that we’re excited about having with our fellow citizens.”Read More
Next up, that calamitous Healthcare.gov roll-out, botched by the Obama administration three years ago this Saturday.
Government knows best. Even if people didn’t want to use Healthcare.gov, the online federal health care exchange, they didn’t have much of a choice. The most controversial, coercive part of Obamacare—the individual mandate—forces people to enroll in government-approved coverage or face a steep penalty.
“It’s easy,” they said. “You’ll be able to sign up online,” they said. Not so much. Healthcare.gov was a total disaster when it launched on October 1, 2013, three years ago today. The website crashed, froze people’s computers, and took hours to load—making it impossible to sign up for a plan.
Have you tried restarting your computer? As SNL spoofed, “Millions of Americans are visiting healthcare.gov, which is great news. Unfortunately the site was only designed to handle six users at a time.” That wasn’t so far from the truth. Healthcare.gov was supposed to have enrolled millions of people in the first month. According to documents obtained by the House Oversight Committee, only 248 people across 36 states were able to enroll.
It didn’t stop there. The website was plagued with technical difficulties for months. By mid-November, the Department of Health and Human Services revealed that fewer than 27,000 people were able to sign up successfully. The main contractor was fired, but the fault lay elsewhere. A damning GAO report revealed that HHS knew about potential flaws to the site but rushed the entire project forward anyway, while giving little oversight or guidance to contractors working on the site.
The government botched the job. HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius admitted the rollout was “terribly flawed” and the timetable was “flat-out wrong.”
And the cost to taxpayers? The government estimated about $834 million was spent, but an independent Bloomberg analysis of the contracts related to the website projected much higher: upwards of $2.1 billion.
The botched healthcare.gov roll-out is just one of Obamacare’s failures. It’s a perfect example of how much of a mess the federal government can make when it tries to bite off more than it can chew.
We could go on. But instead, we’ll direct you to a website that actually does work . . . a Better Way. This contains House Republicans’ plan for better health care policies—ones that empower patients and gives them the care they need, instead of telling them in that bright-eyed, bureaucratic, bungling way: “Please wait.”Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement on the House passage of H.R. 5325, legislation for a short-term continuing resolution to fund the federal government through December 9:
“In addition to keeping the government open, this bill provides funding to train and equip our military, and improve care for our veterans. It also provides needed resources to fight the spread of the Zika virus in the United States and Puerto Rico. I thank my colleagues in the House and Senate for getting this responsible legislation done and urge the president to sign it into law.”Read More
Tonight, President Obama is participating in a CNN Townhall to tout his record on supporting the military and our veterans. But don’t be fooled—he’s failed miserably on both fronts. After nearly eight years of this administration, our troops are underpaid and underequipped, our veterans are still stuck on hold and in wait lines, and our military is literally starting to fall apart. This is President Obama’s real legacy.
Don’t believe us? Here’s are some recent examples:
Politicizing our military Earlier this month, a leaked Pentagon memo exposed the Obama administration’s political strategy to veto the national defense bill, which ensures our troops have the tools they need to complete their missions. Congress has passed this legislation on a bipartisan basis for over five decades, but the administration prefers to politicize our military.
Blocking a pay raise for our troops The national defense bill doesn’t just fund our military—it gives our troops a well-deserved pay raise. So when the administration says it wants to “play hardball opposing” this legislation, it’s talking about blocking a raise for our brave men and women in uniform. As Speaker Ryan said, “For this administration, it’s always politics first, even at the Pentagon. . . . The men and women who defend our country deserve better.”
Failing to invest in new hardware and equipment The administration’s failure to invest in new military hardware and equipment is putting our troops at a disadvantage on the battlefield. In some cases, the consequences are deadly. A spike in deadly plane and helicopter crashes have been attributed to outdated aircraft and a shortage of training flights. Three Marine aircraft have crashed in just the past two months. The Air Force is literally pulling discontinued plane parts off of old museum exhibits. This readiness crisis is putting our troops at risk and making us less safe, but President Obama still opposes our bipartisan plan to close these gaps and rebuild our military.
Allowing VA suicide hotline calls to go unanswered Nearly 22 veterans commit suicide per day, on average. Nevertheless, more than 30% of VA suicide hotline calls go completely unanswered. The former head of hotline even said that some staffers “spend very little time on the phone or engaged in assigned productive activity.” But while the administration continues to sit on its hands, we’re taking action. That’s why this week the House passed bipartisan legislation requiring the hotline answer every call in a timely manner. Our veterans deserve swift, effective mental health care and nothing less.Read More
On at least 37 separate occasions, President Obama pledged that Americans would be able to keep the plan they like. pic.twitter.com/tZ7rgm4Nv2— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) August 16, 2016
Next up, "If you like your plan, you can keep it." As Obamacare continues to unravel, we look back at one of its biggest broken promises.
The Promise: "If you like your health care plan, you can keep it." This was a go-to line for President Obama in the lead-up to the creation of Obamacare. In an effort to ease concerns about his sweeping government overhaul of our health care system, the president and his surrogates repeated this “promise” over and over again as if it were fact. Indeed, on at least 37 separate occasions, the president pledged that Americans would be able to keep the plan they like.
The Reality: The reality is simple: This was not true. Before Obamacare became law, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) predicted that millions of Americans would lose their plans. And that’s exactly what happened. Shortly after the law took effect, millions of Americans received letters informing them that their plans had been cancelled.
‘Lie of the Year’: So how big was this lie? So big that the non-partisan fact-checker PolitiFact named “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it” their Lie of the Year. PolitiFact wrote that the “promise was impossible to keep. So this fall, as cancellation letters were going out to approximately 4 million Americans, the public realized Obama’s breezy assurances were wrong. . . . Obama and his team made matters worse, suggesting they had been misunderstood all along.”
Not Funny: While the president’s advisors laugh off the broken promise, Americans across the country have been forced to deal with the harsh reality of losing their health care. The stress and financial uncertainty associated with losing health insurance is no laughing matter for families across the country.
Wrong Direction: It’s now 2016 and Obamacare appears to be imploding. Insurers continue to flee exchanges, leaving Americans with fewer options and higher costs. For example, a recent report from the New York Times says that “17 percent of Americans eligible for an Affordable Care Act plan may have only one insurer to choose next year. . . . By comparison, only 2 percent of eligible customers last year had only one choice.”
Collapsing CO-OPs: Another sign of Obamacare’s failure is the collapse of the federally backed Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan (CO-OP) programs across the country. So far 16 of the 23 CO-OPs created under the law have failed, which leaves more Americans without health insurance.
Better Way: This week the House voted to provide relief for people affected by CO-OP failures. Rep. Adrian Smith’s (R-NE) bill, the CO-OP Consumer Protection Act of 2016, exempts from Obamacare’s individual-mandate tax penalty those who unexpectedly lost their health insurance in the middle of the year when their CO-OP closed. But the fundamental problems with our health care system won’t be solved until we get rid Obamacare and replace it. That’s why House Republicans have put forward a plan to replace Obamacare with a patient-centered system that gives every American access to quality, affordable health care. Read more about our plan at Better.gop.Read More
Our nation’s infrastructure is in trouble. Thanks to years of waste and abuse, poor prioritization of projects, our infrastructure is not up to American standards. That’s why, over the past year, House Republicans have made upgrading our infrastructure a major priority.
In November, the House passed a bipartisan highway bill that cut waste and fast tracks good projects so our highways, bridges, and tunnels can be safer and more efficient.
This past July, the House passed the Federal Aviation Administration Extension, which makes our nation’s airports safer and more secure by upgrading safety and security. (It also means less time in in TSA lines.)
Next up: infrastructure for our nation’s water resources. Today, the House is set to take up the Water Resources Development Act of 2016 (WRDA), which addresses the needs of America’s harbors, locks, dams, flood protection and other water-related infrastructure.
Here are five things you need to know about this legislation:
1. Provides authorizations for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the agency in charge of handling these infrastructure projects, and gives them tools necessary to tackle the backlog of water projects totaling in the tens of billions of dollars.
2. Is fiscally responsible. New authorizations are fully offset and it contains zero earmarks.
3. Installs strict oversight capabilities to prevent waste through review of annual reports.
4. Follows new, transparent approval process that was established by Congress in 2014.
5. Puts Congress on a two-year cycle of addressing infrastructure—a much-needed return to regular order.
The Senate has already passed its version of this bill, so the next step is working out differences between the two houses and getting it to the president's desk.
Our nation’s waterways make up a huge portion of our economy. Upgrading our water infrastructure will create jobs and strengthen our economy, while keeping Americans safe. This is simply a Better Way.Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement on the passing of former Israeli President Shimon Peres:
“The world has lost a true legend and statesman. Shimon Peres was a gift to the country he helped establish and lead, and a persistent voice for the cause of peace. President Peres' countless contributions to the world earned him the Nobel Peace Prize, Congressional Gold Medal, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. While we join the State of Israel and people around the globe in mourning his death, we also give thanks for his incredible life."Read More
Today at a House Republican press briefing, Speaker Ryan discussed the #BetterWay alternative to the Obama administration's “Clean Power Rule”—a multi-billion dollar regulation that would cripple the coal industry and raise electricity costs in 47 American states:
“Whether you are a consumer, a worker, or a small business owner, our regulatory system should work for you, and even with you, but never against you. Unfortunately, that is just what is going on today. “Tom Marino just gave you a perfect story of how the regulatory state is working against the American business, consumer, and family. “Take the president’s so-called ‘Clean Power Plan’ rule, another one of these multi-billion dollar regulations. In February, the Supreme Court issued a stay on this rule. Today, the DC Circuit Court of Appeals is hearing arguments in a challenge against it. “This is a rule that is especially egregious. It’s an egregious example of this president’s unlawful overreach. It essentially forces states to upend their energy economies, without an act of Congress. “It is designed to cripple fossil fuels, moving us away from energy that is reliable and affordable—and doing it without a vote of Congress. It is another frontward attack on coal country, which has already been decimated by this administration’s policies. All told, it is estimated that this one rule will raise electricity prices in all 47 states that it affects. “Again, this comes down without an act of Congress. There has got to be a better way to deal with these things—and there is. There is a better way. “Our plan says that no major regulation should become law unless Congress makes a vote. Look, what we’re trying to achieve here is reasserting self-government—government by consent. In America, we as citizens write laws that govern ourselves through our elected representatives. That’s not happening today. “You’ve got an administration that is passing these rules under the full force of law on our consumers, on our businesses, on our American people—that they have no voice for—that is costing them their jobs, their livelihoods, giving them skyrocketing electricity bills. “We should encourage energy development, so we can actually lower costs and create jobs. All of these ideas are part of our Better Way agenda, which you can learn more about by going to better.gop. “In the meantime, our hope is that today this rule is struck down permanently—before coal country is destroyed, and before Americans are consigned to these higher energy costs imposed by these unlawful regulations.”Read More
Last week, Speaker Ryan called out the Obama administration for pressuring House Democrats to abandon a bipartisan bill to sanction the Syrian regime. “I think that this administration is essentially protecting some of the world’s worst war criminals,” he said. “That is why I am calling on the White House to allow House Democrats to work with us to pass these sanctions in short order.”
Ok, let’s deconstruct the White House’s befuddling response, in the words of White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest:
“[W]e already have got the authority that we need to impose sanctions against the Assad regime if we believe that’s going to advance our interests in that part of the world.”
The suggestion here that these sanctions aren’t new is patently false. These are tougher measures designed to isolate the Assad regime for its war crimes. As Mark Dubowitz of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies explains, “This legislation significantly expands the scope and coercive impact of the existing secondary sanctions.”
“[W]e’re looking to maximize the pressure that we can apply to the Assad regime.”
Perfect. We agree. Then the president should support this legislation. But wait for it. . .
“[A]pplying unilateral sanctions by the United States is not the most effective way for us to do that.”
This really sums up the president's broader failure to lead in Syria. Rejecting new sanctions because the administration would need to build international support for them is the definition of leading from behind. Our failed partnership with Russia has only brought more chaos and carnage—not a cessation of violence, much less peace.
Where does this leave us? The administration ostensibly opposed this bill to provide space for its ceasefire to play out, but it failed within a week. The Assad regime has already launched a new offensive to recapture Aleppo, and hundreds have been killed by barrel bombs in some of the heaviest bombings since the war began. As Speaker Ryan said, “So what’s the excuse now?”
The president’s strategy in Syria has been an abysmal failure. He should change course and help us enact this bill.Read More
Last week, Congress unveiled the newest addition to the National Statuary Hall Collection: Thomas Edison of Ohio. From the lightbulb to the motion picture—Edison's contributions to American society, and the world, are well-known. But what you may not yet know is how a statue comes to find its home in the U.S. Capitol. Here are a few facts to shed some light on that process:
Interested in seeing the whole statue unveiling ceremony? Click here.Read More
“Each of us have to get better perspectives.” On a weekend celebrating the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture—a day Speaker Ryan called good “for American scholarship and the American people”—there is still progress to be made in our communities. That was his message this morning on CBS News’s Face the Nation, when he responded to the events in Charlotte, NC, and discussed how House Republicans are identifying—and supporting—local, bottom-up solutions for safer, more inclusive communities:
“This country has to find new ways of learning how to heal and understand all the different perspectives. . . . [the House has] a working group on this. They were in Detroit last week, doing listening sessions. They're now all doing ride-alongs with the police. And what we're trying to do is quietly and calmly come together and find what we can find, some common solutions. . . .
“I don't want to make the case that the federal government can just pass a law and this is all going to go away. I think what we need to do is make sure we go in the communities, listen, learn, identify local homegrown solutions, support them. And then see if we can find good solutions that could be replicated in other areas. And that's the kind of dialogue we're trying to achieve. . . . Each of us have to get better perspectives, get outside of our comfort zones, understand what other people are saying and what they see, and then try to come up with common ground solutions. And that’s, to me, the kind of healing that has to occur.”
But the conversation doesn’t end there. House Republicans are prioritizing addressing many of the biggest problems facing our nation, like much-needed tax reform and creating a patient-centered health care system. Because, after all, it’s Congress that writes laws:
“Congress is the one that writes the laws, that puts them on the president’s desk. And our Congress is offering very specific solutions . . . we are offering a unified front of solutions. That’s what we should do.”
Learn more about the House Republican agenda—A Better Way—at better.gop.Read More
WASHINGTON — This morning, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) attended the official opening and dedication of the National Museum of African American History and Culture. After the ceremony, Speaker Ryan issued the following statement:
“It was an honor to attend today’s ceremony. This museum is a valuable addition to the Smithsonian. No one can fully understand America without a deep appreciation for the African-American experience. African-Americans have made so many contributions to our country, and I’m glad to see those contributions finally get their place in our nation's capital. This is a good day for American scholarship and the American people.”Read More
This month marks the 50th anniversary of Star Trek, a story of wonder and adventure that has captivated generations. Speaking of great enterprises, allow me to tell you about your own... 1. Right now, our country is on the wrong path. At home and abroad, the troubles are just piling up.
2. We can get angry, and stay angry...
3. Or we can pull together, and embark on a mission to explore new ideas and seek out a bold agenda to address some of our biggest challenges.
4. So we have engineered A Better Way, a bold agenda to tackle some of our country’s biggest challenges.
5. Take poverty. Every year, we spend hundreds of billions of dollars to address this crisis, but there are still more than 43 million people living in poverty.
6. Instead of doing the same things and getting the same results, our plan makes sure work always pays so that we can transport more people on to the ladder of opportunity.
7. And we take an evidence-based approach, backing what's working on the front lines by making better use of data.
8. That’s a Better Way to Fight Poverty.
11. Because with A Better Way, everyone can have the chance to live long and prosper.Read More
Yesterday at his weekly press briefing, Speaker Ryan discussed the Midnight Rules Relief Act—bipartisan legislation passed by the House Judiciary Committee to enhance congressional oversight of the overreaching regulations often issued during the final months of a president’s term: “The Midnight Rules Relief Act—this [is] bipartisan legislation to stop the rush of regulations that presidents typically issue in the last months and particularly in the last weeks [of their terms.]
“As my colleague Jerry Nadler of New York, a Democrat, once put it—and I don’t typically quote Jerry Nadler. As Jerry Nadler put it, ‘Midnight rules can be abused to allow a president to reach into a third term without any accountability.’ “I could not agree more—especially when it comes to this president, who has overseen a regulatory onslaught.
“This is why, in our Better Way agenda, we recommend giving Congress the power to stop all midnight regulations with one vote. Then administrations would know that they will be held accountable, even after they leave office.
“Now Chairman Goodlatte, Chairman Sessions, and Mr. Issa have moved a bill to make this happen. It passed the Judiciary Committee last week by a vote of 15-5. This truly is a better way to govern. “It is resuscitating the separation of powers to make sure that the laws that we live under are written by the people we vote for—not unelected bureaucrats, and certainly not bureaucrats whose time is up in office.
“You can read more about this whole plan by going to better.gop.”Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement after meeting with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull: “The alliance we’ve built with Australia over the past seven decades is stronger than ever. Today was a great opportunity to discuss how we best strengthen our defense and economic ties. I want to thank Prime Minister Turnbull for his time, friendship, and support for the U.S.-Australia relationship.”
H-232 The Capitol
Washington, DC 20515
The Speaker acts as leader of the House and combines several roles: the institutional role of presiding officer and administrative head of the House, the partisan role of leader of the majority party in the House, and the representative role of an elected Member of the House. By statute, the Speaker is also second in line, behind the Vice President, to succeed to the presidency.
The Speaker presides over the House, administering the oath of office to Members, calling the House to order, and preserving order and decorum within the Chamber and in the galleries. Additionally, he appoints the chairmen to preside over the Committee of the Whole, appoints special or select committees, appoints conference committees, has the power of recognition of Members to speak, and makes many important rulings and decisions in the House. The Speaker may vote, but usually does not, except in the case of a tie. The Speaker and the Majority Leader determine the legislative agenda for the House, and often confer with the President and the Senate.