WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) released the following statement on the passing of Rep. Mark Takai (D-HI):
“I am saddened by the passing of our colleague, Mark Takai. He was an exemplary soldier, public servant and beloved member of the House of Representatives. His love for Hawaii and the people he represented was evident every day. My prayers are with his wife, Sami, and his children, Matthew and Kaila.”Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) released the following statement on the deadly shooting in Baton Rouge:
“I am deeply disturbed by today's shooting in Baton Rouge. We will not tolerate brutal violence against law enforcement—the people who dedicate their lives to protecting Americans. Our nation grieves with Louisiana today. My prayers are with the fallen officers and their families."Read More
WASHINGTON—In this week’s Republican address, House Republican leaders make the case for a #BetterWay—the bold, conservative agenda put forth to tackle the nation’s biggest issues, like reforming our health care system and reducing poverty. The address features House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA), House Republican Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), and House Republican Conference Vice Chair Lynn Jenkins (R-KS).
“Today, people are anxious. We are all anxious. We’re on edge. You know what? There’s a better way,” said Rep. McMorris Rodgers.
“These ideas work in a pretty simple way. We take our timeless principles,” continued Speaker Ryan, “we apply them to the problems of the day, and we offer people solutions that help improve their lives.”
NOTE: The audio is available here, and the video will be available at 6:00 a.m. ET on speaker.gov.
Remarks of Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin“Last fall, we came together and made the decision that it was time to go from being an opposition party to being a proposition party. We dedicated ourselves to looking at the problems facing our constituents and the country and coming up with principled solutions. . . .
“Now these ideas work in a pretty simple way. We take our timeless principles . . . we apply them to the problems of the day, and we offer people solutions that help improve their lives. . . . We offer a better way to secure our homeland, to produce national security. . . . We offer a better way to give us the kind of military we need to do the job that we ask of our brave men and women serving in our military. . . .
“Our job in these jobs is to look at the problems facing this country and offer solutions. That’s what we are doing. Seven out of 10 Americans do not think America is headed in the right direction. We agree. But rather than simply complain—rather than simply just throw bombs—we are offering solutions.”
Remarks of Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California“For the last number of months this entire Conference has been working hard to come together, find the legislation to put the plan out . . .This is a better way. . . . And as we go back to our districts in the next month, we not only will talk about it, we will show a better way for all Americans . . . But it doesn’t just reach a few, it will reach all—from poverty into the lowest realms of America.”
Remarks of Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana“. . . Bold plans that can get the economy moving again; a bold plan to rebuild the middle class, to make America competitive again . . . I think it’s pretty clear now that people know that we don’t like Obamacare as House Republicans. But they want to know what we’re for, and our Better Way plan lays out a way to put patients back in charge of their healthcare, to focus on lowering costs and getting rid of the mandates that are killing jobs under Obamacare.”
Remarks of Republican Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington“A Better Way to make America the best place to live, to work . . . Today people are anxious. We are all anxious. We’re on edge. You know what? There’s A Better Way. . . . But more than anything, what people want right now is to be heard. And that’s why it is so important and fundamental that we restore [the] people’s voice in their government and uphold the Constitution. . . . So let’s reaffirm a government of the people, by the people, and for the people.”
Remarks of Republican Conference Vice Chair Lynn Jenkins of Kansas“It is comprised of policies that are based on commonsense principles everyone that can agree on: rewarding hard work, stimulating growth, building a fairer, flatter tax code, and holding the IRS in check. . . . The American people deserve a better way – and that is exactly what House Republicans are going to deliver.”Read More
If you're planning on flying anywhere during your summer vacation—or really any time at all in the next year or so—then this bill that Speaker Ryan signed and sent to the president is for you.
It's called the Federal Aviation Administration Extension, and in a nutshell, it will update airport security and safety requirements. For travelers, that means you can spend more time enjoying your vacation, and less time waiting in a TSA line.Read More
WASHINGTON—Today, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) appointed Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-NJ) and Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI) to the Congressional Task Force on Economic Growth in Puerto Rico as part of the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management and Economic Stability (PROMESA) Act, which addresses the Puerto Rican debt crisis while protecting taxpayers. It was passed by the House and Senate and signed into law by the president last month.
“PROMESA is simply good, bipartisan legislation and I’m proud that it is now law. It puts Puerto Rico on a path to fiscal health, and does so without a bailout from taxpayers,” Speaker Ryan said. “It’s crucial that the Puerto Rican government enacts common-sense, pro-growth reforms. Reps. Duffy and MacArthur are the leaders we need to make the right recommendations so Puerto Rico can create jobs and reboot its economy.”
Today, Speaker Ryan marked the one year anniversary of the release of the videos which exposed Planned Parenthood officials engaging in the trafficking of fetal body parts. Below are his remarks:
“It’s been one year since the nation was shocked by the disturbing videos which showed senior-level Planned Parenthood employees bartering over the body parts of aborted babies. It was grisly. It was something out of a horror movie. And we were outraged.
“So we took action. We launched investigations and hearings to figure out what happened. We formed the Select Panel on Infant Lives to investigate Planned Parenthood. The panel found these weren’t isolated incidents—there’s an entire black market in aborted baby parts. And some of it is receiving taxpayer funding.
“That’s why we passed legislation to defund Planned Parenthood and redirect those taxpayer dollars to community health centers with clean records of protecting women. We sent this legislation to the president’s desk but he vetoed it, even in the aftermath of such barbaric disregard for human life.
“So there’s more work that needs to be done. The Panel on Infant Lives has issued 36 subpoenas to profit-driven companies and late-term abortionists who have been stonewalling the investigation. They send back documents with heavily redacted information, hiding their real practices. But we will get answers and keep fighting against this practice.
“Because what these videos revealed horrified the American people. Because this is not who we are as a nation. We are nation that was based on the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We fight for the weak and the defenseless.
"We are the pro-life generation and we have to stand up for these values. Women and babies are not products to be bidded upon for the highest profit. And we won’t rest until this illegal and despicable practice is stopped once and for all."Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and members of the House and Senate took part today in an enrollment ceremony to mark the passage of S. 524, the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, bipartisan legislation to combat the opioid epidemic in our country. Speaker Ryan made the following remarks at today’s ceremony:
“Good morning, everyone. Today, I will be signing S. 524, the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act. I would like to point out a few people [and] we wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for these people. Just a few of them: Alex Laliberte . . .Jason Simcakoski . . .John Thomas Decker. . .These are just some of the people that we have lost to opioid abuse.
“They represent the thousands of Americans who die every year because of opioids or heroin or poor health care. They represent the basketball games never played . . . the Thanksgiving dinners never shared . . . the college graduations never reached. They represent the lost moments—and the lost lives—that can never be recovered. This is a national epidemic. And that’s why—with this legislation—we are authorizing national resources to confront this national epidemic. We need the latest research and treatments. We need our local communities to develop innovative solutions. We need to help people get the information they need so that they can prevent or overcome this terrible addiction. That’s what this legislation will do.
“And that’s why I’m so proud of my colleagues. Look at these men and women who are standing here today. Look at these colleagues. They have put their heart and soul into this. They have been listening to their constituents. They have been grieving with the families. They have been talking with the experts. They have been learning about how to overcome this terrible epidemic. I am so proud of these men and women in Congress for what they have done to confront this challenge. I am so proud that we’ve been able to come together, Republicans and Democrats, to come up with a solution. And that’s why this is a very good moment for our country. Thank you.”
WASHINGTON—Today, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) released the following statement after Senate Democrats voted again to block needed resources to help our veterans and stop the spread of the Zika virus:
“Senate Democrats have put politics above the health and safety of the American people and our veterans. Let’s be clear about what happened here: Last month, the House acted in a responsible way by passing a bipartisan package that included previously agreed-upon levels of funding and other commonsense steps—like making it easier to kill mosquitoes—to combat the spread of Zika. Since then, Senate Democrats have repeatedly blocked this bill despite demanding Zika funding for months. Playing politics with this crisis is shameful, and the American people deserve better.”
NOTE: The House passed the final conference report for the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and Zika Response Appropriations Act on June 23, 2016.Read More
At his weekly press conference, Speaker Ryan shared a few key numbers: 3.4, 11, 500, and 71. So what exactly was he talking about? Take a look at his opening remarks below to find out: “First I’d like to share a few numbers with you today. The first number I’d like to share with you is 3.4. The number of deaths in our country from opioid overdoses has more than tripled in recent years. So today, for the first time in decades, Congress is sending comprehensive anti-addiction legislation to the president’s desk. “The second number: 11. More than 11 million Americans suffer from schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depression—yet so many go without treatment. So last week, in an overwhelming bipartisan vote, the House passed Tim Murphy’s bill providing for a complete overhaul of our mental health system. “The third number: 500. Of the more than 10,000 known diseases, we only have treatments for 500 of them. Ten thousand known diseases—we only have 500 treatments. So right now, the House and the Senate are working on legislation to make sure that we can deliver cutting-edge cures and treatments to patients. “These are all great strides in health care. These ideas will save lives and these ideas will keep families together. I know that gridlock tends to dominate our time and our energy, but we should not take away from the hard-won progress that is made every day. “Of course, there is only so much that can be achieved in divided government. Which brings me to my last number: 71 percent. “More than seven out of 10 Americans think the country is on the wrong path. Well, if you don’t like the direction the country is going, there is a better way. And this better way is a bold agenda to take on some of the nation’s biggest challenges. “The way I look at this is—we are elected here to serve. We represent our constituents and their views. And when seven out of 10 Americans do not like the path our country is on, we have a duty, an obligation, and an opportunity to offer a better agenda—a better way.
“We are offering a better plan to fight poverty. We’re offering real national security strategy. We’re offering a plan to grow our economy. We’re offering a plan to restore self-government. We’re offering real patient-centered health care. And a plan to reform our tax code. We need a tax code that works for us, not against us. “We can do these things. We can take a better way. And guess what? You can all learn more about this by going to better.gop. This is our duty. This is our obligation. And this is why we’re doing this.”Read More
WASHINGTON — Today, Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) spoke in honor of our nation's police officers on the House floor. "They go out there and risk their lives to preserve our lives," he said. "We throw a lot of big words around in this chamber—duty, honor, sacrifice. They do it every single day." Below are his remarks as delivered:
"I rise today to acknowledge what is happening in America.
"I think it’s important that all of us—every single citizen—takes stock with what is going on in our country. There are a lot of people upset. High anxiety. A lot of confusion.
"I think this is a time for us to take stock as citizens and to think about how we can be better listeners to each other’s concerns. I think this is a time for us to calm down and think deliberatively. How do we open our hearts, open our ears, and see if we can understand the perspective that other people share?
"But I think there’s one thing that we must all reflect on the most as citizens. I think about Chief Brown in Dallas and that press conference he gave a week ago, where he said most days, we don’t feel appreciated. Let’s not make this most days.
"When a member of our law enforcement wakes out of bed and has breakfast with their family, and kisses their loved ones goodbye, and puts that badge on, and walks out the door—they go out there to keep us safe. They go out there to protect the streets. They go out there and risk their lives to preserve our lives. We throw a lot of big words around in this chamber—duty, honor, sacrifice. They do it every single day.
"So I think it’s just so important that, as Americans, we take stock and we thank the men and women serving in our law enforcement all around this country for what they do for us. I think it’s really important that we thank their families for enduring the stress and the hardship that comes with such a job. And as we try to make most days different than most days in the past, and as we try to make sure that we give our law enforcement community the respect and the thankfulness that they deserve, let’s make sure that we listen to each other in this country so we can better understand—so that we can make most days in the future better days than we’ve had in the past.
"Our country’s hurting, and it needs to start healing. And with that, Mr. Speaker, I urge all Americans to do their best to make this country better. Thank you."Read More
Wow does time fly. A year ago today President Obama struck his historic nuclear agreement with Iran. In order to commemorate the occasion, we assembled a little photo album on our favorite moments to date.
Our First Deal (July 2015) – The Obama administration leads the P5+1 in finalizing the nuclear agreement with Iran.
Our First Ballistic Missile Test (October 2015) – Iran tests a long-range ballistic missile in direct contravention of international law.
Our Second Ballistic Missile Test (December 2015) – Iran tests a medium-range ballistic missile in direct contravention of international law.
Our First Implementation Day (January 2016) – The nuclear deal officially goes into effect, as the United States releases more than $100 billion in economic sanctions to Iran.
Our First Fight (January 2016) – Two weeks after implementation day, Iran detained 10 American sailors, and then photographed and videotaped them for propaganda. The administration thanked Tehran for ending a crisis it started.
Our First Ransom Payment (January 2016) – Questions were raised regarding whether the administration paid a $1.7 billion ransom in exchange for five Americans unjustly detained in Iran.
Our Third Ballistic Missile Test (March 2016) – Iran launches a third series of ballistic missiles in contravention of international law.
Our First Major Purchase (April 2016) – The administration announces an unprecedented $8.6 million purchase of the nuclear chemical heavy water from Iran.
Our First Dollar (April 2016) – Reports surface that the administration is considering granting Iran access to the dollar following private talks between Secretary Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif.
Our First Trip (May 2016) – Secretary Kerry embarks on an international tour to declare Iran “open for business,” as companies hesitate to reestablish commercial ties with the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism.
Our First Glitch (June 2016) – After first blaming a technical “glitch,” the State Department admits to doctoring press conference footage about whether the administration lied in selling the deal.
You're Still #1 (June 2016) – State Department annual report finds that Iran remains the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism.
As you can see, there’s really nothing to celebrate or joke about today—unless, of course, you’re the Iranian regime. The president’s nuclear deal has only served to bolster Tehran’s terror proxies, ballistic missile program, and oppressive rule over its people. House Republicans are taking action this week to block additional concessions to the mullahs and impose fresh sanctions on the regime for its illicit behavior. The administration should mark this anniversary by reversing course on its dangerous game of appeasing our enemies, but we’re not holding our breath.Read More
WASHINGTON — Today on the House floor, Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) spoke in favor of the Conscience Protection Act. Below are the speaker's remarks as prepared for delivery:
"Mr. Speaker, I think we can all agree, that in this country, no one should be forced to perform an abortion. I know we disagree about when life begins. I know we disagree about what government should do about it. And however strongly I hold my beliefs, I know my friends on the other side feel just as strongly. I respect those disagreements.
"But whoever you are—whatever you believe—I think this is one thing we can all agree on: No one should be forced to violate their conscience—least of all by the federal government. That’s all this bill says. The federal government—or anyone who receives taxpayer dollars—cannot discriminate against health care providers who do not perform abortions. And if they do discriminate, this bill says the victims will have two avenues of relief: Either, file a complaint with the Department of Health and Human Services. Or, file a civil suit in court. That’s all this bill does.
"Now, our opponents say that this kind of thing just doesn’t happen. Nobody in their right mind would force someone against their will to help with an abortion. Well, tell that to Cathy DeCarlo. She was a nurse at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York City. And a few years ago, she was forced to help with an abortion.
"Mr. Speaker, this is not an isolated incident. There have been cases of nurses being suspended or threatened with firing solely for the offense of following their conscience. And now, the state of California requires all health insurance plans to cover abortion. So if you’re a church or a religious school, it doesn’t matter. You must cover this procedure. And if it violates your conscience, too bad.
"Mr. Speaker, this is a disturbing trend. And what’s even more disturbing is that the federal government has not been protecting people’s rights. There are already laws on the books to protect people’s conscience. But after Cathy DeCarlo filed a complaint to HHS, she waited three years for a resolution. And when she filed a lawsuit, an appeals court said she didn’t have standing and threw out her case. That’s why this bill makes it perfectly clear: People of faith have standing, and they deserve relief.
"Mr. Speaker, this bill does not ban or restrict abortion in any way. This bill does not change any medical standards or contracts. It does not change any laws regarding emergency treatment. All it does is protect a person’s conscience.
"And 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.
"Mr. Speaker, 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. And that’s why we need to pass this bill.
"I want to thank Congressman Fleming and Congresswoman Black for their outstanding work. They have been out in front on this issue—constantly leading the charge. They’ve written a great bill that all of us can support. And I want to urge all of my colleagues to vote for it. Thank you."Read More
Last night, Speaker Ryan participated in a live townhall with CNN’s Jake Tapper to discuss #BetterWay, a bold agenda to tackle our country’s biggest challenges. During the hour-long event, Speaker Ryan took a range of questions from audience members on everything from poverty to national security and defending the Constitution. We hope you were able to tune in, but if not, we went ahead and compiled some highlights.
Here are the top five moments:
Secretary Clinton Believes She Is Above the Law
A Proposition Party Rooted in Our Principles
Incentivize Work and Lift People Out of Poverty
Support Law Enforcement
Defend Life and Protect Our Conscience RightsRead More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement congratulating British Prime Minister Theresa May:
“Theresa May takes the reins of a great nation at a time of transition and opportunity. The special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom has never been stronger. I stand ready to work with the May government to deepen our economic and trade ties in the coming years. Finally, I would like to thank David Cameron for his service and unwavering friendship.”Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) has selected Philip Kiko as the new permanent Chief Administrative Office (CAO) of the House. Kiko will take over for acting CAO Will Plaster, who has ably and professionally led the office during a period of transition.
Kiko, who first came to the House in 1979, is a former Staff Director at the House Committee on Administration. He has served the House in various other capacities over the past several decades, including as General Counsel and Chief of Staff for the House Committee on the Judiciary, Deputy Chief of Staff for the House Science Committee, Chief of Staff to Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI), and most recently as Staff Director at the Select Committee on Benghazi.
Kiko has also perviously served in the Office of the CAO. For two years, he was the Associate Administrator for Procurement and Purchasing.
Kiko received his J.D. from the George Mason School of Law and is a member of the DC Bar and the Virginia State Bar.Read More
What do water, dollars, and terrorism have in common? Find out: https://t.co/AZcy2nrvO7
— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) July 13, 2016
This week, the House will mark the one-year anniversary of President Obama’s dangerous nuclear deal with Iran by considering a trio of bills designed to block the administration from granting more concessions and to hold Tehran accountable for its illicit behavior.
Block the administration’s purchase of heavy water. Back in April, the administration announced an $8.6 million purchase of a nuclear chemical called heavy water from Iran. That means $8.6 million to directly subsidize the regime’s nuclear program or fund terrorism against the West. Rep. Mike Pompeo’s (R-KS) No 2H2O from Iran Act (H.R. 5119) blocks the administration from purchasing heavy water from Iran and prohibits funds from being used to issue licenses for these purchases.
Prevent Iran from gaining access to the dollar. Rumors have swirled for months that the administration is also considering granting Iran access to the dollar, which would be yet another unprecedented concession above and beyond the letter of the nuclear agreement. This would give Tehran access to billions of dollars in additional commerce to supplement the billions already provided in the form of nuclear sanctions relief. House Foreign Affairs Chairman Ed Royce’s (R-CA) United States Financial System Protection Act (H.R. 4992) would prevent Iran’s access to the dollar until the regime ends its nuclear and ballistic missile programs, and ceases its support for terrorism.
Impose new sanctions on Iran. President Obama’s nuclear agreement with Iran did nothing to address the regime’s egregious human rights record, illicit ballistic missile program, or its continued role as the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism. While the deal lifted billions of dollars of nuclear-related sanctions, it promised to leave in place those related to Iran’s human rights abuses, ballistic missile development, and terror financing. Therefore, the president should eagerly support Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s (R-CA) Iran Accountability Act (H.R. 5631), which imposes fresh sanctions on Tehran for these dangerous activities.Read More
— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) July 13, 2016
10:04p ET. Speaker Ryan is talking about an important piece of pro-life legislation called the Conscience Protection Act. Here's more about what it is and why it's so important.
10:01p ET. Another way to get the #BetterWay info you need is to watch this video.
9:50p ET. Better.gop has all you need about our ideas: the facts, the numbers, the themes, and the policy details.
9:35p ET. Want that #BetterWay booklet Speaker Ryan keeps holding up? We've made it available here.
9:30p ET. Take a look at the poverty plan that Speaker Ryan just asked folks to take a look at.
9:25p ET. Our national security plan includes ideas to reform the VA so our veterans get the care they need when they need it.
9:23p ET. Here's more on the mental health reform initiative that the House passed last week.
— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) July 13, 2016
9:19p ET. Learn more about our ideas to turn the country around at better.gop.
9:14p ET. We're posting clips throughout the hour on Speaker Ryan's Twitter feed.
— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) July 13, 2016
9:08p ET. Here's the letter Speaker Ryan wrote requesting that Secretary Clinton be denied access to classified information.
9:04p ET. For more on Speaker Ryan's thoughts on Dallas, watch the speech he gave on the House floor last Friday.
The countdown clock is set. Tomorrow night, beginning at 9pm ET, CNN is holding a townhall with Speaker Ryan. It's an event you won't want to miss, and here are three ways to ensure that you don't:1. Watch CNN at 9pm ET
The townhall will air on CNN, CNN International and CNN en Español, and will be live-streamed online and across mobile devices via CNNgo.2. Make Twitter.com/SpeakerRyan your second screen
We'll have updates, highlights, and video clips coming at you in real time. Pro-tip: use the hashtag #BetterWay to be a part of the conversation.3. See behind-the-scenes photos on Instagram
Come for the behind-the-scenes photos. Stay for the throwback photos with President George W. Bush.
— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) July 11, 2016
This week, the House will consider legislation to protect health care providers that decline to be involved in abortions as a matter of conscience.
Introduced by Rep. Diane Black (R-TN), it’s called the Conscience Protection Act and here’s what you need to know about it.
Why is the Conscience Protection Act so important?
There is a law on the books known as the Weldon Amendment, which prevents the government from discriminating against hospitals, doctors, nurses, and insurance plans that decline to provide or pay for abortions. It is meant to guard against exactly what happened in California, where all employers—including churches—are now required to cover abortions.
There have also been cases in recent years where nurses have been forced to take part in abortions. Last week, at a forum led by Rep. Joe Pitts (R-PA), Fe Vinoya, a nurse from New Jersey said, “Participating in the destruction of human life is not only a violation of my religious convictions, it conflicts with my calling as a medical professional to protect life, not to end it.”
No one and no organization should be forced to violate their conscience. Here’s how Speaker Ryan put it in an interview with EWTN last Thursday, when he first announced that the House would take up this legislation:
“This is something that I’m really worried about, which is the government is using its power to deny people their First Amendment conscience rights. And so, next Wednesday, we’re bringing legislation to the floor offered by Diane Black—the Conscience Protection Act—to give private citizens like health care workers…to protect their conscience rights. … This is something we feel very strongly about. I really worry that our conscience and our religious freedom is under attack in America by our government.”
What does the Conscience Protection Act do?
The way it works right now, those who face discrimination for exercising their conscience have only one recourse: to file a complaint with the Department of Health and Human Services.
Through the Conscience Protection Act, health care providers would have the ability to file a civil suit to seek relief from discrimination. Of note, victims would not have to file a complaint with the government before filing a lawsuit. In addition, the legislation codifies the Weldon Amendment and the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits federal funding of abortion.
What happens next?
The House is scheduled to vote on the Conscience Protection Act on Wednesday.Read More
This morning, Speaker Ryan joined House Republican members to discuss a #BetterWay—the bold, clear vision House Republicans introduced for a more confident America. Below are Speaker Ryan’s opening remarks: “First of all, I want to thank all the members who are here. I want to thank all the members that put this together.
“Last fall, we came together and made the decision that it was time to go from being an opposition party to being a proposition party. We dedicated ourselves to looking at the problems facing our constituents and the country and coming up with principled solutions.
“And we did this not just to check the box. We knew that we had to go bold. The challenges facing our country are just too great.
“We also knew that we would not do this top-down. So we took a bottom-up approach. We got input and ideas from all around the country. Every member of the House Republican conference participated in this after consulting with their constituents.
“So in this booklet—which you can get by going to better.gop—there are hundreds of ideas to tackle our country’s biggest problems.
“Now these ideas work in a pretty simple way. We take our timeless principles—liberty, freedom, free enterprise, self-determination, government by consent—these are the principles that built this country. We take these principles, we apply them to the problems of the day, and we offer people solutions that help improve their lives. That’s what good government is. That’s what this is all about. “Now, what are we offering here? We are offering a better way to get people out of poverty. We’re offering a better way to transition people from welfare to work so they can reach their potential and we can enjoy their talents. “We offer a better way to secure our homeland, to produce national security. ISIS is on the rise—we offer a better way to go on the offense. We offer a better way on how to secure our border. We offer a better way to give us the kind of military we need to do the job that we ask of our brave men and women serving in our military. “We offer a better way for smart regulations so that businesses can have the certainty to go out and take risks to reach, to go higher, to pay people more, to create jobs. “We offer a better way to get our government back. We offer a better way to make sure the laws we live under in this country are actually written by the people we vote for in this country. Not by this unelected branch of government, the bureaucracy. If we lose self-government and self-determination, we lose what makes America special. We lose self-determination. “We offer a better way for patient-centered health care. Let people make their decisions in health care. Let patients and their doctors make the decisions on what health care is best for them and their families. People are getting sick and tired of double-digit premium increases. People are getting sick and tired of these huge deductible increases. Obamacare is failing. It’s collapsing under its own weight. It’s going to end up rationing Medicare. It’s going to end up denying choices. And it’s making it harder for families to afford basic health care. We’re offering a better way. “This tax code has got to go. This IRS is too intrusive. We are offering a better way to clean up our tax code to get America in the lead economically and to create faster economic growth, more jobs, and more upward mobility. “Look, our job in these jobs is to look at the problems facing this country and offer solutions. That’s what we are doing. Seven out of 10 Americans do not think America is headed in the right direction. We agree. But rather than simply complain—rather than simply just throw bombs—we are offering solutions. “We are offering a better way. Because we believe by engaging with our fellow citizens on these solutions and these ideas, we can have the kind of inclusive, aspirational discussion we need to have in this country to earn ourselves a mandate to put these solutions in place and fix our country’s pressing problems. That is why we are here, and that is why we are offering a better way.”Read More
“There is currently no appropriation to Treasury or to anyone else, for purposes of the cost-sharing payments to be made.”
Allow me translate: Congress never authorized the administration to spend taxpayer money to fund this part of Obamacare.
That quote comes from a 2012 Treasury Department memo regarding Obamacare’s cost-sharing reduction program. The memo explains in clear terms that the administration knew that this part of the law was never funded by Congress. And since the Constitution requires all spending to originate in Congress, these payments are unconstitutional.
Of course, once the Treasury officials realized this, they immediately shut down the program until Congress appropriated the necessary funds.
No, they instead proceeded to pay out billions of dollars to health insurance without authority. And Treasury officials were not alone in their concerns. Senior leadership at the IRS also questioned whether the program was properly funded. This was no mistake chalked up to bureaucratic ineptitude. It was a deliberate, calculated effort to circumvent the Constitution in order to prop up Obamacare.
This bombshell was revealed last week in a groundbreaking report authored by the Ways and Means and Energy and Commerce committees. This is extremely concerning. As we speak, the House is in the process of suing the administration for a separate part of Obamacare funded without our approval. In May, a federal judge ruled that the administration broke the law by bypassing Congress. This was an historic win for the Constitution.
That’s why a major plank of our #BetterWay agenda is restoring the Constitution. We want to give power back to the American people and their representatives in Congress. Later today, the House will pass Rep. John Ratcliffe’s (R-TX) Separation of Powers Restoration Act (SOPRA) to help dismantle the de facto “fourth branch” of government—unelected, unaccountable government bureaucrats. This is just another step we’re taking to hold this president accountable for his executive overreach.Read More
Last week, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed the Global Food Security Act (S. 1252). This common sense legislation will save lives by combatting hunger and malnutrition in disaster areas around the globe. And it will do all that without increasing spending by a single dime. In fact, it requires a results-based approach for U.S. food aid spending and authorizes a humanitarian program that will better empower people to rise out of poverty instead of depending upon foreign assistance or seeking refuge beyond their own borders.Read More
WASHINGTON—Today, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) released the following statement upon passage of H.R. 636—bipartisan, bicameral legislation produced by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee to provide an extension for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) while Congress continues to work on long-term reforms:
“America’s freedom is increasingly targeted by enemies at home and abroad. It’s because of this threat that we need to ensure our aviation system remains safe, stable, and secure. With this legislation, we can protect our citizens by updating airport security and aviation safety requirements while working on a long-term solution. Chairman Shuster has provided steady leadership to get this done, and I’m hopeful the president will sign it into law this week.”Read More
Today, the House will vote on an important bill that reins in the executive branch and takes back Congress’s legislative power.
It’s a story we know too well: Unelected bureaucrats have become so powerful as to become in practice a “fourth branch” of government, essentially creating new laws through aggressive rulemaking. This is not constitutional. Regulations must be based off of law that Congress, accountable to the people, passes. As Speaker Ryan has said over and over again, “The Constitution is clear. Presidents don’t write laws. Congress does.”
The Separation of Powers Restoration Act (SOPRA) curbs the unchecked power of the regulators and stops this unconstitutional “fourth branch” that doesn’t answer to the American people.
But how did we even get here? A 1984 Supreme Court case created the “Chevron deference,” a legal precedent that says courts should typically defer to executive branch agencies when disputes about ambiguous laws arise. At the time, the Court never could have conceived of today’s executive overreach, especially by this administration. Now, wherever you turn, Obama’s agencies are creating new regulations that have literally reshaped the country. Take the Obama administration’s clean power plant rule, which would cripple America’s coal industry.
The Obama administration claims that this and others like it are simply interpretations of old laws, but this doesn’t even pass the laugh test. Good thing, because this is no laughing matter. These countless regulations have serious, disastrous consequences for the country. But because these bureaucrats hide behind the Chevron deference, it makes them almost impossible to stop.
As Speaker Ryan explained, “For too long, the Court has given deference to the executive branch in interpreting laws. This deference empowers nameless, faceless, unaccountable bureaucrats to re-write laws and attach meaning that was never Congress’s intent. With this legislation, we are clamping down on this practice—and taking a first step toward restoring power to Congress and, more importantly, to the voters who send us here.”
It’s time to dismantle this “fourth branch” of government. The Separation of Powers Restoration Act, an important part of our Better Way plan to restore the Constitution, repeals the Chevron deference, revoking this dangerous precedent of giving unelected bureaucrats in Washington the benefit of the doubt. They certainly have lost that privilege.Read More
WASHINGTON—Today, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) appointed 44 House Republican lawmakers to serve on a bipartisan conference committee charged with producing a final National Defense Authorization Act to fund the military and secure the homeland.
“This legislation gives our military the tools and funding it needs to do its job and keep Americans safe,” said Speaker Ryan. “It also gives our men and women in uniform a well-deserved raise. If there’s anyone who deserves an increase in pay, it’s those who risk their lives every day for the safety of this country. I’m proud of the work done so far, and I look forward to sending this bill to the president’s desk.”
The House Republican conferees for this legislation are:
Committee on Armed Services
Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-TX)
Rep. Randy Forbes (R-VA)
Rep. Jeff Miller (R-FL)
Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC)
Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ)
Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT)
Rep. Michael Turner (R-OH)
Rep. John Kline (R-MN)
Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL)
Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ)
Rep. Bill Shuster (R-PA)
Rep. Mike Conaway (R-TX)
Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO)
Rep. Rob Wittman (R-VA)
Rep. Christopher Gibson (R-NY)
Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO)
Rep. Joseph Heck (R-NV)
Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY)
Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence
Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA)
Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS)
Committee on Energy & Commerce
Rep. Robert Latta (R-OH)
Rep. Bill Johnson (R-OH)
Committee on Education & the Workforce
Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI)
Rep. Brett Guthrie (R-KY)
Committee on Foreign Affairs
Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA)
Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY)
Committee on Homeland Security
Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX)
Rep. Dan Donovan (R-NY)
Committee on the Judiciary
Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA)
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA)
Committee on Natural Resources
Rep. Paul Cook (R-CA)
Rep. Cresent Hardy (R-NV)
Committee on Oversight & Government Reform
Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT)
Rep. Steve Russell (R-OK)
Committee on Science, Space, & Technology
Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX)
Rep. Randy Weber (R-TX)
Committee on Small Business
Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH)
Rep. Steve Knight (R-CA)
Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure
Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA)
Rep. David Rouzer (R-NC)
Committee on Veterans’ Affairs
Rep. David Roe (R-TN)
Rep. Mike Bost (R-IL)
Committee on Ways & Means
Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX)
Rep. Dave Reichert (R-WA)Read More
Back in May, we told you about a Wisconsin family fighting to honor the memory of Jason Simcakoski—a father, son, husband, and Marine who died due to mistreatment at a VA care center. Jason was seeking care for anxiety, but under medical supervision, passed away due to mixed drug toxicity.
It was a heartbreaking—and preventable—tragedy.
Named in Jason’s honor, the PROMISE Act was passed by the House earlier this year. It makes it safer for veterans to seek opioid therapy and pain management care. One of 18 initiatives the House passed in May to tackle the nation’s opioid crisis, it went to a bipartisan, bicameral conference committee charged with producing final legislation. Today, the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act was passed by the House of Representatives by an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote of 407-5.
There are many families like the Simcakoskis who welcome this day, because this legislation will better address the national epidemic of heroin addiction and prescription opioid abuse.
How? For starters, CARA puts private- and public-sector experts on the case to identify best practices for pain management. In other words—keeping an eye on what’s working, and getting rid of what isn’t.
This bill will require the government to advance education and awareness of opioid abuse. Knowledge is power. By better educating our communities, government officials, and health care professionals alike, we can work toward a safer, healthier America, less plagued by opioid addiction and abuse.
Quite simply, this legislation will help prevent many cases of opioid abuse and stop tragedies before they occur.
With today’s vote, the bill is one step closer to the president’s desk, which means we are one step closer to ensuring communities and families have more of the tools they need to stop this epidemic and save lives. In turn, we hope to see more high-school diplomas earned, more college dreams achieved, more career goals met—and, most importantly, more families kept together.
Now that is something we can all get behind.Read More
WASHINGTON—Today on the House floor, Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) delivered the following statement in light of last night’s attack in Dallas. “A few perpetrators of evil do not represent us,” the speaker said. “The blame lies with the people who committed these vicious acts, and no one else.” Below are Speaker Ryan’s full remarks:
“We are all stunned by the events last night in Dallas. We are all outraged. An attack on the people who protect us is an attack on all of us.
“Our hearts are with the Dallas Police Department. Our hearts are with the victims, and especially with their loved ones. They wear the badge too. I know that to be a cop's wife or a cop's husband is to prepare for the worst, but who could fathom such horror as this.
“There is no cause or context in which this violence—this kind of terror—is justified. None at all.
“There will be a temptation to let our anger harden our divisions. Let’s not let that happen. There’s going to be a temptation to let our anger send us further into our corners. Let’s not let that happen. That script is just easy to write—it’s too predictable. Let’s defy those predictions.
“A few perpetrators of evil do not represent us. They do not control us. The blame lies with the people who committed these vicious acts, and no one else. And as the president rightfully said, justice will be done.
“We also have to let the healing be done as well. This has been a long week for our country. It’s been a long month for America. We have seen terrible, terrible senseless things.
“Every member of this body—every Republican and every Democrat—wants to see less gun violence. Every member of this body wants a world in which people feel safe regardless of the color of their skin. And that’s not how people are feeling these days. “Sometimes we disagree on how to get there. Sometimes we disagree passionately on how to get there. But in having this debate, let’s not lose sight of the values that unite us. Let’s not lose sight in our common humanity. “The values that brought those protesters to the streets in Dallas, the values that brought those protesters to the streets in Washington last night—respect, decency, compassion, humanity. If we lose these fundamental things, what’s left?
“We need to take a moment here. For reflection, for thought, for prayer, for justice, for action. Right now, let’s let justice be done, and let’s also let some healing occur, too.”
Happening now: flags at the United States Capitol are being lowered to half-staff in honor of the officers lost in Dallas.Posted by Speaker Paul Ryan on Friday, July 8, 2016
This morning at his weekly press briefing, Speaker Ryan was asked, “Do you think it is an appropriate manner to take over the House floor?” His answer was one of civility, bipartisanship, and respect for the institution of the House of Representatives: “If we turn the floor into a partisan war zone,” said Speaker Ryan, “then there is no chance left for any kind of comity or bipartisanship.” Here’s his full comment:
“We are the oldest democracy in the world. We operate under the Constitution and the legislative branch of government, where we are supposed to debate our rules, our laws, our reforms civilly, with rules and laws. If we break those rules, how can we have civilized democracy? That is point one.
“Point two, you know, you don't get to know people in the other party a lot around here. That's one of the big regrets I have for the way politics works these days. I got to know Democrats in my career mostly because of the people I served with on my committees; the Budget Committee and Ways and Means Committee. But where you really get to know Democrats the best, and where Democrats get to know Republicans the best, is on the floor of Congress.
“You were there. You were in the gallery. We spend hours voting every day, every week and that floor is the best place for us to actually get to know each other, to strike up conversations, to strike up friendships, to negotiate, to compromise, to talk and discuss. This is where bipartisanship actually occurs. It's really the only message left that we have for Republicans and Democrats to actually come together. And if we turn the floor of the House of Representatives into a partisan war zone complete with tweeting, Periscoping electronic devices, then we have eviscerated any vestige of bipartisanship, any place or chance for Republicans and Democrats to actually come together and talk to each other, to actually get to know each other.
“Look, my mentor, you all know, is Jack Kemp, and he used to always regret the fact that members of Congress don't live in Washington anymore. I don't. Most of us don't. We live at home in our districts. Modern air travel, all the rest is—for a bunch of reasons, we don't do that. The reason he always regretted that is because we never got to know each other. You know, our kids didn't play on the same basketball teams together.
“And the last place we have where Republicans and Democrats actually just spend casual time with each other working out their differences, getting to know each other is the floor. And if we turn the floor into a partisan war zone, then there is no chance left for any kind of comity or bipartisanship.”Read More
Today, Speaker Ryan formally asked Director of National Intelligence James Clapper to refrain from providing any classified information to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. He also asked FBI Director James Comey to release the full unclassified findings of the investigation of Secretary Clinton’s email system. This is the latest in a series of steps House Republicans are taking to hold Secretary Clinton accountable for mishandling classified information.
Here are some of the latest headlines on our efforts:
Ryan Formally Asks DNI to Block Clinton’s Access to Classified Info“After FBI Director James Comey called Clinton’s handling of classified material ‘extremely careless,’ Ryan argued in an interview on Fox on Tuesday that the Democratic nominee shouldn’t be permitted to get top secret briefings, but the letter formalizes that recommendation. Ryan cites his own experience receiving classified intelligence briefings as his party’s vice presidential nominee in 2012 in his letter, saying he understands Clinton is set to begin getting similar briefings after her party formally nominates her at the Democratic convention later this month.” (CNN)
Paul Ryan Has a Very Simple Idea for How Obama Admin Can Keep Classified Secrets Safe From Hillary“[T]he House Speaker is appealing to Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, who reports directly to resident Obama and is responsible for the classified email briefings that are given to each presidential nominee. His message: Deny Hillary Clinton those briefings.” (IJ Review)
Paul Ryan, GOP Officials Blast Clinton Over FBI Email Findings“House Speaker Paul Ryan blasted FBI Director James Comey’s decision Tuesday not to recommend charges against Hillary Clinton over her use of a private email server at the State Department, saying the ‘announcement defies explanation. . . . Declining to prosecute Secretary Clinton for recklessly mishandling and transmitting national security information will set a terrible precedent.'” (USA Today)
Ryan: Clinton’s Handling of Emails ‘Disqualifying’“Paul Ryan on Tuesday night continued harshly criticizing Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while in office, saying that ‘she clearly lives above the law’ and that her actions were disqualifying. ‘What bothers me about this is that the Clintons really are living above the law,’. . . . Asked by Kelly whether he thought Clinton’s actions were disqualifying, Ryan replied: ‘Oh, sure I do.’” (POLITICO)
FBI Director Grilled Over Clinton Email Claims at Tense Hearing“FBI Director James Comey acknowledged Thursday that multiple public statements made by Hillary Clinton about her email use were not true, at a tense Capitol Hill hearing where he faced tough questions from GOP lawmakers over the bureau’s decision not to seek charges against the former secretary of state despite her handling of classified information.” (Fox News)
Ryan: ‘Hillary Clinton Clearly Lives Above the Law’“House Speaker Paul Ryan weighed in on the FBI’s decision not to recommend criminal charges against Hillary Clinton, saying that the Democratic candidate ‘lives above the law.’ Ryan said that it sounded as if FBI Director James Comey was preparing to recommend prosecution against Clinton for mishandling classified information and being grossly negligent, only to recommend against.” (Fox News)
GOP Mulls Congressional Action to Punish Clinton“House Republicans are considering whether to take punitive action against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, including the appointment of a special prosecutor, in response to Clinton’s careless use of classified emails during her tenure, just a day after the FBI said it wouldn’t recommend criminal charges against her. ‘We’re not going to foreclose any options,’ House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said Wednesday after meeting privately with House Republicans. (Washington Examiner)
House Republicans promise Clinton email probe is not over“Republicans in Congress are promising the headlines over Hillary Clinton’s email server won’t go away anytime soon. On Wednesday, Republican leaders announced that FBI Director James Comey and Attorney General Loretta Lynch will be testifying on the subject on Capitol Hill over the next two weeks, and additional probes may follow.” (USA Today)Read More
Today at his weekly press briefing, Speaker Ryan discussed the letters he sent to FBI Director James Comey and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper earlier today in response to the FBI’s conclusion of its investigation of Secretary Clinton, as well as other measures House Republicans are taking to restore effective oversight. Below are his opening remarks:
“This morning, FBI Director James Comey is testifying before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Right now, there are still far more questions than answers regarding the investigation of Secretary Clinton. The director himself has said that this matter requires ‘unusual transparency.’ And I completely agree. “That is why I have sent a letter to Director Comey requesting that he release all of the unclassified findings of this investigation.
“In addition, I have sent a letter to the Director of National Intelligence requesting that he refrain from providing classified briefings to Secretary Clinton during the campaign. Here is why. In Director Comey’s statement on Tuesday, he said, and I will quote: “‘This is not to suggest that in similar circumstances, a person who engaged in this activity would face no consequences. To the contrary, those individuals are often subject to security or administrative sanctions.’ “And just this morning, he stated that there are often ‘very severe consequences’ for mishandling classified information.
“So it stands to reason that individuals who are ‘extremely careless’ with classified information should be denied further access to that type of information.
“I want to make an additional point here. The recklessness we have seen from Secretary Clinton—this sort of cavalier attitude toward accountability and responsibility—it is not confined to one person or one government agency. It goes on every day in this administration. “Just this morning, two congressional committees released a report detailing how the administration unlawfully spent billions of dollars [on] Obamacare. This was not an inadvertent violation. There was a clear, concerted effort to circumvent the law and the Constitution.
“Also this week, a commission established by Congress released a report that shows that the Veterans Administration still has not changed the way that they do business. As a result, too many veterans continue to wait too long for care. Meanwhile, VA bureaucrats face little or no accountability for their failures. “These things are going on every day in our government. We in Congress have a responsibility to provide oversight, and we will fulfill that obligation. “In addition, as part of our Better Way agenda, we have put forward several ideas on how best to restore accountability and reclaim the separation of powers. I encourage you to learn more about this by going to better.gop.”Read More
WASHINGTON—Today, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) continued to press for action regarding the investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s unauthorized email system. In a letter to Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, Speaker Ryan requested that the intelligence community refrain from providing any classified information to Secretary Clinton. “This is necessary to reassure the public that our nation's secrets are secure.” Ryan writes.
In addition, Speaker Ryan sent a letter to FBI Director James Comey requesting that he release all of the unclassified findings from the Bureau's investigation. Director Comey is testifying today before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.Letter to Director Clapper
“As a former vice presidential nominee, I am keenly aware that Secretary Clinton is set to begin receiving classified intelligence briefings after the Democratic National Convention. However, Director Comey stated that ‘this is not to suggest that in similar circumstances, a person who engaged in this activity would face no consequences. To the contrary, those individuals are often subject to security or administrative sanctions.’ Given the FBI’s findings, denying Secretary Clinton access to classified information certainly constitutes appropriate sanctions. This is necessary to reassure the public that our nation’s secrets are secure.”Letter to Director Comey
“Right now, there are simply too many unanswered questions. While we have started oversight hearings, as you stated earlier this week, ‘given the importance of the matter, I think unusual transparency is in order.’ I completely agree. That’s why I am requesting that you release all of the findings from your investigation. The American people deserve to know exactly what your investigation uncovered and why the FBI came to the decision to recommend that no criminal charges be brought against Secretary Clinton.”Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) released the following statement after the House passed H.R. 2646, the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act, which reforms the nation’s mental health care system:
“Today, the House took a major step to change the way our nation’s health care system deals with mental illness. We need to make sure that the people who suffer from mental illness—just like any other patients—get the care and medications they need. H.R. 2646 does just that. This is good, bipartisan legislation, and I applaud Rep. Murphy for his years of leadership and dedication to this cause.”
At a press conference this morning, Speaker Ryan discussed his concerns with the FBI’s investigation of Hillary Clinton:
“Number one, I think Director Comey’s press conference . . . raises more questions than provides answers. That’s point number one. Point number two, there’s a lot of questions that have to be answered. So we’re going to be asking those questions. I know the Judiciary Committee sent a letter last night with a number of questions. Oversight and Government Reform . . . is going to invite the FBI Director to come up and testify.
“He did say that short of prosecution, some kind of administrative action might be in order. Look, I was on the ticket in 2012. After the convention, you get the full deep classified information as part of transition, as part of being a nominee. I think the Director of National Intelligence Clapper should deny Hillary Clinton access to classified information during the campaign given how she so recklessly handled classified information. . . .
“Director Comey’s presentation shredded the claims that Secretary Clinton made throughout the year with respect to this issue. He laid out a case how the things she had been saying she had or had not done were false. We have seen nothing but stonewalling and dishonesty from Secretary Clinton on this issue and that means a lot more questions need to be answered.”Read More
This morning at a press briefing with House Republicans, Speaker Ryan discussed the common-sense legislation the House will vote on this week to address the threat of terrorism in America:
“From the beginning, I have been saying that we need to be clear-eyed about who the enemy is. We need to stay focused on the threat of homegrown terrorism. But right now, we have an administration that simply refuses to step up its game. “Last month, as part of our Better Way agenda, we put out 67 recommendations to keep America safe. Last week, Leader McCarthy—working with our terrorism task force—proposed common-sense legislation to address the threat to our homeland, including the Zeldin legislation. “It’s common sense because it requires our government to prioritize its efforts to counter violent extremism. That includes defining the enemy as radical Islamic terrorism. Believe it or not, we do not do this already. “This legislation is also common sense because it takes steps to make sure that guns don’t fall into the hands of terrorists.
“This is something that we have to get right. Law enforcement has been telling us, over and over, we have to get this right. Because if we get this wrong, we could undermine their own terrorist investigations. “Let me say this. There isn’t a person in Congress that wants a terrorist to get a gun. But we also want to make sure that we do not undermine those ongoing terrorist investigations that law enforcement is conducting. “And, as I have said, we are not going to compromise the Constitution. We are not going to infringe upon anyone’s rights without due process. This is very important. “The Constitution is a beautiful document. It is so efficient, you can fit it in your pocket. We are not going to actually pass legislation that infringes upon a person’s constitutional rights. So we have to get this right. “We don’t want to infringe upon the 2nd Amendment. We don’t want to infringe upon the 5th Amendment. We don’t want to infringe upon anyone’s basic constitutional rights. We can get this right while honoring the Constitution. “This is what we all swear to serve. When we take the oath of office, we swear to support and defend the Constitution—and that is our duty.
“Now, we need to define this enemy. We need to defeat this enemy. “I also want to take a moment to note today that the House will take up landmark legislation to reform our mental health system. This is what Congressman Tim Murphy—a clinical psychologist—has poured his life into. He has spent years working on mental health reform. This is bipartisan reform. It came out unanimous from the [Energy and] Commerce Committee. That also is something we think needs to be addressed to address the gun violence that is occurring in America, which is dealing with the issue of mental illness. That is coming to the floor today. So I want to thank Congressman Murphy for that. “Because of this bill, people will get the treatment they need when they need it. It’s a great breakthrough, and I look forward to today’s vote.”
Following are excerpts from Speaker Ryan’s appearance last night on The Kelly File, during which he discussed the FBI’s investigation of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton:
We’re already acting on the ideas that are part of A Better Way. Today, for instance, the House is taking up two bills to help startups raise capital when they need it most.
Both authored by Chief Deputy Whip Patrick McHenry (R-NC), these initiatives update SEC rules to make it easier for startups to attract a broader and deeper pool of investors. Here’s what they do:
Here’s what Rep. McHenry said after these bills were approved by the Financial Services Committee:
“Today, small businesses--particularly those in rural America—face immense challenges raising capital as traditional lenders have greatly reduced small business lending. To confront this challenge, we must harness technology and encourage innovative forms of capital formation to fill the void.”
Learn more at better.gop.Read More
On Friday, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) introduced the Homeland Safety and Security Act (H.R. 5611), which comes in response to a spate of terrorist attacks across the globe, including the heinous assault in Orlando. The administration cites these attacks as proof that ISIS is on the run. We disagree. They are painful reminders that we have much more work to do to defeat terrorism. That’s why we’re taking action with this bill to protect our homeland.
Here a 4 things you need to know about it:
1. It Counters Islamist Radicalization in the U.S. As we saw in Orlando, domestic terrorism can take the form of Americans who are radicalized online by ISIS propaganda. This bill includes language similar to what was approved on a bipartisan basis in committee to establish a unit within the Department of Homeland Security focused on combating radical Islamist terrorism. This would be the first program of its kind to call the threat by its real name: radical Islamist terrorism.
2. It Revokes Passports of Known Extremists Another way to prevent attacks within our borders is to revoke passports of individuals with known ties to foreign terrorist organizations. This would stop extremists seeking explosives training—or trying to carry out an attack abroad—from being able to travel. A bipartisan majority in the House passed similar language last year.
3. It Assesses Existing Security Vulnerabilities In addition to countering extremism here at home, this bill takes action to prevent terrorists from infiltrating our borders. In particular, it requires the Department of Homeland Security to conduct a national test to assess security vulnerabilities that terrorists can exploit to enter our country. This is yet another proposal with strong bipartisan support in the House.
4. It Prevents Potential Terrorists from Purchasing Weapons And finally, this bill helps prevent potential terrorists from purchasing weapons. This measure notifies law enforcement if a known or suspected terrorist attempts to buy explosives or firearms. At that point, the sale can either be delayed for a maximum of three business days or denied only if there is probable cause to believe the individual poses a risk. This will help keep weapons out of the hands of terrorists while protecting Second Amendment rights and preserving due process.Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement regarding the recommendation from FBI Director James Comey that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton not be prosecuted for her "extremely careless" mishandling of classified information:
"While I respect the law enforcement professionals at the FBI, this announcement defies explanation. No one should be above the law. But based upon the director's own statement, it appears damage is being done to the rule of law. Declining to prosecute Secretary Clinton for recklessly mishandling and transmitting national security information will set a terrible precedent. The findings of this investigation also make clear that Secretary Clinton misled the American people when she was confronted with her criminal actions. While we need more information about how the Bureau came to this recommendation, the American people will reject this troubling pattern of dishonesty and poor judgment."
While I respect the professionals at the FBI, this announcement defies explanation. No one should be above the law. pic.twitter.com/OqctxglquI— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) July 5, 2016
WASHINGTON—Today, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) released the following statement in commemoration of Independence Day:
"On this year’s Fourth, we can celebrate the historic document that was signed—and the self-evident truths it declared. We can celebrate the historic battles that were fought so that those truths would embrace all of our people. We can remember the extraordinary men and women, so dedicated to those truths, who died on this day—and the millions of others whose names we’ll never know. Or we can remember—and give thanks—that we live in a country where all these things are possible. We still believe in those self-evident truths. We still struggle to live up to them. And really, what that struggle represents is the pursuit of happiness. So today, with great gratitude, we celebrate our independence."Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement regarding the passing of Elie Wiesel, who was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in 1984:
“We mourn Elie Wiesel’s passing with profound gratitude for his life. Professor Wiesel gave the voiceless not only a voice, but a lasting influence on the world. He made it his life’s work to ensure the horrors of the Holocaust are never forgotten or repeated. This will forever be his legacy.”Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement after introduction of H.R. 5611, the Homeland Safety and Security Act, by Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA):
“While the enemy’s tactics are evolving, the Obama administration’s strategy to defeat radical Islamist extremism is not. We have to step up our game. This counterterrorism legislation provides new tools to protect our homeland, including a provision to prevent terrorists from buying guns. It is a responsible measure that confronts this threat while protecting the rights of law-abiding citizens. I look forward to a debate and vote on the House floor next week.”
BACKGROUND: THE HOMELAND SAFETY AND SECURITY ACT
This is the second counterterrorism package that the House will vote on since the Orlando shooting. On June 16, the House passed H.R. 5471, the Countering Terrorist Radicalization Act.
Read the Homeland Safety and Security Act here, and a summary of its provisions below:
1. Authorizes an office within the Department of Homeland Security to prioritize counter Islamist terrorist radicalization in the U.S. The text of the legislation calls the threat by its true name—radical Islamist terrorism—which is a first.
2. Requires a nationwide exercise to game out the threat of individuals traveling from the U.S. to join a terrorist organization and terrorist infiltration into the United States (by US citizens and foreign nationals)
3. Revokes U.S. passports of individuals who belong to designated foreign terrorist organizations or have aided, abetted, or provided material support to such an organization.
4. Requires that law enforcement be notified if an individual investigated as a known or suspected terrorist in the last five years attempts to purchase a gun:
WASHINGTON—In this week’s Republican address, Select Committee on Benghazi Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-SC), Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA), and Rep. Susan Brooks (R-IN) discuss the select committee’s final report detailing new information regarding the September 2012 terrorist attack in Libya that killed four Americans.
“By focusing with dogged determination on uncovering all relevant documents and talking to new eyewitnesses, the Select Committee is now able to tell you, the American people, about these important new facts that fundamentally change what we know about Benghazi,” the members said. “Because we want to do everything possible to ensure this never happens again.”
Remarks of Chairman Trey Gowdy of South Carolina, Representative Lynn Westmoreland of Georgia, and Representative Susan Brooks of IndianaWeekly Republican AddressWashington, DCJuly 2, 2016
Today, as we prepare to celebrate the Fourth of July, we can take pride in the fact that brave men and women, through their own ingenuity and determination, were able to achieve independence for our great nation.
This same essential American spirit was on full display in Libya on the night of September 11, 2012, where brave men and women—serving at one of our highest threat foreign outposts in one of America’s least secure diplomatic facilities—had to rely on their own ingenuity and determination and one another to survive.
The Select Committee on Benghazi sought from the beginning to tell their story and provide the final, definitive accounting of that fateful night for their families and the American people.
It is because of this investigation, we now know no American forces were ever going to Benghazi the night of the attacks.
And the small group from Tripoli that did go, did so on their own initiative. Because of this investigation, we now know the full story of all the security agents and personnel who made it from Tripoli to Benghazi—who faced assaults, gunfights, ambushes, and ultimately a fatal mortar attack that left two heroic rescuers dead.
And now we know were it not for the extraordinary efforts of a CIA security contractor, we would have lost two more Americans that night.
The real story of Benghazi is truly a tale of two cities. In Benghazi, where our people were valiantly fighting for their lives, and Washington, DC, where administration officials sat on a teleconference and talked for two hours.
Meanwhile, half a world away in Europe, forces that were ready to respond were forced to wait on the transport and to change into and out of uniform four times.
The end result of this previously unknown teleconference was a list of action items, half of which had to do with an online video.
It is sad and telling that instead of a singular focus on rescuing our people in harm’s way, key decision-makers in the administration were worried about a video and the appearance that our rescuers could be perceived as invaders because of the clothes they were wearing.
By focusing with dogged determination on uncovering all relevant documents and talking to new eyewitnesses, the Select Committee is now able to tell you, the American people, about these important new facts that fundamentally change what we know about Benghazi.
Because we want to do everything possible to ensure this never happens again—and if it does, that we are better prepared to respond, the majority makes a series of recommendations for the Pentagon, State Department, intelligence community, and Congress.
On behalf of a grateful nation, we honor the service and sacrifice made by Ambassador Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, Glen Doherty, and Tyrone Woods, and all those who served in Benghazi. On this Independence Day weekend, we recognize them as true American heroes and patriots. And we thank them, and we thank their loved ones. May God bless our citizens and may God bless the United States of America.Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) today announced that members of the Select Committee on Benghazi will deliver the Weekly Republican Address on Saturday, July 2. In the address, Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-SC), Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA), and Rep. Susan Brooks (R-IN) will discuss the select committee’s new report, which details new information with regards to the September 2012 terrorist attack that killed four Americans.
“Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods were heroes who gave their lives in service to our country, and their courage and bravery should be honored,” Chairman Gowdy said. "I simply ask the American people to read this report for themselves, look at the evidence we have collected, and reach their own conclusions. This report can be read in less time than our fellow citizens were taking fire and fighting for their lives on the rooftops and in the streets of Benghazi.”
“By interviewing more than 80 witnesses who had never before been questioned by Congress, and obtaining more than 75,000 pages of new documents, the committee was able to issue a report that finally provides answers for the families of the victims and for all Americans,” Speaker Ryan said after the report's release. “We must ensure that those who hold positions of responsibility do better for the men and women who serve in harm’s way.”
To read the committee’s full report, visit benghazi.house.gov.
The Weekly Republican Address will be available starting Saturday, July 2 at 6:00 a.m. ET on speaker.gov.Read More
Looking for a few conversation starters ahead of the Fourth of July weekend? We thought you might be. And because they—whoever “they” are—say to keep politics out of social conversations, we’ve got just the perfect alternative for you.
That’s right—Speaker Ryan joined Erick Erickson’s podcast last week for a 16-minute long discussion about everything but politics. We’re talking fly fishing, hunting, and…classical music? (Bet you didn’t see that one coming.)
So, in the spirit of his favorite band, turn on a little Led Zeppelin and continue reading—here are 10 non-political things you probably didn’t know about Speaker Ryan:
1. When he was a child, he practiced fly fishing in a field.“When I was a kid, I practiced in a field—in a park. We had this little park in our neighborhood and I’d just go practice up there. It’s all about getting the cast right.”
2. His favorite sport is bow hunting.“That’s my favorite passion . . . my favorite sport, my favorite hobby of all is bow hunting.”
3. He takes his family to Deer Camp.“I grew up doing Deer Camp, which is during opening weekend of deer season . . . I hunt in the morning by myself and then I hunt with kids in the dusk.”
4. Homer is his favorite character on The Simpsons.“Troy McClure's not so bad—he's a good side character. I mean, you can't get better than Homer—what can you say? Homer's the best."
5. He listens to Beethoven.“I listen to country, I listen to heavy metal, hard rock, and classical music. I’d say Led Zeppelin is probably my favorite thing, but I do listen to classical music—and Beethoven’s 9th is by far my favorite.”
6. He wanted to be a doctor.“I wanted to be a doctor growing up. I wanted to be a doctor when I was a kid, like my grandfather. My grandfather—I adored the guy . . . He was a doctor in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin—and when I was a kid, I wanted to be a doctor. And then I realized, you know, I just sort of lost my interest after taking chemistry.”
7. When he came to Washington, he figured he’d become an economist.“Jack Kemp, who I adored, was looking for a young staff economist—basically somebody to do his economic policy work at this new think tank he was forming called Empower America. And he hired me to do that, and I thought all along, ‘I’ll do this for a few years—you know two years, three years.’ And then I wanted to go further my education in economics and go into the field of economics.”
8. But, as time would tell, Jack Kemp inspired him to do something different.“Jack was my mentor, and he basically taught me that the Battle of Ideas—as he described it—is fighting for principles, public policy, we were part of the conservative movement. And I learned so much as a young sort of ‘foot soldier’ in the conservative movement in those days that I just really took it on as my vocation. And I realized that was my passion—fighting for conservative ideas.”
9. He was reading Milton Friedman books at the ripe age of 16.“My parents were Milton Friedman fans so I read Free to Choose when I think I was like 16 or something like that.”
10. And finally, you can take the guy out of Wisconsin, but…“I drink Miller Light and Pabst Blue Ribbon . . . it’s what we drink where we come from. You know, you can take the guy out of Wisconsin, but you can’t take the Wisconsin out of the guy.”
“This is the first [conversation] I’ve had like this in a long, long time,” the speaker said in closing. We think conversations like this ought to happen more often—don’t you?Read More
This month, House Republicans hosted six separate events in just three weeks to launch their plan for A Better Way, a bold policy agenda to address some of the country’s biggest challenges. Better.gop is your one-stop-shop to learn about all six issues in-depth, but for those who are already thinking about the long 4th of July weekend, here's a very quick recap featuring six photos and six quotes from Speaker Ryan.1. Poverty
"Instead of trapping people in poverty, let's get them on a ladder of opportunity." (click to retweet)
"America must secure the border once and for all." (click to retweet)
"States are best equipped to regulate energy development. That’s a #BetterWay to grow the economy." (click to retweet)
"We can't rely on the courts alone to protect our rights. There's a #BetterWay to uphold our Constitution." (click to retweet)
"Remember when Obamacare was going to deliver big decreases in health care premiums? There's a #BetterWay." (click to retweet)
"We want a tax code that works for the taxpayers—not the tax collectors. This is a #BetterWay." (click to retweet)
See more photos:
Bonus photo: Speaker Ryan posted his first 360° photo on Facebook earlier this week. Click below to check out the speaker's balcony from any angle.
Good morning from the Speaker's balcony at the United States Capitol! Swipe around the photo to see the view from all 360 degrees.Posted by Speaker Paul Ryan on Monday, June 27, 2016
WASHINGTON — House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) released the following statement after the Senate passed the bipartisan Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA):
“I am pleased that the Senate has passed PROMESA, the result of months of work by the House. This bipartisan legislation addresses the fiscal crisis in Puerto Rico while protecting American taxpayers from a bailout of the territory. The legislation creates an oversight board that will institute the necessary reforms so Puerto Rico can begin to turn its economy around and get on a path to fiscal health. Congress has fulfilled our constitutional obligation and I urge President Obama to sign PROMESA immediately.”Read More
What if I told you about a once-in-a-lifetime investment opportunity in a centrally located emerging market? If you hurry, you can beat out the competition and be one of the first investors on the ground there.
The catch? Well, the country may dabble in terrorism. Actually, it may be the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism. And it may have one of the worst human-rights records of any nation in modern history.
We’re talking, of course, about Iran—a country with a rich cultural heritage dating back many centuries, but one under the oppressive grip of a brutal, theocratic regime. It’s a regime that hangs gay people. And imprisons innocent Americans. And threatens the annihilation of Israel. And denies the Holocaust. And sponsors terrorist organizations around the globe. And it’s a regime bent on acquiring nuclear weapons while pursuing intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of reaching the eastern seaboard of the United States.
Over the past decade, this behavior has prompted strong backlash from Congress in the form of crippling economic sanctions. The nuclear deal struck last summer—against the will of the American people and their elected representatives—lifted nuclear-related sanctions, but promised to keep in place those related to Iran’s human rights abuses and terror financing. In some instances, however, the line between nuclear and non-nuclear sanctions is blurred, causing confusion as to what business is now permitted. As a result, foreign banks and companies are hesitant to reenter the Iranian marketplace. So now Secretary Kerry, under mounting pressure from Tehran, is embarking on an overseas tour to declare Iran open for business.
A report last month entitled “John Kerry’s Awkward Push for Investment in Iran” explains that the secretary of state “has negotiated himself into the odd position of explaining to Western banks how they can do business in Iran.”
It’s not going well. According to the Associated Press, “The Obama administration’s calls for restoring global business ties with Iran are falling flat in Europe, where risk-averse banks told U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry they don’t believe they can do business in the Islamic Republic without triggering U.S. sanctions.”
Moreover, earlier this month Secretary Kerry’s own State Department released its annual report on state sponsors of terrorism, which says that “Iran remained the foremost state sponsor of terrorism in 2015, providing a range of support, including financial, training, and equipment, to grounds around the world—particularly Hizballah.”
In addition, just last week, the Financial Action Task Force—an international organization that sets standards for anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing—decided to keep Iran on its list of “high-risk and non-cooperative jurisdictions.” So while Secretary Kerry is encouraging banks to do business in Iran, neutral third parties continue to “remain concerned with the terrorist financing risk emanating from Iran and the threat this poses to the international financial system.”
It’s important to keep in mind that the nuclear deal in no way, shape, or form obligates the U.S. government, much less the secretary of state himself, to lobby foreign banks or companies to do business with Iran. This effort by Secretary Kerry, along with the administration’s recent purchase of nuclear materials from Iran’s nuclear program, is just another unprecedented concession to Tehran.
As Speaker Ryan said this week, “Where does President Obama’s nuclear agreement state that Secretary Kerry must serve as Iran’s chief salesman? The fact remains that Iran is the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism. Until that changes, businesses are right to be wary about reentering the Iranian marketplace.”Read More
Every year, an estimated 265,000 children are removed from their homes by welfare officials, thrown into a foster care system that often isn’t prepared to welcome them. Every one of those 265,000 children represents a family torn apart: parents who won’t raise them; siblings who won’t grow up together.
This bill would allow states to use federal foster care dollars to pay for family services, preventing the need for foster care for some and keeping more families together.
It would provide funding for evidence-based services to prevent child abuse and neglect—in other words, make sure there are real, substantive reasons for a child to be removed.
And, when foster care is the best option, this bill would ensure foster children are placed in appropriate, family settings—not group homes or communal facilities.
By providing evidence-based prevention services, we can work to keep children out of foster care who don’t have to be. We can reduce the number of inappropriate group housing placements—meaning more family-friendly, pre-vetted homes, ready to welcome their foster children with open arms. And most importantly, we can reduce the risks of substance abuse and homelessness and ensure America’s children grow up in safe, healthy environments.
That’s why, this month, the bill passed both the Ways and Means Committee and the House on a bipartisan basis, to the satisfaction of dozens of organizations across the country:
The Children’s Defense Fund said this bill “takes historic and long overdue steps to direct federal child welfare dollars to improve outcomes for vulnerable children and families.”
Generations United applauded that it “offers relatives the support they need to keep children out of foster care and help them strive.”
It “expand[s] the availability of such services and reflects the reality that many families, including adoptive families, need targeted, effective services to meet their children’s needs and prevent foster care entry,” said the North American Council on Adoptable Children.
As Rep. Buchanan said, breaking up families should be a last resort—and this bill will help make it so.Read More
WASHINGTON—Today, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) released the following statement after Senate Democrats voted to block needed resources to help our veterans and stop the spread of the Zika virus: “This is ridiculous. Senate Democrats, after demanding Zika funding for months and supporting this exact funding level for weeks, now block it to create a political issue. Putting politics before a public health crisis is about as irresponsible as it gets. So much for all those lectures about doing your job.”
NOTE: Today, Senate Democrats voted to block the following:
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) today released a video announcing the publication of the final report from the Select Committee on Benghazi.
"Trey Gowdy and the Benghazi Committee have been working hard to get the truth for the American people. They just released their report, and I encourage you to read it for yourself. "The report contains a significant amount of new information, about what happened before, during, and after the terrorist attack that left four of our fellow citizens dead. "By interviewing more than 80 witnesses who had never before been questioned by Congress, and obtaining more than 75,000 pages of new documents, the committee was able to issue a report that finally provides answers for the families of the victims and for all Americans. It makes clear that officials in Washington failed our men and women on the ground when they were in need of help. And the report makes key recommendations for how we can prevent such a tragedy from happening again. "We must ensure that those who hold positions of responsibility do better for the men and women who serve in harm’s way.
"To read the report, go to benghazi.house.gov."Read More
Following last week’s referendum vote in the United Kingdom to leave the European Union, Speaker Ryan has said that the special relationship between our two nations will endure. To demonstrate that commitment, the speaker is calling on the United States, in parallel with its negotiations with Europe, to pursue a free trade agreement with the UK, once it has formally separated from the EU. He made these comments in interviews Friday with Wisconsin media.
Speaking with Mike Gousha on WISN, the speaker said:
"Number one, we need to emphasize that they are our indispensable ally, we have a special relationship, and I think that does mean we should have a trade agreement with England – with Great Britain. That is something we should begin discussions with Great Britain to ease concerns so that we do have a smooth trade relationship with Great Britain because they are our indispensable ally. And we need to show our solidarity. . . . Obviously it takes time to do something like this, but I think it is something we should be working on.”
And later, on WBEL with Mike Daly, the speaker made the following call for a trade agreement:
“We would probably want to put together our own trade agreement with Great Britain, which would be easier to do actually. We’re in talks with Europe on something we call TTIP, but I think we should do a parallel track of Great Britain—United Kingdom, excuse me—United Kingdom trade agreement while we talk with Europe about TTIP. It’s very important that we maintain our very strong alliance with England. They are a special relationship—[a] very, very indispensable ally. Trade with England is very big between our two countries and very beneficial for our two countries, not like some of the other countries we’ve had problems with. . . you would not put England in that kind of category. . . . I think we should make sure that our trading relationship is stable, so that our respective economies are not affected but actually improved."
Aim big. Go bold. Tackle the big things so we can restore a Confident America. That’s what A Better Way is all about, and no plank of the plan may represent this vision better than tax reform. Make it so that most Americans can do their taxes on a form so simple it could fit on a postcard. Cut taxes on the people who hire workers so they can hire more of them and grow our economy. And bust up the IRS so it serves the taxpayers, and only the taxpayers.
Don’t take our word for it. Here’s a glimpse at what the experts are saying:
The House Republican plan for A Better Way offers a clear and compelling choice for America's future, but that doesn't mean you have to wait to start seeing results. That future starts now.
Just last week, Speaker Ryan signed the FOIA Improvement Act (S.337), sponsored by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) in the House, which will make it harder than ever for the federal government to withhold information from the public. It's simply a better way to do business in Washington, and this meaningful legislation to hold Washington accountable now heads to the president's desk to become law.Read More
A lot happened this week. Think about it...
That's not all. Also this week, we sent more bipartisan legislation to the president’s desk. That includes the Recovering Missing Children Act, an initiative authored by Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-MN) that would make it easier for investigators to locate abducted children.
And this is the Speaker signing the Female Veteran Suicide Prevention Act. The VA found that, from 2000 to 2010, the suicide rate for women veterans increased by 40 percent. This bill would improve our ability to get women veterans the help they need.
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) today announced the appointments of two distinguished attorneys to positions that are critical to the function and operation of the House.
WASHINGTON — Today, House Republicans launched the sixth and final plank of their #BetterWay agenda—fair, simple, pro-growth tax reform. Joined by Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) and other committee members, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) delivered the following remarks as prepared for delivery this morning at the roll out event: “Thank you very much. First, I want to say just how proud I am of my colleagues. They have done outstanding work over the past six months. They have put together a serious, principled agenda for 2017. And this tax-reform plan is no exception.
“The way I’d sum it up is: We want a tax code that works for the taxpayers—not the tax collectors. We want to make it simpler, flatter, fairer. Bring the number of tax brackets down from 7 to 3. Lower rates for everybody. Bring the top rate down to 33 percent. Close those special-interest loopholes. Consolidate those deductions and credits. Make it so simple that the average American can do their taxes on a postcard, and that the average IRS agent can understand it.
“But more than that, we want to make America the best place in the world to do business. Cut taxes on small business. Lower their top rate to 25 percent. Cut our corporate tax rate—which is the highest in the industrialized world—from 35 to 20 percent. Stop taxing people when they bring money into our country. Stop taxing new investments. Don’t punish people for saving and investing. Reward them.
“All these things will grow our economy, create jobs, and raise wages right here in America.
“And finally, the IRS needs to get its act together. It needs to put taxpayers first. So we streamline the IRS. Install a new commissioner. Clear out the bureaucracy. And update their technology so taxpayers get the help—and the privacy—they deserve.
“All these things will fix our tax code. And all six parts of our agenda will get our country back on track.
“I think it’s good to remember why we started this project. We did it because we are living in a very uncertain time. Seventy percent of Americans don’t like the direction the country is going in. And neither do we.
“But the way we saw it, that meant we had an obligation to offer an alternative. What we are doing is offering the country a better way. “A better way to lift people out of poverty, to keep America safe, to grow our economy, to protect self-government, to fix our health care. And now, a better way to fix our tax code. If you want to learn more about all six parts of our plan, go to our website: better.gop. “To close, I want say how I see the moment we’re in: We are going into a global economy that’s faster than anything we’ve seen before. One part of the country is OK with this. Another is more skeptical. “They’re wondering, ‘How are we going to preserve our values? How are we going to preserve opportunity for all of our people? How are we going to keep America strong?’ “Or really, the question is, are we going to shape the global economy? Or is it going to shape us? I think, with this plan, America can once again take the lead.
“With this plan, everyone in our country—the anxious and the eager, the Old America and the New America—can unite and build a confident America.
“With this plan, we can take our founding principles—liberty, free enterprise, government by consent—and bring them to life in the 21st century.
“With this plan, we can turn this country around and expand opportunity for all Americans.
“This is what our country needs. This is a better way. Thank you very much.”Read More
WASHINGTON—Today, at a U.S. Capitol press conference, House Republicans unveiled a pro-growth blueprint for tax reform. It is our vision for a Confident America in which most Americans can do their taxes on a form as simple as a postcard. This is the sixth plank of A Better Way, a bold agenda to tackle some of our country’s biggest challenges.Our plan—available now at better.gop—is based on three pillars:
These ideas were developed by the Task Force on Tax Reform, led by Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX).About A Better Way. A Better Way is a bold policy agenda to address some of the country’s biggest challenges. It takes our timeless principles—liberty, free enterprise, consent of the governed—and applies them to the problems of our time. Developed with input from around the country, it starts the debate now on what we can achieve in 2017 and beyond. It is our vision for a Confident America, at home and abroad. Now we are taking these ideas to the people, so you have a clear choice about the direction of the country. Previously released plans include:
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement on Brexit:
“I respect the decision made by the people of the United Kingdom. The UK is an indispensable ally of the United States, and that special relationship is unaffected by this vote.”Read More
Republicans have put forward a plan containing more than 48 ideas to repeal and replace Obamacare with a system in which every American has access to quality, affordable health care. This is the fifth plank of A Better Way—a bold agenda to tackle some of our country’s biggest challenges.
Here is a look at what experts around the country are saying about our plan:
“In sum, the plan would be a very large net tax cut from current law. The plan is also designed to be a net spending cut and a net deficit cut from current law. That’s the triple crown for limited government conservatives.” (Ryan Ellis, Conservative Reform Network)
“Today, House Republicans unveiled their blueprint for patient-centered health care reform. The proposal includes several policy recommendations and conservatives priorities promoted by the Republican Study Committee (RSC). . . . The shared priorities between the RSC’s policy recommendations on private insurance market reforms and the House’s health care proposal include: Repealing Obamacare. . . . Reforming the Market to Improve Choice. . . . Expanding Consumer-Directed Health Care. . . . Protecting Those with Pre-Existing Conditions. . . . [and] Protecting Life.” (Chairman Bill Flores, Republican Study Committee)
“The House Republican Health Care Task Force’s report shows that Republicans understand that a better health care system requires the repeal of Obamacare. Admirably, it proposes a number of patient-centered reforms to the employer and individual market, as well as a fundamental rethinking of the health entitlement programs—Medicare and Medicaid—that are driving our country deeper into debt and failing seniors and low income Americans.” (Michael Needham, Heritage Action)
“The core of the new proposal is structured around the long-proclaimed GOP goal to ‘repeal and replace’ the president’s Affordable Care Act. By eliminating the ‘knot of regulations, taxes and mandates’ ushered in by Obamacare, and instead focusing on a ‘patient-centered reform’ approach, Republican lawmakers plan to foster an environment in which individuals would no longer be forced into an ill-fitting insurance plan, according to a draft of the new agenda. Rather, the GOP health plan would create a system in which insurance companies would compete against each other to offer the most affordable and expansive coverage to citizens.” (Evan Smith, Opportunity Lives)
“A Better Way proposal on health care is a welcome policy agenda to tackle some of the biggest challenges for employers and employees under the Affordable Care Act. . . . Any relief from the employer mandate will empower the economic engine driven by America’s restaurant industry. We look forward to working with Congress as these proposals develop.” (Robin Goracke, National Restaurant Association)
“Notably, the Ryan plan is not merely a replacement for Obamacare, but instead strives to be a comprehensive overhaul of the health care system. Good, because so many parts of government health care need improvement. . . . We ought to commend Paul Ryan and his team for putting pen to paper, and for being willing to be held accountable for their ideas. They’ve done the country an important service.” (Avik Roy, Forbes)
“This is a major step forward. Republicans are endorsing a vision of health care in which people can make their own decisions, manage more of their own health care in which people can make their own decisions, manage more of their own health care dollars and reap the benefits of competition in the marketplace. The ultimate goal should be to treat everyone the same. People should get the same tax relief regardless of where they obtain their insurance—at work, in the marketplace or in an exchange.” (John Goodman, Goodman Institute of Public Policy Research)Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) opened his weekly on-camera press briefing by providing an update on the House’s work on behalf of the American people:
“One of the things that makes our country strong is our institutions. No matter how bad things get in this country, we have a basic structure that ensures a functioning democracy. We can disagree on policy, but we do so within the bounds of order and respect for the system. Otherwise it all falls apart.
“I’m not going to dwell on the decorum of the House here today, other than to say we are not going to allow stunts like this to stop us from carrying out the people’s business. Why do I call this a stunt? Well, because it is one... Let’s just be honest here. Here are some facts:
“Yesterday, the House Appropriations Committee considered its bill for Homeland Security spending. At the committee, Democrats offered in committee an amendment offering the gun measure they say they wanted. That amendment failed on a bipartisan basis. So just yesterday, the Democrats offered this gun measure they claim they want, and it failed on a bipartisan basis in committee. There was a vote, it was in the committee, through regular order, and the vote failed. That’s a fact they didn’t want to talk about.
“Here’s another one: if Democrats want a vote for a bill on the floor, there is a way to get one. It just takes 218 signatures on a petition, and they can have a vote. It is that simple. That’s how the House works—it’s a well-known process.
“But they’re not doing that. They are not trying to actually get this done through regular order. No, instead they’re staging protests. They’re trying to get on TV. They are sending out fundraising solicitations, like this one: Your contribution will go to the DCCC. Fifteen dollars. This one says, try giving us $25. But if you want, you can send us $50, $100, $250, $500, $1000. Because look at what we’re doing on the House floor. Send us money.
“If this is not a political stunt, then why are they trying to raise money off of this—off of a tragedy?
“What they’re calling for failed in a committee in the House. The reason I call this a stunt is because they know this isn’t going anywhere. It already failed in the Senate.
“They may not like this fact, but this bill couldn’t even get 50 votes in the United States Senate, let alone 60. Why is that? Why is it that this bill failed on a bipartisan basis in committee and this bill failed on a bipartisan basis in the Senate? Because in this country we do not take away people’s constitutional rights without due process.
“This is not just Republicans saying this. It’s groups like the ACLU who are saying this.
“But more to the point, our focus needs to be on confronting radical extremism. Terrorism is the issue. Let me say it again—terrorism is the issue. And defeating terrorism is our focus here in the House.
“So let me be really clear: we are not going take away the constitutional rights of law abiding Americans. And we’re not going to allow publicity stunts to stop us from doing our job.
“That’s why the House powered ahead last night to provide important resources in the fight against the Zika virus. One of our must do items on our list this week was that we had to respond to the Zika virus. We know that this is something that we have to get on top of. And in the face of this distraction, we passed a responsible bill that provides the level of funding that was in the Senate bill—that received a big bipartisan vote—with a mix of offsets that we in the House thought were very important. This is a good compromise, it meets an urgent need, and I urge the Senate to take it up and pass it.
“Now, Democrats can talk all they want—I’m really not sure what their plan or end game is here—but the bottom line is despite these distractions, we did our job. We did the people’s business. And we will continue to do so.
“One more point I want to bring up. I want to say a word on the Supreme Court ruling that we just got that halts the president’s executive amnesty. “This is a win for the Constitution, it’s a win for Congress, and it’s a win in our fight to restore the separation of powers. Presidents don’t write laws—Congress writes laws. This is a case that the House weighed in on because it is fundamental to our system of checks and balances. Congress, not the president, writes our laws, and today the Supreme Court validated that very core, essential, fundamental principle.”
Why do I call this a publicity stunt? Because it is. If not, why are Democrats trying to raise money off it?https://t.co/zryXADvUdw— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) June 23, 2016
BREAKING NEWS: The court just ruled. President Obama's use of executive action to grant amnesty to illegal immigrants is now null and void.Posted by Speaker Paul Ryan on Thursday, June 23, 2016
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement in response to the Supreme Court’s 4-4 decision in United States v. Texas, which upholds the lower court’s decision that the president’s use of executive action to grant amnesty to illegal immigrants is unlawful:
“Today, Article I of the Constitution was vindicated. The Supreme Court’s ruling makes the president’s executive action on immigration null and void. The Constitution is clear: The president is not permitted to write laws—only Congress is. This is another major victory in our fight to restore the separation of powers.”
On January 19, the Supreme Court agrees to hear United States v. Texas, but adds its own question for the parties to consider: Did the president’s actions violate his constitutional duty to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed”?
On March 1, Speaker Ryan announces that he will ask the House, as an institution uniquely qualified to answer the Court’s question, to vote on a resolution authorizing him to file a brief defending Article I: “The president is not permitted to write law—only Congress is.”
On March 17, the House adopts H. Res. 639, authorizing Speaker Ryan to file a brief. Speaking on the floor shortly before the vote, Ryan says, “Members who are making immigration policy arguments are missing the entire point here. This comes down to a much more fundamental question. It is about the integrity of our Constitution.”
On April 4, the House files its brief, setting forth why Congress—and only Congress—is empowered to write the laws.
On April 8, the Supreme Court grants the House’s request for 15 minutes of time during oral arguments. Erin Murphy, partner at Bancroft, PLLC will argue on behalf of the House, which is being represented pro bono in this matter.
On April 18, the House of Representatives presented its oral argument to the Supreme Court.Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement after the House passed the final conference report for the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and Zika Response Appropriations Act:
“This is a significant step forward in the fight against Zika. It is a responsible plan that assures the administration will continue to have the needed resources to protect the public. Given the urgency of the Zika threat, I hope Senate Democrats will rise above politics so we can get this done.”
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) today issued the following statement regarding the House-Senate conference report for the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and Zika Response Appropriations Act: “This is important progress in our efforts to protect Americans from the Zika virus. With this additional funding—on top of what we have already allocated—the administration will continue to have the needed resources to address the Zika threat. Moreover, this measure holds the VA accountable for every dollar it spends so that more veterans get the care they need when they need it. I commend Chairman Rogers and the members of the conference committee for putting together a responsible plan. Now we need to get this bill to the president’s desk.”Read More
Tonight, Speaker Ryan joined CNN’s The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, where he dismissed Democrats’ dilatory tactics on the House floor as "nothing more than a publicity stunt."
This Is a Publicity Stunt “This is nothing more than a publicity stunt. That’s point number one. Point number two is this bill was already defeated in the United States Senate. Number three, we’re not going to take away a citizen’s due process rights. We’re not going to take away a citizen’s constitutional rights without due process. That was already defeated in the Senate. And this is not the way to try and bring up legislation.”
The Real Issue Here Is Terrorism “Now, let’s focus on the issue at hand here: terrorism. And let’s find out what we need to do to prevent future terrorist attacks. And if a person is on a terror watch list, and they go try and buy a gun, we have procedures in place to deal with that. We want to make sure that those procedures are done correctly. And that is something we should be able to do in a calm and cool manner without these sort of dilatory, publicity-stunt tactics to try and bring a bill that already died over in the Senate to the House floor. That’s not any way to bring a bill to the floor.”
We Must Defend the Constitution “They know we will not bring up a bill that takes away a person’s constitutionally guaranteed rights without their due process. We don’t agree with that, and the Senate already doesn’t agree with that. So I think, look, the point here, Wolf, is this is a publicity stunt. They’re trying to get you to ask me those questions for publicity's sake. This isn’t trying to come up with a solution to a problem. This is trying to get attention.”
The House Rules Are Clear “Look, this is the way the rules work in the House, and they have ever since we had TV. We had a similar protest when we were in the minority in 2008. Not only did the cameras not go on, they turned the lights off on us. This is what you do when you go into recess subject to the call of the chair. These are the House rules, and they’ve been this way for years.”Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) released the following statement calling on Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-PA) to immediately resign from office after being convicted on charges of racketeering, fraud, and money laundering:
"Mr. Fattah has betrayed the trust of this institution and the people of Pennsylvania, and for that he should resign immediately from the House of Representatives. We must hold members to the highest ethical standard, and I hope that Democratic leaders will join me in seeking his immediate resignation."Read More
WASHINGTON — Today at the American Enterprise Institute, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and chairs of the House Republican Task Force on Health Care unveiled the fifth plank of a #BetterWay—an initiative to replace Obamacare that would ensure American has access to quality, affordable health care. Below are Speaker Ryan’s opening remarks as prepared for delivery: “Thank you, Arthur—and thanks to AEI for hosting us.
“I’m going to cut right to the chase: For six years now, we’ve promised to repeal and replace Obamacare and make health care actually affordable. Well, here it is: a real plan—in black and white—right here. We are officially putting it on the table. The way I see it, if we don’t like the direction the country is going in—and we do not—then we have an obligation to offer an alternative. It is our duty to offer a better way. And that’s what this is.
“I’m going to let our chairmen talk more about the details. They have done tremendous work. I couldn’t be prouder of what they’ve accomplished. But I thought I’d kick things off by summing up the big difference between Obamacare and our plan—because in all honesty it is more than a difference in policy. It is a difference in philosophy.
“If I had to pick the one word that, to me, summed up Obamacare, it would be quantity. The goal was to get as many people insured as possible. Or at least that’s what they say now. They promised a lot more at the time. But the one thing they’ve decided to hang their hat on is this: More people have insurance now than before the law was passed. That’s definitely true.
“But here’s the problem: They expanded coverage by lowering the quality. They made some people pay more so other people could pay less. And what’s been the result? For millions of people, higher premiums. Long wait times. Canceled plans. Families losing their doctors. It was a classic . . . top-down . . . command-and-control . . . Washington-imposed solution. They treated patients—real, flesh-and-blood human beings—like auto parts on an assembly line—interchangeable and insignificant.
“You see it in the way they wrote the law. Employers don’t offer insurance? Make them. Employees won’t buy insurance? Force them. They can’t afford a plan? Put them on Medicaid. The government doesn’t have enough money? Take it from Medicare. If Washington just rearranged the players—if everyone would just fit into their pre-arranged slots—everything would work out just fine.
“Well, it did not work out. Obamacare is fundamentally flawed. That’s why we have to repeal the law—and take a new approach. Which leads me to our plan . . .
“If I had to pick the one word that, to me, summed up our plan, it would be quality. We’re going to give you the tools you need to get the best care possible. And that starts with giving you a choice. Instead of forcing you to buy a plan that Washington bureaucrats have mass-produced, we’re going to repeal those mandates and let you pick a plan that works for you. We’re saying, don’t force people to buy insurance. Make insurance companies compete for our business.
“And yes, we’re going to help you buy insurance. Most people get insurance through their job—and that’s great. For many years we have not taxed their insurance, no matter how expensive it is. But the problem with this open-ended tax break is it encourages businesses to keep buying bigger and bigger benefits. Why not? You’re not getting taxed for it. And as a result, they’re pushing up premiums and health care costs for everyone else.
“So we’re going to keep the tax exclusion for employer-sponsored insurance, but we’re going to cap it at a reasonable level. That will help keep down costs. And then we’re going to use the money we save to offer an individual tax credit for everyone who doesn’t get insurance through their job—with more money for the old and sick. That way, more insurance plans will move with the person—not with the job. That is real heath care security.
“And I should point out: There are real protections in here for the vulnerable and people who need care the most. Our plan protects people with pre-existing conditions. We let young people stay on their parents’ plan till they turn 26. We don’t let insurance companies cancel your plan or charge you more just when you get sick. All these things will give people across America more peace of mind.
“At the same time, we make a lot of commonsense reforms. We say let people buy insurance across state lines. Let small businesses band together to negotiate better insurance deals. Let people use their health-savings accounts for more kinds of purchases. Let’s do major medical liability reform. And I can’t leave out: We give states more flexibility with Medicaid to design a program that works for their people. And we strengthen Medicare for future generations by letting seniors pick their preferred plan, starting in 2024.
“So here’s how I’d sum up the difference. Obamacare focused on quantity—it put the bureaucracy first. Our plan will focus on quality—we will put the patient first. We think that’s the way to go. Before I go, I want to encourage all of you to go to our website—better.gop—and learn more about our plan. And I want to thank you all for coming here today. Thank you very much, everybody.”
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) released the following statement after the U.S. District Court ruled that the Department of the Interior does not have the authority to regulate hydraulic fracturing:
“Hydraulic fracturing is one of the keys that has unlocked our nation’s energy resurgence in oil and natural gas, making the United States the largest energy producer in the world, creating tens of thousands of good-paying jobs, and lowering energy prices for consumers. Yet the Obama administration has sought to regulate it out of existence. This is not only harmful for the economy and consumers, it’s unlawful—as the court has just ruled. I’ll say it again: Only Congress can write laws. Agencies acting without authority from Congress is simply illegal. I applaud this court ruling, which upholds the Constitution and protects the energy revolution from the heavy hand of big government.”
Note: Rep. Flores’s legislation, Protecting States' Rights to Promote American Energy Security Act, blocks Interior from regulating hydraulic fracturing and upholds states’ right to do so.This legislation is included in House Republicans’ Better Way agenda.Read More
WASHINGTON—House Republicans today unveiled a plan to replace Obamacare. It is our vision for a Confident America in which every American has access to quality, affordable health care. This is the fifth plank of A Better Way, a bold agenda to tackle some of our country’s biggest challenges.
Our plan—available now at better.gop—offers a better way to fix health care, including:
Task Force on Health Care Reform. Later today at AEI, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) will talk about these ideas alongside members of the Task Force on Health Care Reform, which includes: Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price (R-GA), Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline (R-MN), Energy & Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), and Ways & Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX).
About A Better Way. A Better Way is a bold policy agenda to address some of the country’s biggest challenges. It takes our timeless principles—liberty, free enterprise, consent of the governed—and applies them to the problems of our time. Developed with input from around the country, it starts the debate now on what we can achieve in 2017 and beyond. It is our vision for a Confident America, at home and abroad. Now we are taking these ideas to the people, so you have a clear choice about the direction of the country. Previously released plans include:
WASHINGTON—Today in the Capitol Visitor Center Auditorium, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) addressed the 2016 Legislative Data and Transparency Conference and praised the work of the Bulk Data Task Force. In his remarks, which are prepared for delivery below, he challenged those fighting on the front lines of the open government movement to "keep moving ahead by publishing all legislative measures in a standard format. That means enrolled measures, public laws, and statues at large."
"Hi, everybody. I wanted to stop by so I could say thank you for everything you’re doing. Truth be told, I don’t really understand everything you’re doing—but I appreciate it nonetheless. Chairman Miller filled me in earlier, and as best as I can follow, you’re trying to figure out, “How do we make the text of our old laws just as accessible as our new laws?” How do we make it so people can read them online . . . search for key words . . . copy and paste extracts? In other words, how do we make it so they can compare and contrast what we’re doing now with what we did before? I think it’s a great idea.
"And we could really use it. Let me give you an example. Two years ago, I became interested in what’s called MIECHV: The Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program. Basically, the federal government helps states pay for nurses to visit poor mothers and give them advice. What’s really interesting about this program is how it divvies up the funding: Seventy-five percent goes to methods with proven results, while 25 percent goes to new methods that show promise. Frankly, I wish more programs were designed this way. Then we could really see what works and invest in it.
"But more to the point: I recently came across something called the Sheppard-Towner Act. It was signed into law by President Warren Harding—remember him?—in 1921. And, at least on paper, it sounds a lot like MIECHV. The federal government put aside money to help states pay for things like home visits. You can find the text online—if you really look for it. But it’s nowhere near as accessible as it could be. And I just thought to myself: Wouldn’t it be interesting to compare and contrast these two laws? To see what they did right . . . what they did wrong . . . and what we could do better?
"This is why the work you’re doing is so important. In the future, legislators are going to use a lot of the methods that you’re developing—not just to inform the public, but to inform public policy.
"We’re already heading in that direction: In 2011, when Republicans took the majority, we tried to make the House more open and transparent. We created the Bulk Data Task Force, which helped make more information available in XML—like floor summaries, committee proceedings, and the US Code.
"Now we’re working to go further, and publish even more current and past documents in XML. I've asked our team to keep moving ahead by publishing all legislative measures in a standard format. That means enrolled measures, public laws, and statues at large. We want this data to be as accessible as possible throughout the legislative cycle.
"Some people are going to say that’s a little obscure—and that’s because it is. But isn’t that why we’re here? To take the obscure and make it open and accessible? The way I see it, we’re part of a tradition, stretching all the way back to the Founders. The minute the House opened its doors to the public—in 1789—we created a culture of honesty.
"And now we’re bringing that tradition into the 21st century. We’re pushing forward the frontiers of transparency. The fact is, all this talk about data and evidence and results, what it all comes down to is two words: the truth. We are trying to find the truth. We want to know “What’s the right thing to do?” And that’s pretty important if you ask me.
"So I want to thank all of you again for having me. I especially want to thank our clerk, Karen Haas, Chairman Miller, and their team for all their hard work. And I want to close by just saying, 'Keep it up.' Thank you very much."Read More
Yesterday afternoon, Speaker Ryan called in to the American institution that is C-SPAN to discuss all things a #BetterWay with host Steve Scully. They covered what planks have been rolled out so far—like poverty and the economy—and those that are still to come—like health care and tax. The whole interview is worth a listen. But, if you don’t have 11 minutes to spare right now, fear not—here are some highlights: “These are the reforms that are necessary to get our country back on track.” For example: We need to move the needle on poverty. “If you stack up a lot of our welfare programs on top of one another, they end up creating what we call a poverty trap—they basically pay people not to work. They discourage work. And so welfare has ended up becoming a work replacement program when it really needs to be a work encouragement program. And so we want to change the way these programs work so that they always encourage work, so that they’re customized to a person’s particular needs, and that we measure success based on our poverty programs—our welfare programs—based on results, based on outcomes.” We also need to reform the tax code. “Later this week, we’re going to be offering a very comprehensive overhaul of our entire tax system. The tax code has grown out of control. The IRS is far too intrusive in people’s lives, and more importantly, we’re losing our economic competitiveness—our edge as a country, as an economy—because of our tax code. So we’re going to be proposing comprehensive tax reform for families [and] small businesses, keeping jobs and businesses in America. And that’s something that I think is one of the crown jewels of our economic growth package.” And we really, really need to replace Obamacare. “Everyone knows Republicans are against Obamacare. We’ve got that part down. What people need to know is that we have good ideas for what we ought to replace it with that reduces the cost of insurance that gives people more choices, that doesn’t create entitlements that bankrupt the country and that gives us a patient-centered system. So we’re going to be offering a comprehensive plan to replace the Affordable Care Act—which has become unaffordable.” These issues and more are part of the six agenda items House Republicans included in a #BetterWay. Why? To unite Republicans. “[Our agenda] unites all Republicans and it unites us around common principles and solutions that improve people’s lives that we also think are appealing to people who don’t think of themselves as Republicans. And so this is not only a unifying agenda, it’s a clarifying agenda. We think of this as an agenda that actually attempts to fix the big, pressing problems facing our country that are in urgent need of solutions so that we can go forward with a unified front and offer this agenda to the country.”Read More
Two weeks in, and A Better Way has already delivered nearly 250 ideas to get our country back on track.
A better way to fight poverty. A better way to keep America safe. A better way to grow our economy. A better way to do the people’s business. You can get all the details of these plans at better.gop.
A Better Way is about raising our gaze. It’s about going bold. It’s about showing the country what we’re for, and what it will take in the years ahead to restore a Confident America.
The push continues tomorrow, when Republicans will unveil a plan not just to repeal, but also to replace, Obamacare.
Our plan is about more choices, not more mandates. It's about putting patients and doctors first. It’s about the freedom and flexibility to choose the care that’s best for you, and the peace of mind that comes with having coverage you can count on and afford.
That doesn't mean we go back to the pre-Obamacare status quo. And it doesn't mean another overly complex, confusing 3,000-page bill. Our plan lays the foundation for a commonsense, step-by-step approach. There will be new ideas, as well as ideas taken from the hundreds of health care bills Republicans have put forward this Congress.
We know Obamacare has made things worse. Right now, families are being warned to brace for “big increases in premiums.” Remember when the law was going to deliver big decreases in premiums? Instead, Obamacare has driven up costs, limited choices for patients, and buried small businesses in new red tape. And, despite all the promises, it has made an assault on some of our most fundamental liberties.
To learn more and sign up for updates, just go to better.gop.Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement in response to the administration’s decision to reverse course and release the full transcript of the Orlando shooter’s 911 call:
“I am glad that the administration reversed its decision and has now shared the full transcript with the American people. But this should have never been an issue in the first place. The attempt to selectively edit the record reflects a broader, more serious problem: this administration’s continued effort to downplay and distract from the threat of radical Islamist extremism. This is unacceptable. To defeat terrorism we have to be clear-eyed about whom we’re fighting.”Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) today called on President Obama to reverse his administration's decision to censor references to ISIS from the Orlando shooter's 911 call transcript:
“Selectively editing this transcript is preposterous. We know the shooter was a radical Islamist extremist inspired by ISIS. We also know he intentionally targeted the LGBT community. The administration should release the full, unredacted transcript so the public is clear-eyed about who did this, and why."Read More
“Go to better.gop.” No, really—you should. Speaker Ryan agrees.
On better.gop, House Republicans are showing you what our better way looks like. It means raising our gaze. It means going bold. It means not settling for the status quo.
It’s a full slate of ideas to address some of America’s biggest challenges—like strengthening our national security, supercharging the economy, and fighting poverty, among other things. The first four planks of the agenda are available here. Go ahead, look around.
To discuss why he launched this initiative, Speaker Ryan sat down with Chuck Todd for an interview on NBC’s Meet the Press:
“As speaker of the House what I can control is, can I help add substance to this conversation? Can I bring ideas to the table? Can I lead the House Republicans to take our conservative principles, and apply them to the problems of the day to give people solutions that improve their lives, and try and inject some substance into this conversation, bring an agenda to the country?”
“I worry about what I can do to help make this a better country, to help improve things . . . more about substance, and ideas. And that's what we're doing here as House Republicans. Go to better.gop, look at our Better Way agenda that we're rolling out. We're trying to add some substance to this conversation, so that people know where we're trying to go to get this country fixed.”
Four down, two to go: health care and tax reform. So, as the speaker said, be sure to bookmark better.gop—we have some exciting stuff to share with you this week.Read More
Ever wonder what Speaker Paul Ryan does during weekends at home in Janesville, Wisconsin? Track meets, volleyball, and basketball games with his three kids. In fact, in the latest copy of People magazine, Speaker Ryan describes his thoughts on the importance of being a father. Keep scrolling for excerpts from the interview.interview with People magazine:
Ryan, who was just 16 when his own dad died of a heart attack, says he told Republican party leaders in November, “You can’t take away my family.”
So Ryan is home in Janesville, Wisconsin, every week for a three-day weekend jammed with the track meets and volleyball and basketball games of his “Irish triplets” — Liza, 14; Charlie, 13 and Sam, 11 — with wife Janna. And while Ryan says his kids are not yet at the teenage stage of being embarrassed by their dad, he acknowledges that his being home is not without a few little downsides.
“They get nervous when I focus on their athletics. It pushes them, but they also get a little nervous,” Ryan says. “I’m not one of those yell-from-the-stands type of dads, but we’ll always talk after the game. Like a talking-to.”
And then there’s his no-sweets, no-processed-foods edict. “I’m probably pretty overbearing about that. I’m not a sugar guy and my general rule for diet at home is, ‘If it wasn’t a food 100 years ago, we don’t buy it or eat it.'"
And while his job does require some weekend phone calls to take care of business, Ryan says he doesn’t want to talk politics with his kids. . . .
“We don’t talk politics at home very often. To me, I want to get away from it when I’m home on the weekends,” Ryan says. Of his kids, the congressman says, “I miss things during the week, so the hardest question they ask is ‘Are you going to be home?’ when I know that I’m not. That’s the hardest one.”
We know it's been a busy week. That's why we wanted to make sure you didn't miss this big news in our ongoing efforts to rein in the IRS.
On Wednesday, the agency informed us that it will finally give 700 Americans whose assets it improperly seized under federal forfeiture laws the opportunity to get their money back. This comes in response to an unrelenting oversight investigation led by the Ways and Means Committee over the past two years, and it’s a big win for hundreds of hardworking taxpayers.
Federal civil forfeiture law was designed to help catch human traffickers, drug dealers, and other criminals attempting to launder money by allowing law enforcement to immediately seize an individual’s assets on suspicion of wrongdoing.
However, the IRS has used this tool against hundreds of innocent small business owners—whose assets are seized without any advance notice or due process. Lives are turned upside down and businesses are forced to shutter literally overnight. Faced with a costly legal battle against the U.S. government, most victims opt to settle with the IRS—some to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars.That’s exactly what happened to Randy Sowers, a Maryland dairy farmer who had nearly $300,000 seized by the IRS. After settling with the government, the Sowers were still out $29,500.
House oversight efforts shined a bright spotlight on this unjust practice, and this week justice was delivered. Not only will victims be able to recoup their losses, but the IRS is reforming this practice to help prevent innocent Americans from being targeted in the future.
Separately, the House also passed legislation this week banning the IRS from collecting donor information from non-profit organizations. This bill will remove another dangerous tool for intimidation from an agency with a horrid track record of targeting Americans for their personal beliefs.
We are pleased with the progress made this Congress to hold the IRS accountable, but we still have more work to do to ensure all Americans are treated equally and fairly by their government.Read More
WASHINGTON — In this week’s Republican address, House Republican Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) discusses a #BetterWay to restore representative government and uphold the Constitution. The address caps off the second week of #BetterWay rollouts, featuring initiatives on the Constitution as well as ending needless regulations and jumpstarting the American economy.
“Let’s give people a voice through their elected representatives so a 19th century institution can actually solve 21st century problems,” said Rep. McMorris Rodgers. She continued, “only ‘we, the people’ know the way to achieve our dreams—not the government.”
NOTE: The audio of the weekly address is available here, and the video will be available on speaker.gov.
Remarks of House Republican Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington Weekly Republican Address Washington, DC June 18, 2016
We were all shocked and saddened by the tragedy in Orlando last weekend.
It was heartbreaking.
It’s a reminder that, at the end of the day, no matter your background, we are all Americans.
And even as we grieve together as a nation, we must remain vigilant to protect the promise of America. It’s a promise that everyone here should have the confidence to live free, knowing they’re safe from terror in their own community, and so they can pursue their own dreams.
Because in America, we trust people to make the best decisions for themselves. Not a government that decides for you.
But today, people are anxious. We’re on edge as ISIS makes the world more dangerous. Parents worry about their children’s future. Seniors worry about retirement. Students worry about finding good jobs to pay back their debt.
Hard-working families can’t understand Washington, D.C.’s tangled web of taxes, one-size-fits-all regulations, and arbitrary rules.
We’re anxious because your voices are not being heard in Congress.
There’s a better way to restore representative government and uphold our Constitution, and that’s what we rolled out this week.
Our goal is to reaffirm that government by the people, speaking through their elected representatives, is the best way to keep us free and safe; protect our liberty; and make sure the promise of America exists for the next generation.
Over time, presidents came to legislate by executive orders; courts came to make laws from the bench; and we, Congress, ceded power to the other two branches in order to simplify the lawmaking process.
But Congress is the seat of representative democracy.
It is here that “we the people” should make decisions about all laws that will govern us. Not in the basement of the Labor Department.
This is not a Republican or Democrat issue; it’s an American issue. And it touches the very core of who we are.
Let’s use the power of the purse to make government more accountable to people, so the IRS can’t target free speech and the EPA can’t regulate mud puddles.
Let’s do our job of reviewing, rethinking, and possibly eliminating government programs that are running on autopilot without oversight, So agencies like the VA operate their hospitals more like Cleveland Clinics.
Let’s hold unelected bureaucrats accountable for interfering with the next innovative startup someone’s creating in a garage or with a scientist working to cure cancer in a lab.
Let’s make agencies closer to the people—a government that operates more like Uber and Amazon and less like the DMV.
And—most importantly—let’s give people a voice through their elected representatives so a 19th century institution can actually solve 21st century problems.
Restoring the people’s voice in Congress is not just one part of our Better Way agenda, it’s the most important part.
Unless people are back in the driver’s seat, we won’t be able to rebuild our military, roll back the red tape, or help our most vulnerable.
Because only “we, the people” know the way to achieve our dreams—not the government.
That’s why freedom is so important. It’s about making certain the promise of America is never broken.
I hope you’ll learn more about our plan to restore representative government at www.better.gop.Read More
In which Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, describes his ideal Father's Day. (Go ahead, give it a click. It'll only take 22 seconds.)Transcript:
"Father's Day—we fish. We hike. We go do something. Then we go to the store or get some venison out of the freezer, and I grill a huge smorgasbord. And then we have, like, a little bonfire and a little bonfire thing in our backyard.
"That, to me, is a great Father's Day."Read More
WASHINGTON—At his press conference today, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) announced that next week, Republicans will roll out the last two planks of A Better Way: health care and tax reform.
“Next week, we will release a plan to not just repeal, but also replace, Obamacare,” Speaker Ryan said. “And after that, we will offer a blueprint for fundamental tax reform that will make the system more simple and fair – and create more jobs. Amid all the noise, we can never forget that our job here is always to try to make people’s lives better. That’s what A Better Way is all about.”
When: Wednesday, June 22, 2-3:00 p.m. ET
Where: American Enterprise Institute, 1150 17th St. NW, Washington, DC
What: Conversation and panel on health care reform
Who: Speaker Paul Ryan, Majority Whip Steve Scalise, Chairs of the Task Force on Health Care Reform
Media details: Attendance to this event is open to members of the press. Press interested in attending must email Matthew Devine at AEI (Matthew.Devine@AEI.org) to register for the event and to receive additional coverage information.
When: Friday, June 24, 10-10:30 a.m. ET
Where: Rayburn Room, United States Capitol
What: Press conference
Who: Speaker Paul Ryan, Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady, and members of the Ways and Means Committee
Media details: Attendance to this event is open to members of the press. Press with equipment must be in place by 9 a.m. ET for the security sweepRead More
WASHINGTON—Today in Statuary Hall of the U.S. Capitol, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Republican lawmakers unveiled the fourth plank of a #BetterWay—an initiative to restore self-government and the separation of powers. Below are Speaker Ryan’s closing remarks as prepared for delivery: “I thought I’d close by quoting one of the greatest justices to ever sit on the Supreme Court, Antonin Scalia. He once asked, ‘Why do you think America is a free country? What is it in our Constitution that makes us what we are?’ Most of us would say the Bill of Rights: freedom of speech, freedom of the press, the right to bear arms. And true enough: Those rights are very special.
“But Justice Scalia went on: ‘If you think a bill of rights is what sets us apart, you’re crazy. Every banana republic in the world has a bill of rights.’ Even the Soviet Union had a bill of rights, he pointed out—and it promised a lot more than ours does. But there’s a reason we don’t remember the U.S.S.R. as a bastion of liberty. Because that bill of rights—it was ‘just words on paper,’ as Justice Scalia said.
“What truly makes America free, he argued, is the separation of powers. Those amendments to the Constitution may enumerate our rights. But it is the separation of powers that secures them. Our country makes sure no one person exercises too much power. I’m talking about the fact that we elect most of our representatives every two years, the fact that both houses of Congress have to pass a bill for it to become law, the fact that Congress is elected separately from the president. That means a lot of different people have to agree for a bill to become law. That means disagreement, debate, compromise, and, in the end, good government.
“I also think it’s very telling that when Justice Scalia talked about the separation of powers, he barely even mentioned the Court—and he sat on it. Maybe what he was trying to tell us is, we can’t rely on the Court alone to protect our rights. Because if you have to file a lawsuit, it’s too late. Your rights have already been violated. Being free doesn’t mean you can get damages. Being free means not having to worry about your rights in the first place. That’s why we need the other branches, especially the legislative branch, to remain strong—so they can defend our rights when another branch attacks them—that is what will secure our rights in the here and now.
“And that is why we are here today. Our problem is not so much that the presidency, under both parties, keeps breaking the rules—though it does. Our problem is that Congress, under both parties, keeps forfeiting the game. Yielding to the executive branch. Giving the president a blank check. Not even bothering to read the fine print. And as our members just told us, this means more than out of control spending. It means chaos on the border. It means not being able to live out your faith. It means not being free.
“That’s why this plan is so important. In fact, I would argue it is the most important part of our agenda. Because we won’t be able to fix our safety net, or rebuild our military, or pare back the red tape, until we put the people back in the driver’s seat. It is not enough to have an efficient or effective government. We want a free government.
“One of the most important principles that unites us as Americans—that makes us a popular and inspiring nation—is that we are a self-determining people who historically govern by consent. We must reclaim and conserve this principle.
“We want a confident America, where all of us are free. That’s something, I think, we all can agree on. Thank you very much.”Read More
Last night, Speaker Ryan appeared on Fox News’s The O’Reilly Factor to discuss how the House is working to prevent more tragic terrorist attacks like that in Orlando. But, as Speaker Ryan pointed out, it’s important to stick to our principles while doing so—principles that, for example, support a security test for those trying to enter the U.S.: “We believe in the First Amendment, which is freedom of religion. So I really do think a security test—that’s what we passed here in the House. We said you can't have the Syrian refugee program until you have a security test where you can properly vet every single person—and we have passed that bill. . . . We passed a bill stopping [the refugee program], but based on not religion—based on security. And we don't have the kind of assurances we want to be secure about this. And that's why I call this a security test. Because it's not saying—look, anybody can come and say they are this or that. If they declare their religion to get into the United States, that doesn't really do much, does it? We need a security test.” Another big question is—should we declare war on ISIS? The speaker thinks the answer is a resounding yes—but in a way that doesn’t tie the hands of the next president: “I think we should declare war on ISIS and every other one of these groups—a fresh authorization of the military force. Here's the problem: President Obama wants to tie the hands of the military. President Obama is saying that he will not accept an authorization of the military force that does not completely hamstring his successor—and we are not going to do that.” So what will House Republicans do instead? For starters, they’ll focus on the national security plank of A Better Way rolled out last week—it features 67 recommendations on how to confront terrorism: “I would encourage you to go to Better.GOP. Because at Better.GOP, we released a national security strategy last Thursday before Orlando—67 recommendations on exactly what we should be doing to confront Islamic radical terrorism.” It’s a hard battle to fight, but it must be won—and House Republicans are determined to stop this threat once and for all.Read More
Fourth Plank of Bold Agenda Curtails Executive Overreach, Imposes New Limits on Spending, and Increases Transparency for Taxpayers
WASHINGTON—Today, at an event in National Statuary Hall, House Republicans unveiled an initiative to restore self-government and the separation of powers. It is our vision for a Confident America in which our government listens to the people and upholds the Constitution.
This is the fourth plank of A Better Way, a bold agenda to tackle some of our country’s biggest challenges. Earlier, Republicans released initiatives to fight poverty, strengthen our national security, and grow the economy.
Our plan—available now at better.gop—offers a better way to do the people’s business, including ideas to:
These ideas were developed by the Task Force on Restoring Constitutional Authority, which includes: Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY), Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT), Oversight & Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), and Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (R-TX).
About A Better Way. A Better Way is a bold policy agenda to address some of the country’s biggest challenges. It takes our timeless principles—liberty, free enterprise, consent of the governed—and applies them to the problems of our time. Developed with input from around the country, it starts the debate now on what we can achieve in 2017 and beyond. It is our vision for a Confident America, at home and abroad. Now we are taking these ideas to the people, so you have a clear choice about the direction of the country. To learn more, visit better.gop.Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) released the following statement after the House Energy and Commerce Committee passed H.R. 2646, the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act, which strengthens the nation’s mental health care system:
“Mental illness is a sickness, not a sin or a crime. We need to upend the way we deal with people who suffer from mental illness. Congress is working to reform our broken mental health system with the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act. This is good, bipartisan legislation that helps get people the treatment they need when they need it. I’m proud of Rep. Murphy for his leadership, and I commend the Energy and Commerce Committee for passing this important legislation.”Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement after meeting with Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman:
“The United States stands with Ukraine as it works to rebuild its economy and confront Russian aggression. In fact, this week the House will vote on $150 million in security assistance for Ukraine. Despite its challenges, I remain hopeful for Ukraine’s future as a strong, prosperous beacon of democracy in Eastern Europe. I appreciated the opportunity to meet with Prime Minister Groysman to reaffirm the strong bonds between our nations.”Read More
WASHINGTON—Yesterday, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) attended a luncheon honoring His Holiness the Dalai Lama in the Rayburn Room of the U.S. Capitol. Below are Speaker Ryan's opening remarks as prepared welcoming His Holiness to our nation's Capitol building:
“Well, it goes without saying that all of us are deeply honored to have His Holiness the Dalai Lama here today. The American people’s affection for him is well-known—and well-documented.
“I think he has received just about every award we have to give him. In fact, I felt a little sheepish this morning when I realized that all I had to offer him was a lunch. But, as he likes to say, he is a ‘simple Buddhist monk.’
“And it is that very simplicity—the simplicity of faith—that has captured the world’s imagination. It is almost as if he has no room in his soul for impatience or self-serving. All he has room for is kindness. It is inspiring to see.
“I still remember when he gave the opening prayer in the Senate a few years back. He said, ‘Speak or act with a pure mind and happiness will follow you like a shadow that never leaves.’ He said it is his favorite daily prayer. And I admit I can’t think of a better one.
“So on behalf of everyone in this House, I want to say that we hope happiness follows the Dalai Lama and the people of Tibet, and all people around the world who yearn to be free. Thank you.”Read More
Republicans have put forward a plan containing more than 100 ideas to ease the regulatory burden on American businesses. This is the third plank of A Better Way—a bold agenda to tackle some of our country’s biggest challenges.
Here is a look at what experts around the country are saying about our plan:
“The ‘Better Way’ identifies both systemic reforms that are urgently needed as well as reconsideration of some woefully outdated regulatory regimes that no longer reflect current conditions. . . . The new agenda rightfully acknowledges the myriad benefits of devolving a great many regulatory responsibilities to states and the private sector.” (The Heritage Foundation)
“We thank Speaker Ryan for understanding the needs of the business community. We can’t continue to let unelected government bureaucrats issue wide-ranging rules that have the potential to alter the economy. There’s no question that we need regulations to keep our air clean and working conditions safe, but they must be based on demonstrated need, backed by good data, and ensure that the benefits outweigh the costs. We look forward to working with House and Senate leadership and other members of Congress on advancing thoughtful regulatory reform.” (Bruce Josten, U.S. Chamber of Commerce)
“In addition to reports on poverty, jobs, taxes, health care, security, and constitutional authority, the report on regulatory reform contains a litany of proposals to modernize the rulemaking process and reassert Congress’s legislative authority. . . . Taken together, these measures are a reflection of the House’s desire to ensure regulation does not act as an impediment to economic growth. At a minimum, these reforms could save tens of billions of dollars in costs and countless hours of federal paperwork.” (Sam Batkins, American Action Forum)
"The regulatory reform agenda released outlines a number of policy proposals aimed at reigning in a regulatory burden that has grown exponentially under Obama. While the proposed reforms would have widespread benefits for the economy as a whole, many would prove especially beneficial to energy consumers and the energy sector, both of which have seen costs skyrocket under the Obama regime. . . . The reforms outlined by Speaker Ryan would not only be a boon for U.S. competitiveness as a whole but also would be particularly beneficial to energy consumers and businesses, reducing compliance costs and in turn reducing the price of energy American families and businesses pay each month." (Justin Sykes, Americans for Tax Reform)
“Today, Speaker Paul Ryan released a plan setting the agenda for regulatory reform in the House. While the plan focuses on specific reform bills, it breaks ground by recognizing that federal regulations, including the Department of Energy’s (DOE) energy efficiency standards, burden low-income households with high costs in exchange for questionable benefits. . . .Unfortunately, as Speaker Ryan notes in his plan, the burden of these rules falls disproportionately on low-income Americans.” (Susan Dudley, George Washington University Regulatory Studies Center)
“We applaud Speaker Ryan and the task force members for highlighting not just the problems we face, but concrete solutions that address both specific regulations as well as steps to improve the regulatory process: that is, to make it more accountable, more transparent, more inclusive and follow widely accepted scientific practices and standards. . . . We look forward to working with Speaker Ryan and the task force members to advance these helpful solutions into law.” (Karen Kerrigan, Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council)
“We applaud Speaker Ryan and House Republicans for their efforts to strengthen the governance structure of the CFPB. As we see the vast majority of independent federal agencies, a bipartisan commission at the helm will provide a balanced, fair, deliberative approach to supervision, regulation, and enforcement. Most importantly, it offers a stable form of leadership that will preserve the agency’s role regardless of a President Trump or Clinton. Additionally, we thank them for highlighting the need to improve a number of other issues hurting consumers’ access to credit. We look forward to working with the House to advance these proposals to the Senate and then the White House.” (Richard Hunt, Consumers Banking Association)
“Ryan’s address on Tuesday introduced the third plank of the House Republicans’ ‘Better Way’ initiative, which aims to revamp the whole operation of the federal government in the post-Obama age. The Republicans plan to tackle the sheer volume of regulations that emerge from places such as the Labor Department. To emphasize his point, Ryan asked the crowd to note the differences between the Capital Building—where every debate is aired on CSPAN, where each bill is easily viewable online, and where representatives face the possibility of being voted out—versus the monolithic Department of Labor building, where career bureaucrats write rules without little or no feedback or input from either elected officials or the public at large.” (Evan Smith, Opportunity Lives)
“Millions of Americans are being left behind in an anemic economy that has failed to deliver the opportunities working families desperately need. We have to do better and put this country back on a path toward prosperity. That requires a change in course . . . and it’s why House Republicans are focused on a pro-growth agenda that will lead to more good-paying jobs and a stronger economy for all Americans.” (Chairman John Kline, House Education and Workforce Committee)
“’A Better Way’ makes clear that there is no single silver bullet to fix decades of government overregulation. Getting our economy and take-home pay growing again requires a broad-based, comprehensive assault on overregulation and abusing lawsuits. Thankfully, ‘A Better Way to Grow our Economy’ provides a blueprint for reform. (Neil Bradley, Conservative Reform Network)
“NOIA applauds Speaker Ryan, Chairman Bishop and other members of the Task Force on Reducing Regulatory Burdens on their blueprint for regulatory and legislative reforms that would deliver affordable and reliable homegrown energy to American consumers and strengthen our energy security. . . . In a political climate rife with hyperbolic rhetoric, unsubstantiated claims and naïve calls to keep it in the ground, ‘A Better Way’ lays out legislative solutions for improving our nation’s economy and reducing regulatory burdens, particularly in the oil and natural gas sector.” (Randall Luthi, National Ocean Industries Association)
“We here at the Competitive Enterprise Institute appreciate the release of the new report by the Task Force on Reducing Regulatory Burdens, issued as part of House Speaker Paul Ryan’s “A Better Way” plan for policy reform. . . . By exploring concepts like more public participation, regulatory budgeting, sunsetting and review, eased permitting approval, and congressional accountability for rules, the task force has proposed a number of steps to lift the weight of the regulatory burden off the economy.” (Clyde Wayne Crews, Competitive Enterprise Institute)Read More
WASHINGTON—Today on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol complex, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and other House Republican leaders unveiled a #BetterWay to grow our economy by tackling excessive regulations, developing American energy, and promoting financial independence for hardworking Americans. Below are Speaker Ryan’s opening remarks as prepared for delivery: “We decided to hold this event here, in between the administrative state—in this case, the Labor Department—and Congress, the legislative branch, because we wanted to highlight the contrast between the two: In Congress, things are, for the most part, done out in the open. There are definitely more backroom shenanigans than we’d like—yes. But hearings are open to the public. C-SPAN records every debate. You can read any bill online. And most importantly, if you don’t like what’s going on, you can change it: You can call your representatives. Or you can vote them out.
“Transparency, accountability—that’s how we should write all our laws, including our regulations. Contrast that with the building behind us. Right now, most of us have no idea what’s going on behind those walls. The only cameras in there are for security. Maybe you can get a meeting with the deputy assistant secretary for annoying phone calls—if you’re lucky. But even if you’re unhappy with their performance, they’re not going anywhere. And, technically, there are good practices that the bureaucracy must follow. But technically, it doesn’t always follow them. And the American people are paying the price: We as a country spend up to $2 trillion every year just to comply with Washington’s mandates.
“The truth is, we need rules—clear, firm rules that all of us can live by. The question is, what’s the best way to write them? To keep our air and water clean, to protect consumers from scams and rip-offs—but also to create jobs and expand opportunity. It does not have to be an either-or. We can have both.
“That’s why we wrote this plan. In here, we are calling for Washington to change the very way it writes the rules—to make it more accountable to the American people. We’re saying, tell us the costs of your proposed regulations. Make them public. Tell us what they will do to low-income families. Base your decisions on sound science—not science fiction—with reproducible results and concrete data. And if your proposal is really so important, then let the people’s elected representatives decide. No major regulation should become law unless Congress takes a vote. In fact, we should consider setting a cap on the amount of regulatory costs that Washington can impose every year.
“Because the burden should not be on the people to justify themselves to Washington. The burden should be on Washington to justify itself to the people.
“I’m going to let our chairmen talk more about specific topics like energy and banking. But that’s the big idea: If we want clear, fair rules in this country, then we need to empower the rulemakers—the American people. This is the third in our six-part agenda, A Better Way. If you want to learn more, please go to our website: better.gop. Thank you.”Read More
WASHINGTON—Today, House Republicans unveiled a plan to grow our economy by tackling excessive regulations, developing American energy, and promoting financial independence for people who work hard and do the right thing. It is our vision for a Confident America that is the best place in the world to live, work, build things, start a business, and raise a family.
Lawmakers will talk about this plan later today at a press conference near the Capitol.
This is the third plank of A Better Way, a bold agenda to tackle some of our country’s biggest challenges. Last week, Republicans unveiled initiatives aimed at lifting people out of poverty and keeping the American people safe.
Our plan—available now at better.gop—is comprised of at least 101 ideas, including:
These ideas were developed by the Task Force on Reducing Regulatory Burdens, which includes: Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway (R-TX), Energy & Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT), Oversight & Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX), Small Business Committee Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH), and Transportation & Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA).
About A Better Way. A Better Way is a bold policy agenda to address some of the country’s biggest challenges. It takes our timeless principles—liberty, free enterprise, consent of the governed—and applies them to the problems of our time. Developed with input from around the country, it starts the debate now on what we can achieve in 2017 and beyond. It is our vision for a Confident America, at home and abroad. Now we are taking these ideas to the people, so you have a clear choice about the direction of the country. To learn more, visit better.gop.Read More
On Sunday, America suffered the worst terrorist attack on our soil since 9/11, leaving 49 dead and many more wounded. It was another horrifying act of war by radical Islam—and it’s a threat that must be defeated. Last week, House Republicans introduced a national security plan that offers a #BetterWay toward this goal—keeping America safer and making America stronger. Following the moment of silence of the House floor last night, Speaker Ryan continued his push to stop the threat of homegrown terrorism at a press briefing this morning with other Republican leaders:
“Over the weekend, we saw the worst terror attack on our soil since 9/11. We continue to mourn the dead and pray for a swift recovery to those who are injured. We need to be clear about who did this. This was another act of war against America by radical Islam.
“At the same time, let’s also be clear that members of the LGBT community were the targets. They were simply attacked for who they are. This is an ideology that rejects who we are as a country—open, tolerant, free. It preys on the vulnerable and the insecure, seeking to radicalize them into murderers.
“This is a threat that knows no borders. This is a threat that cannot be contained. This is a threat that simply must be defeated. And right now—right now, the president doesn’t have a plan to get the job done.
“That’s why last week House Republicans introduced what we believe is a Better Way for national security. In it are 67 ideas to keep America safe, including many to address homegrown terrorism. And of course the House has acted on numerous occasions to address this terrorist threat. And we will continue to do so.
“Because we must stop people who want to do us harm from coming here. We must give our intelligence and law enforcement communities the tools that they need. And we must work with committees and communities to prevent radicalization before it starts.
“Above all—above all—we must never back down.”Read More
Last week, we finally received a full list of conservative organizations unfairly targeted by the IRS for their political beliefs. The news, which came nearly three years after the scandal broke, was a stark reminder of this powerful agency’s abuse of hardworking taxpayers. We’ve already enacted several pieces of bipartisan legislation to rein in the IRS this Congress alone, but our work is far from over.
Today, the House will consider H.R. 5053, the Preventing IRS Abuse and Protecting Free Speech Act, to do away with another tool that the IRS has used for political purposes. This bill, authored by Ways and Means Oversight Chairman Peter Roskam (R-IL), eliminates the Schedule B form—a portion of Form 990, the annual return that most non-profits are required to file. This form requires non-profit groups to report the names of anyone who contributes more than $5,000.
Here’s the problem: Although federal law prohibits the IRS from releasing Schedule Bs, in the past this information has been exploited to target conservatives. Ahead of the 2012 presidential election, the agency improperly released the National Organization of Marriage’s (NOM) unredacted Schedule B form, which revealed a contribution from a pro-Mitt Romney group. The IRS was eventually ordered to pay NOM $50,000 in damages for releasing this confidential information.
So why does the IRS collect this data? That’s the thing—nobody really knows.
Even IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said this information is completely irrelevant to an organization’s tax-exempt status. In fact, he claimed the agency is already considering getting rid of the Schedule B. As the commissioner told the Senate in July 2015, “On your 990 you list donors—although we’re about to try to change that. As a general matter, who gives to you should not matter as to what you’re about to do.” If that’s the case, the administration should support this bill.
So there you have it: A burdensome IRS form that the agency itself doesn’t seem to want or need but requires anyway. Not to mention that this information can be used for targeting Americans. We should remove every possible avenue for the IRS to unfairly target any American for their personal religious or political beliefs.Read More
Over the weekend, our country was once again attacked by radical Islamic extremism. The mourning process will take time, and while we pray for the victims and their loved ones, we continue our vigilance against homegrown terrorism.
Last week, House Republicans unveiled a bold plan to keep Americans safe and free. This proposal includes more than 67 detailed policy recommendations, including several specifically focused on defeating radical Islamic terrorism at home and abroad. It discusses the importance of countering extremist ideology by amplifying countervailing views from former radicals and the need to push back against the surge of online radicalization. It also calls on the president to present a clear strategy to defeat ISIS.
In addition, the House has already passed a number of bills aimed at strengthening our counterterrorism tools to help prevent homegrown and overseas terrorism:
These are some of the steps the House is taking to protect our homeland. Now more than ever, we must continue to work together to keep Americans safe and free. As Speaker Ryan said yesterday, “We are a nation at war with Islamist terrorists. Theirs is a repressive, hateful ideology that respects no borders. It is a threat to our people at home and abroad. Our security depends on our refusal to back down in the face of terror. We never will.”Read More
Last week, Speaker Ryan did 10—yes, 10—national and local interviews to mark the launch of A Better Way—the House Republican agenda to offer Americans a clear, conservative choice for A Better Way forward. Here’s a look at what he talked about. POVERTY On Tuesday, Speaker Ryan and other House leaders visited House of Help City of Hope in Anacostia to discuss their initiative aimed at lifting people out of poverty and onto the ladder of opportunity. Shortly after, he sat down with CBS’s John Dickerson for a segment for Face the Nation: “What I believe we, in the House, can help do [is] bring ideas to the table. Bring an agenda to the table. Bring a vision. And we’re laying out our ideas, starting today—six critical reforms that we call A Better Way, because we think we owe the country a choice of A Better Way forward. . . . What we hopefully can achieve is offering the country a clear agenda going forward.” He also called in to Fox News Radio’s Kilmeade & Friends for a conversation with Brian Kilmeade on the root cause of poverty: “What has happened is we’re just tapering over poverty. We’re perpetuating poverty. And our welfare system these days is really a work replacement system. It disincentivizes work in so many ways. It actually penalizes people who want to go to work. Because they lose more, in many cases, than they gain by taking the risk of taking a job. “Our poverty programs should never do that. Our poverty programs should always be wired to making work pay, to having the right incentive so that a person gets the skills and the training they need so they can go get a good job, so that they can build their own life for themselves. That’s the heart and soul of the reforms that we’re proposing today. . . . We need to compare ourselves to our own standards as Americans—as the country of freedom, the country of upward mobility, the country of the American Idea where the condition of your birth doesn’t determine the outcome of your life. . . .We think we have a better way forward, and that’s what we’re offering.” Then, en route back to the Capitol to tend to other legislative business, the speaker found time for one more phone call with Wisconsin’s Big AM 1380’s Stan Milam on why places like House of Help City of Hope are exactly where these conversations need to be started: “Success needs to be measured by results. Are people actually getting out of poverty? What actually works in our communities? And back those programs, back those people. That means streamlining and consolidating government and respecting communities, respecting local solutions. The people close to the problem often have the best answers on how to solve a problem. It’s also important to note that not everybody faces the same kind of poverty. Not everyone facing poverty is in the same situation. So we shouldn’t have a one-size-fits-all, top-down government approach.” NATIONAL SECURITY On Thursday, House Republicans continued the launch of A Better Way with the national security plank, a vision for America that not only keeps its people safe, but helps keep the peace in a dangerous world—and unfortunately, a terrible reality we were reminded of this weekend with the terrorist attack in Orlando. Speaker Ryan discussed why this plan is so vital with Hugh Hewitt: “We know that this new Obama foreign policy concept, leading from behind, can now be declared an unambiguous failure. It is making us unprepared. It is reducing our military capability and strength. It is confusing our allies and incentivizing our adversaries. And all that does is tempt fate. So we are saying we’ve got to reset our system. We’ve got to restructure and reaffirm our foreign policy, in particular our military policy if we want to prevent these problems on the horizon from getting out of control.” Next, he got into the details with Wisconsin’s WISN’s Jay Weber: “Number one: Strengthen our military. . . . Number two: homeland security. That means securing our border, fixing our immigration laws, and making sure we have what we need to go after jihadists. And number three, let’s have a foreign policy doctrine strategy that actually keeps us safe and prevents groups like ISIS from materializing in the first place. . . . Right now, if you describe the War on Terror, it’s completely reactive. . . . “So that’s what we’re articulating today. Here’s what a 21st century military looks like. Here’s how we respect our veterans and our many men and women who are currently wearing the uniform with the kind of equipment and posture they need. Here’s what a foreign policy strategy looks like that in the long term keeps us safe.” ABC Breaking News | Latest News Videos
Finally, the speaker closed out his round of interviews with George Stephanopoulos of ABC’s This Week, simply stating what this agenda project is all about: “We are just in the midst of rolling out an agenda that we're going to take to the people. We, in the House, are saying here are the laws we want to pass in fulfillment of these principles to improve people's lives, to fix our government and our country's problems—that requires a president to sign them into law.” Stay tuned, because this week, House Republicans will continue to roll out two more planks of A Better Way. To learn more about what’s happened so far, visit better.gop.Read More
WASHINGTON—This week, Republicans will add planks on economic growth and self-government to A Better Way, a bold agenda to tackle some of our country’s biggest challenges.
On Tuesday, members of the Task Force on Reducing Regulatory Burdens will release a plan aimed at making it easier to work, invest, produce, and build things in America. In the afternoon, Republicans will lead a press conference to mark the unveiling near the West Front of the Capitol.
On Thursday, Republicans will mark the unveiling of a plan aimed at restoring self-government and the separation of powers in National Statuary Hall, which served as the Hall of the House from 1807-1857.
“All of us—not government—should have the biggest role to play in our lives,” Speaker Ryan said. “That’s what these next two planks in our agenda are about. Regulations should serve to help, not hinder the workers and risk-takers at the heart of our economy. And after decades of executive overreach, it is time we restore self-government and the separation of power. This is a better way to uphold our Constitution and preserve the pursuit of happiness.”
These are the third and fourth planks of A Better Way. Last week, Republicans unveiled initiatives aimed at lifting people out of poverty and keeping the American people safe. Two additional planks—health care and tax reform—are yet to be announced. Learn more at better.gop.
When: Tuesday, June 14, 2:15-2:45 p.m. ET
Where: West Front Lawn of the U.S. Capitol
What: Press conference
Who: Speaker Paul Ryan, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Majority Whip Steve Scalise, members of the Task Force on Reducing Regulatory Burdens
Media details: This event is open to members of the media only—media must display Capitol Hill press credentials. All media interested in attending must RSVP to Molly Edwards (email@example.com) by 5:00 p.m. Monday, June 13th. All media with equipment must be in place by 1:15 p.m. for the security sweep.
When: Thursday, June 16, 9:30-10:30 a.m. ET
Where: National Statuary Hall, United States Capitol
What: Member event unveiling a plan to restore self-government
Who: Speaker Paul Ryan, Republican Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers, members of the Task Force on Restoring Constitutional Authority
Media details: This event is open to credentialed members of the media only. All media with equipment must be in place by 8:30 a.m. for the security sweep.Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement after ordering that flags above the Capitol be flown at half-staff in honor of the victims of the Orlando terrorist attack:
"It is horrifying to see so many innocent lives cut short by such cowardice. Tonight, and in the long days ahead, we will grieve with the families. We will thank the heroes. We will hope for a swift recovery for the injured.
"As we heal, we need to be clear-eyed about who did this. We are a nation at war with Islamist terrorists. Theirs is a repressive, hateful ideology that respects no borders. It is a threat to our people at home and abroad. Our security depends on our refusal to back down in the face of terror. We never will."Read More
A magician, a medal of honor recipient, and a prime minister all walk into the U.S. Capitol. No, that's not a joke. That's just a glimpse of what the last few days looked like for Speaker Ryan. These 10 previously-unreleased photos tell the rest of the story.
1. On Tuesday, House Republicans unveiled the first plank in their 6-point plan for A Better Way. It's all about fighting poverty in America in a way that actually rewards work and demands results. Here, Speaker Ryan escorts Bishop Shirley Holloway, the founder and CEO of a community poverty-fighting program, to speak at a press conference.
2. Every week, Speaker Ryan holds multiple media availabilities. Directly after a press conference on Tuesday, he sat down for an extended conversation with John Dickerson of CBS' Face the Nation.
4. On Wednesday, Speaker Ryan invited four Medal of Honor recipients for breakfast on his balcony at the U.S. Capitol.
6. Speaker Ryan is also the Congressman from Wisconsin's 1st District, and every week, he keeps time in his schedule to meet with his constituents, like those shown below.
7. After a one-on-one interview with Andrea Mitchell of NBC News, Speaker Ryan introduces her to his youngest son, Sam, who spent the day at work with dad.
8. On Thursday, before a packed room just blocks from the White House, Speaker Ryan and a half dozen committee chairs unveiled the 2nd plank in the House Republican agenda for A Better Way: national security.
9. The highlight of the day for Sam (Speaker Ryan's youngest) was when the magician, David Copperfield, visited the Speaker's office and performed an illusion or two.
10. Speaker Ryan welcomed the newest member of Congress, Warren Davidson (OH-08), with a ceremonial swearing-in.Read More
WASHINGTON—This week, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) named three appointees to the new Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking. The commission, the result of bipartisan legislation authored by Speaker Ryan and Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), is charged with figuring out the best way for the federal government to analyze data to improve public policy.
“This is part of a better way to fight poverty in America,” Speaker Ryan said. “Right now, Washington measures success by how much it spends, not by how much it helps people. This commission will help change government’s old ways of thinking and make better use of the data we get so that we can make more of a difference in people’s lives. My appointees are all well-respected experts who have devoted their careers to studying these trends, and I am grateful to them for agreeing to serve on the commission.”
The speaker’s appointees to the panel are:
Ron Haskins–Co-Chair. Ron Haskins is a senior fellow in the Economic Studies program and co-director of the Center on Children and Families at the Brookings Institution and senior consultant at the Annie E. Casey Foundation in Baltimore. From February to December of 2002 he was the senior advisor to the president for welfare policy at the White House. Learn more about Ron Haskins.
Bruce Meyer. Bruce D. Meyer, the McCormick Foundation Professor at Chicago Harris, studies poverty and inequality, tax policy, government safety net programs such as unemployment insurance, workers' compensation, food stamps, and Medicaid, and the accuracy of household surveys. Meyer has also served as an advisor to the U.S. Department of Labor, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, Human Resources Development Canada, Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation, and Mathematica Policy Research. Learn more about Bruce Meyer.
Robert Hahn. Robert Hahn is director of economics and a professor at the Smith School of Enterprise and Environment at the University of Oxford. He also is an associate at Nuffield College, a senior policy scholar at the Georgetown Center for Business and Public Policy, and a Robert Schuman Fellow at the European University Institute. Learn more about Robert Hahn.Read More
This week, at the Council on Foreign Relations, Republicans unveiled a plan to chart a better course for America’s foreign policy and national security. While there, Speaker Ryan and members of the Task Force on National Security talked to Hugh Hewitt about this initiative, which is the second plank of A Better Way, a bold agenda to tackle some of our country’s biggest challenges. Here’s some of what Speaker Ryan covered in his conversation with Hewitt: Why we need a better way: “We know that this new Obama foreign policy concept, leading from behind, can now be declared an unambiguous failure. It is making us unprepared. It is reducing our military capability and strength. It is confusing our allies and incentivizing our adversaries. And all that does is tempt fate. So we are saying we’ve got to reset our system. We’ve got to restructure and reaffirm our foreign policy, in particular our military policy if we want to prevent these problems on the horizon from getting out of control.”
Our partnership with India: “I think you need, and in particular, and specifically under Modi’s leadership, and he and I have discussed this at great length yesterday, have a great potential for the future particularly with the seas, in the Pacific and in the Indian Ocean, making sure that we help police the global commons and international order, namely China building, you know, runways on islands in contested areas. I think the Indian, the new Indian government is going to be a great ally for ours, and we have better security cooperation with them. That’s one thing that we need to nurture and grow. And those of us who are fans of Modi, you know, he’s a conservative who wants, who embraces free enterprise. He’s bringing needed reform to the country. That’s the kind of an alliance that we need to forge and build upon. That stands in stark contrast, I would argue, to the Obama foreign policy of the last eight years where we have neglected our allies, and we have basically rewarded our enemies, our adversaries.”
Stopping cyberattacks: “Well, it addresses preventing cyberattacks from coming into the future, preventing cyberattacks from not only hitting government installations, but the private sector as well and our personal data so that they can’t use it against us. So it’s a forward-looking policy based upon the lessons we have learned, because we’ve had hacks on government, hacks on private businesses, hacks on people by terrorists, by other countries.”
NATO: “We think a strong NATO is very much in our national security interests. I think our friends in the Eastern NATO need more of our help and support. It’s also, you know, making sure that people live up to the 2 percent commitment. That’s part of it. But I don’t think our friends are going to lead up to, make their commitment good if they don’t think America itself is going to be leading. So I think a stronger NATO, where we’re all living up to our commitments, theirs is 2 percent minimum, and where we actually have a bigger presence. … I would simply say that the administration has not done what they need to do, and we do not have the kind of military posture we had for ourselves and for our allies to keep NATO where it needs to be given the current threats that it’s facing.”
Egypt: “It is our ally. It’s one of the reasons as the first trip as speaker of the House, I went and met with President Sisi to explain that he is our ally. They are so worried, the Egyptians, about our ambiguity. And there are Egyptians who believe that the American government supports the Muslim Brotherhood over the current government. So you know, I met with the parliamentarians, I met with their speaker, I met with the president of Egypt, al-Sisi himself, to reaffirm our mutual interests, our mutual security interests, and that they are, in fact, our ally.”
Libya: “It’s an ISIS nest, it’s a sinkhole, and it’s part and parcel of the Clinton architecture of the foreign policy of the Obama administration. It is now, really, the magnet for ISIS. It is the magnet for terrorism. And it is just as you described. Why this matters to us, I mean, people are thinking, "Why do I care about Libya?"—people listening—because in Libya, ISIS is mounting. They are building, they are recruiting, they are getting money, they are getting weapons, and then they are planning to coordinate attacks out from there. That’s why it matters to us.”
Russia: “First of all, don’t be naïve about Russia. And I think the Obama administration was chronically naïve. Number one, they gave up missile defense, undercutting our allies in the Czech Republic and Poland, for what? For nothing. The week Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine after the Olympics was the same week that Barack Obama sent us a budget gutting our military. They saw America retreating. They saw America neglecting its allies, and so they decided to take territory. The Russians will keep pushing and pushing against other democracies unless they think that these democracies and their allies are standing up for themselves, and we have not shown that.
Syria: “So on the eastern side in Iraq, by bumbling the status-of-forces agreement and pulling out and not leaving any kind of residual force, which would have helped the Iraqi government maintain some cohesion, prevent sectarianism, you basically had a huge void occur. The government more or less collapsed from a capability standpoint, creating a vacuum that then ISIS filled, taking over oil fields, cities, banks, having territory, money so they can plan their attacks. [On] Syria, the president of the United States drew a red line. The Syrian dictator clearly crossed that red line. The president of the United States therefore did nothing after that. That means our credibility was deeply eroded. . . . So these kinds of decisions ripple through the entire world and question our allies.” To learn more about A Better Way to Keep America Safe and Free, just go to better.gop.Read More
WASHINGTON — Today, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) spoke on the House floor in support of the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA), the House’s bill to address the fiscal crisis in Puerto Rico and prevent a taxpayer bailout. The legislation passed the House on a bipartisan basis today. Below are Speaker Ryan’s full remarks as prepared for delivery:
“Mr. Speaker . . . it is vital that we pass this bill. And let me tell you why. Puerto Rico is in trouble. And we need to act now, before that trouble threatens taxpayers. Puerto Rico’s government owes $118 billion in bonds and unfunded pension liabilities. It has already defaulted on much of it. And things are only going to get worse. Now the island is shutting down. You see it in the news: Closed schools. Hospitals beginning to close. That’s today. Tomorrow, it could be policemen without cars and blackouts at hospitals. This is a humanitarian disaster in the making. And what’s worse—if we do nothing, it would be a man-made humanitarian disaster.
“Mr. Speaker, the Puerto Rican people are our fellow Americans. They pay our taxes and fight in our wars. We cannot allow this to happen. I should also say that if we do nothing, the contagion will only spread. About 15 percent of Puerto Rico’s debt is held by middle-class Americans. If the government can’t meet its obligations, these families will pay the price. Or even worse, taxpayers could be asked to bail it out. That is simply unacceptable.
“That’s why we’re taking action now—to prevent a bailout and to help the Puerto Rican people. What this bill will do is allow Puerto Rico to restructure its debts and set up an oversight board that will oversee this process. Congress and the president will appoint the members of this board. It will audit Puerto Rico’s books and make sure the restructuring is open and fair. It will also make sure the government changes its ways so we don’t have to do this again.
“Now, let me set things straight. Some people say this will set a bad precedent and encourage reckless spending by the states. No, it will not. The bill applies only to territories—not to states. I also want to point out: The Puerto Rican government is not getting off scot-free. Not at all. It has not served the Puerto Rican people well. It has spent money recklessly for decades. So this legislation will make sure the government balances its budget and passes reforms that will grow Puerto Rico’s economy. It gives flexibility on the youth minimum wage, so businesses will hire more young workers.
“I also hear people say that this bill is a bailout. Mr. Speaker, that is categorically . . . undeniably . . . untrue. This bill won’t add a single dollar to the deficit. That’s what the Congressional Budget Office says. This bill actually prevents a bailout. That’s the whole point. But I will tell you this: There very likely will be a bailout, if we don’t pass this bill. Because there will be no other choice. But if we pass this bill, Puerto Rico will get a handle on its debt. Its economy will grow, and taxpayers will be safe. I’m telling you right now: The best chance creditors have to get what they’re owed is this bill.
“Mr. Speaker, this is our responsibility. The Constitution gives Congress the duty to oversee legislation for all U.S. territories. And now it’s time that we do our duty. A lot of people have spent a lot of time on this legislation. I want to thank Rob Bishop, Sean Duffy, Raul Labrador, Jim Sensenbrenner, and all those worked on this bill. It is a bipartisan bill. It is the best solution to a deepening crisis. It has my full support. And I urge all my colleagues—everyone in this House—to vote for it. Thank you.”Read More
Yesterday, the leader of the world's largest democracy visited the Capitol of the world's oldest democracy. In his address before a joint meeting of Congress, Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India shared his commitment to fighting poverty—a subject that is near and dear to Speaker Ryan's heart and is also the first plank of the House Republican agenda for A Better Way.
Keep scrolling to see photos and video of Prime Minister Modi's visit.
What is PROMESA?
The Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA) is the House’s bipartisan legislation that addresses the fiscal crisis in Puerto Rico and prevents a taxpayer bailout for the island. Because Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory, it is ultimately Congress’s responsibility—as the Constitution says. The goals of PROMESA are to protect American taxpayers, stop Puerto Rico’s debt crisis from becoming a major humanitarian disaster, and put Puerto Rico on a path to recovery.
Sponsored by Rep. Duffy and Rep. Sensenbrenner, PROMESA was developed by the Committee on Natural Resources with both member and stakeholder input. The White House has come to support PROMESA, which means that if the House passes this comprehensive, responsible legislation, it has a significant chance of becoming the law of the land.
The Puerto Rican government has racked up $118 billion dollars in debt in the form of bonds and unfunded pension liabilities. It has no way of paying it back nor intention of doing so. Earlier this year, the Puerto Rican government passed a debt-payment moratorium. Last month, Puerto Rico defaulted on a $422 million loan, exacerbating the financial crisis in the U.S. territory. A huge debt-payment of $2 billion is due on July 1, which the government will likely default on. More defaults will result in a huge amount of litigation from creditors, which threatens the stability of the territory and the investments of Americans who hold Puerto Rico’s bonds. The time for Congress to act is now if we want to bring order to this chaos and stop a humanitarian crisis—which will prevent a taxpayer bailout down the road.
What does PROMESA do?
The legislation has three major components:
Debt-restructuring: PROMESA gives territories the ability to access certain debt-restructuring provisions. This is specifically amended under the territories and insular affairs section of the U.S. code, so no states can have access to these provisions. This means states will not gain access to debt-restructuring provisions, which protects against a dangerous precedent. Giving Puerto Rico the ability to restructure its debt in an orderly way is the best chance for creditors to get paid what they are owed and protect the U.S. bond market.
Oversight board: The legislation institutes an oversight board appointed by Congress and the White House that will have major authority over the debt-restructuring process, beginning with auditing the financial records of the government. This will bring transparency and order to the current chaos on the island. The oversight board will also make sure that Puerto Rico makes real, lasting reforms so that Puerto Rico never gets into this situation again. For example, the oversight board will enforce balanced budgets if the Puerto Rican government fails to do so.
Pro-growth reforms: The bill provides Puerto Rico with flexibility on the youth minimum wage in order to spur job creation and economic growth on the island. It also exempts Puerto Rico from the new harmful overtime pay regulations, which would have had a detrimental impact on jobs. PROMESA institutes a taskforce to provide a report giving recommendations on ways to grow Puerto Rico’s economy and fix the current federal law that is hindering growth.
Read more details on the legislation here.
What will this cost the taxpayer?
Nothing. Fiscal hawks can rest assured because PROMESA addresses the crisis at no risk to taxpayers. It’s revenue neutral, meaning it will not increase federal spending. Last week, the independent Congressional Budget Office (CBO) confirmed this fact: PROMESA will have no significant effect on the federal deficit. Any costs for operating the oversight board will be paid for by the Puerto Rican government over the next 10 years.
Is PROMESA is a bailout?
Not only is PROMESA not a bailout, but passing PROMESA will prevent a future taxpayer bailout of the territory, much to the chagrin of certain well-funded special interest groups. The ads running on television alleging that PROMESA is a taxpayer bailout are orchestrated by these special interest groups who actually understand that PROMESA is not a bailout. They want PROMESA—or any other legislation that addresses the crisis without a taxpayer bailout— to fail. They want pressure to build on Congress to pass a real bailout bill, which serves their financial interests.
Who supports PROMESA?
From groups representing different sectors of the economy to newspaper editorial boards, PROMESA’s support is broad and deep. Conservative, limited government groups—who are opposed to taxpayer bailouts on principle—support PROMESA because it protects taxpayers and enacts pro-growth policies. Here are just some of the groups that support PROMESA:
American Action ForumAmericans for Limited GovernmentAmericans for Tax ReformAssociation of General Contractors of America - Puerto Rico ChapterAssociation of General Contractors of AmericaConservative Reform NetworkCouncil for Citizens Against Government WasteGovernment Finance Officers AssociationInternational City/County Management AssociationJames Madison InstituteJanney Fixed Income StrategyJubilee USA NetworkNational Taxpayers UnionNational Association of Home Builders - Puerto Rico ChapterNational Association of CountiesNational League of CitiesNational ReviewNational Retail FederationPacific Investment Management Co.Patriot UpdatePrivate Sector Coalition of Puerto Rico Puerto Rico Hospital AssociationR Street InstituteSecurities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA)Tea Party ForwardU.S. Conference of MayorsWall Street Journal editorial boardWashington Post editorial board
Here’s a few more experts and state officials for good measure:
Brian Bosma, Indiana speaker of the houseMarc Joffe, Principal consultant at Public Sector Credit Solutions and former senior director at Moody’s AnalyticsSimon Johnson, MIT professor and former chief economist at the International Monetary FundMark A. Cymrot, international arbitration litigator:Douglas Holtz-Eakin, former chief economist of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers and former director of the Congressional Budget OfficeScott Fitzgerald, Wisconsin state senatorRead More
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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.