Speaker of the House

Paul Ryan

Speaker Ryan & House Leaders Meet with Argentine President Mauricio Macri

2017/04/27

WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement after hosting a bipartisan meeting with Argentine President Mauricio Macri:

“Today’s visit by President Macri is a symbol of the enduring partnership between the United States and Argentina. We had a productive meeting about working together on a wide range of issues, particularly in the fields of energy and cybersecurity, and addressing ongoing turmoil in Venezuela. America is determined to strengthen our important alliance with President Macri and the people of Argentina in the years to come.”

NOTE: Today’s meeting took place in the Speaker’s office in the U.S. Capitol. Participants included:

  • House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA)
  • House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)
  • House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD)
  • Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA)
  • Foreign Affairs Committee Ranking Member Eliot Engel (D-NY)
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Health Care, Tax, and VA Reform: Speaker Ryan’s Remarks from Weekly Press Briefing

2017/04/27

Summary: Today during his weekly press conference, Speaker Ryan discussed actions to improve accountability at the VA, fix our tax code, and repeal and replace Obamacare.

Opening Remarks: TAKE YOUR KIDS TO WORK DAY

“First, I want to welcome all of our special guests today. I think it is great to see you here, and it’s great you get to see the work your parents do. Don’t tell them this, but they’re actually kind of good at their jobs.”

VA REFORM AND THE FIRST 100 DAYS

“Later today, the president will sign an executive order to improve accountability at the VA. Under the Obama administration, not nearly enough was done to hold bureaucrats accountable for failing veterans at our Veterans Affairs. Despite promises to clean things up, only a smattering of people were moved out of their jobs. Only a smattering of people were held accountable. Last month, the House passed the VA Accountability Act, to make it easier to bring the kind of steady leadership that VA medical centers so desperately need.

“And last week, the president signed legislation to reduce out-of-pocket costs for veterans and to promote better access to care. These are all very positive steps to deliver the kind of fundamental reform that is needed at the VA.

“This adds to what has already been a very incredibly active first 100 days. Under the president’s leadership, we have cut red tape at record levels. Cutting red tape saves families dollars, it saves businesses jobs. In fact, we have saved families and businesses $67 billion already. Yesterday, the administration put out its principles for pro-growth tax reform. That’s the next step toward overhauling our tax code.”

AMERICAN HEALTH CARE ACT

“And we continue to make real progress in our work to repeal and replace Obamacare. As you saw, we have posted an amendment to the American Health Care Act yesterday. This amendment was the result of constructive conversations among our members that focused on how we can do more to lower costs for everyone.

“What this amendment does is it give states more flexibility and tools to reduce premiums and increase choices. And it does this while maintaining and preserving protections for people with pre-existing conditions. This is the important point: those protections remain on the books, even as we add new ones.

“The goal here is to give states greater flexibility, if they want it, to lower premiums. We have not yet made any decisions on a vote. But this is more progress. And we will continue our progress and our work to repeal and replace Obamacare.”

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Speaker Ryan's Remarks at 'Washington - A Man of Prayer'

2017/04/26

WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) this evening delivered opening remarks and a prayer at this year’s ‘Washington – A Man of Prayer’ event, held in National Statuary Hall. Following are Speaker Ryan’s remarks, as prepared for delivery:

"Good evening, everyone. Pastor Dan, Joann, it is an honor to welcome your congregation to our Capitol."

"This, of course, is Statuary Hall. It was our House chamber for most of the 19th century. And on Sundays, when not being used for the people’s business, it was host to weekly services. They say it was the largest church on the East Coast."

"That was a time in our history when Washington was not thought of as a man of prayer, or a man at all, really. He was revered as an icon, a god-like figure."

"In the Rotunda, look up and you see Brumidi’s fresco, with Washington rising to the heavens. The piece is actually called 'Apotheosis of Washington.' Apotheosis meaning 'glorification.'”

"In all the representations of Washington in this building, he is the focal point, the center of attention."

"But there is one very notable exception."

"Just off the Rotunda, we have a small prayer room. It is a quiet place for members to reflect on big decisions. And there is a stained glass window where Washington is depicted kneeling, his hands joined together in prayer."

"Surrounding him are the words from the Psalm: 'Preserve me, O God, for in thee do I put my trust.'"

"Washington had the humility to seek God’s guidance, to ask Him to protect America. His 'earnest prayer,' he called it."

"To us, this is a birthright. It is fundamental."

"But around the world tonight, there are people—far too many—who are persecuted for their faith. They risk everything to pray—literally taking their lives into their own hands."

"Repression is the refuge of the weak and the insecure."

"But in these days after Easter, we reflect on the power of resurrection…on the ultimate truth that our lives are transformed by our belief in God. We take heart in knowing—in believing—that after a dark night, there will be cause to rejoice and be glad."

"And so, let us pray."

"Heavenly Father, give each of us the wisdom to follow Washington’s example and be unafraid in turning to you. Look with love on your servants who suffer. May they be preserved by your grace. In thee we put our trust."

"Amen."

"Thank you all for having me here tonight."  

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Speaker Ryan on FCC Announcement to Restore Internet Freedom

2017/04/26

WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement on Federal Communications Commission Chairman (FCC) Ajit Pai’s announcement to roll back net neutrality regulations:

“The internet is evidence of the unparalleled heights that a true free market can reach. But those heights have been threatened by federal regulations that set a dangerous precedent by focusing on controlling the internet rather than protecting consumers. Chairman Pai’s announcement that the FCC will roll back these regulations is welcome news. Congress is committed to working with the Trump administration to enact policies that protect consumers and ensure Americans have access to a free and open internet.”

Related:

House Passes Regulation to Protect Your Internet Freedom

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Ryan, McConnell, Brady, Hatch Statement on Administration’s Tax Plan

2017/04/26

WASHINGTON—Following today’s tax reform announcement by the Trump Administration, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX), and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) issued the following joint statement:

“The principles outlined by the Trump Administration today will serve as critical guideposts for Congress and the Administration as we work together to overhaul the American tax system and ensure middle-class families and job creators are better positioned for the 21st century economy. Lower rates for individuals and families will allow them to keep more of their hard-earned money and empower them to invest more in their future. Getting tax rates down for American companies, big and small, will create new jobs and make the United States a more inviting place to do business. With an eye toward fairness and simplicity, we’re confident we can rebuild our tax code in a way that will grow our economy, better promote savings and investment, provide our job creators with a competitive advantage, and bring prosperity to all Americans.”

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29 Bills to the President's Desk: Speaker Ryan's Remarks from Leadership Press Conference

2017/04/26

Summary: Today, Speaker Ryan discussed the 29 bills Congress has sent to the president's desk in the first 100 days of President Trump's administration, and the continued work being done toward solving some of the nation's biggest challenges. 

Opening Remarks:

"Since President Trump took office, this Congress has sent 29 bills to his desk. That is the most for a president’s first 100 days in office since 1949.

"Nearly half of these measures are measures to take excessive regulations off the books so we can grow this economy. After years of workers and industries bracing for the next regulatory onslaught—all the unpredictability that has been coming with that—we are providing relief for energy jobs, for small businesses, for retirees.

"It has been estimated that the steps we have taken with this administration will save families and businesses more than $67 billion. That is real relief, and that promotes real economic growth. We have been trying to cut red tape for years, and now it’s finally happening at record levels. 

"Also to promote job creation, the president has signed bills making it easier for women to pursue STEM careers and to become entrepreneurs. To help our veterans, the president has signed a bill to lower out-of-pocket costs and to take steps toward fundamental VA reform—very much in need.

"We are going to keep building on this record. Right now, we are working on a government funding bill that addresses some of the country’s core priorities, including strengthening our national defense.

"Last week, I was in Europe visiting with some of our key NATO allies. And across the board, our allies are ready to see America step up and lead again. A big part of that is rebuilding our military, which is something that we’re in the middle of doing right now.

"We’re also working to fix our tax code. Today, the administration will outline its principles for pro-growth tax reform, which is a critical step forward in this effort. Pro-growth tax reform means that we will have lower rates, we will have a simpler tax code with fewer brackets, and we will have an IRS that exists only to serve the taxpayer.

"And we will continue to work to keep our promise to repeal and replace Obamacare, so that we can lower costs and create more choices for families.

"We have undertaken some very big reforms to tackle entrenched problems. There is a lot of work left to do, but under the president’s leadership, this unified government has made a solid start."

 

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Speaker Ryan on the Antiquities Act Executive Order

2017/04/26

WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement on President Trump’s executive action on the Antiquities Act:

“The Antiquities Act is a century-old law that has been hijacked by executive overreach in recent years. While designating monuments is a noble goal, this law, like many others, has strayed far from its original purpose. Presidents have used the law to lock up thousands of acres of lands and water with the stroke of a pen, disregarding the needs and concerns of local communities. I commend the Trump administration for stopping this cycle of executive abuse and beginning a review of past designations.”

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Speaker Ryan Swears In Kansas Rep. Ron Estes

2017/04/25

Tonight, Speaker Ryan swore in Representative Ron Estes (R-KS), who won a special election to fill the seat vacated by CIA Director Mike Pompeo. Before the official proceedings took place, Speaker Ryan greeted Rep. Estes and his family in the speaker’s Capitol office for a ceremonial swearing-in, welcoming him to the 115th Congress.

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THURSDAY: Speaker Ryan’s Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day Press Conference

2017/04/25

WASHINGTON—This Thursday, April 27, is Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day nationwide. For the second straight year, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) is inviting members of the media to bring their children to his weekly press briefing.

I am a big believer in bringing your children to work, to give them a glimpse of what your day is like and to meet the co-workers you’re always talking about,” Speaker Ryan said. “I encourage everyone in the Capitol Hill community to take part in Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day.

From time to time, Speaker Ryan is able to bring his kids to work. Last spring, they joined him as he signed a bipartisan bill he authored to fight poverty.

As always, the Speaker's weekly press briefing will be live-streamed on speaker.gov/live.

Details Speaker Ryan’s Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day Press Conference Thursday, April 27, 2017 11:30 a.m. ET Capitol Visitor Center HVC Studio A, HVC 114

For questions regarding location or directions to the studio, please contact House Radio-TV Gallery staff at 202-225-5214.

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9 Photos from Speaker Ryan's Tour Abroad

2017/04/24

Speaker Ryan just got back from a four-nation tour of Europe, meeting with strategic NATO allies in Norway, the United Kingdom, Poland, and Estonia. He was joined by a bipartisan delegation of lawmakers who made it their mission to reaffirm the United States' strong commitment to NATO and to deterring Russian agression in the region. Here are a few photographic highlights from the trip.

Norway

1. Prime Minister Erna Solberg welcomes Speaker Ryan's Congressional delegation to Norway.

2. The United States and Norway have a long standing military-to-military relationship that includes Marine Corps pre-positioned stock that allows us to respond quickly to urgent security threats in the region.

3. You can take the Marine out of Wisconsin, but you can't take the Wisconsin out of the Marine.

The United Kingdom

4. One day after Prime Minister Theresa May announced a "snap election" in Great Britain, Speaker Ryan meets with the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, at 11 Downing St.

5. At at UK think tank in London, Speaker Ryan spoke about the enduring importance of the special relationship between the United States and Great Britain.

6. UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson shows Speaker Ryan the Churchill war rooms from WWII.

Poland

7. President Andrzej Duda welcomes the Congressional delegation to Poland as Speaker Ryan expresses American solidarity in deterring Russian aggression.

Estonia

8. Speaker Ryan thanks the Prime Minister of Estonia for hitting the two percent pledge that the United States has asked all NATO alliance partners to hit.

9. Speaker Ryan wields the gavel in the Estonian parliament.

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Codel Ryan Concludes with Stops in Poland and Estonia, Two Allies Stepping Up to Meet NATO Obligations

2017/04/23

TALLINN, ESTONIA—As Speaker Ryan has said, NATO is as important today as it's ever been. That's why a bipartisan delegation led by the speaker concluded a trip to Europe with stops in two nations doing their part to strengthen this alliance: Poland and Estonia. 

NATO relies on an important principle of burden sharing, with member countries expected to dedicate two percent of GDP to military spending. The United States, along with the UK, Greece, Poland, and Estonia, are currently the only NATO allies hitting that benchmark.  Poland

In Poland, the delegation held a meeting with President Andrzej Duda, during which they thanked the country for leading by example. The group discussed topics such as energy security, military cooperation - including the Polish procurement of US military equipment - and solidarity in deterring Russian aggression.

The members also met with the Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo, along with Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz and Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski. The delegation reaffirmed the importance of the US-Poland bilateral relationship as well Poland's commitment to NATO. The members also discussed other topics, such as the recent arrival of US Army troops in Poland as part of the European Reassurance Initiative, meant to bolster NATO's eastern flank.

Estonia In Estonia, a country that achieved renewed independence in 1991 after decades of Soviet occupation, the delegation met with Prime Minister Juri Ratas, along with Foreign Minister Sven Mikser. The delegation expressed appreciation for the Estonian people's long and inspiring fight for independence and our shared values of freedom and self-determination. They discussed the important role Estonia and the Baltic states play as the eastern border of the NATO alliance, and our commitment to deterring Russian aggression in the region. 

At a bilateral press conference following the meeting, Speaker Ryan remarked, "Thank you to Estonia for being a leader. We want to say thank you to you, Mr. Prime Minister, for hitting the two percent pledge that we're asking all NATO alliance partners to hit."

Afterward, members of the delegation met with American Marines and soldiers stationed in Estonia as part of Operation Atlantic Resolve. 

Later, the delegation was able to meet with the speaker of the Estonian parliament and other parliamentarians. They engaged in an important exchange about the values our two countries share and discussed ways to strengthen our bonds, particularly through trade and strategies for cyber security, a subject of which Estonia has long been on the leading edge.  Finally, the delegation was hosted for a dinner by Estonia President Kersti Kaljulaid, an opportunity to reaffirm the alliance of our two nations.  Throughout this trip, the message from the bipartisan delegation was clear and an unambiguous: our commitment to NATO is resolute, and we stand shoulder to shoulder with our allies to promote prosperity and confront global security challenges, including from terrorism and Russian aggression. 

Read Codel Ryan's dispatches: Promoting Economic and Security Cooperation, Ryan Delegation Meets with UK Officials  London Speech: Ryan Praises NATO, Calls for US-UK Trade Deal Ryan Delegation Witnesses Military Cooperation with Norway, Visits U.S. Marines Speaker Ryan and Delegation Reaffirm Strong Partnership in Norway

My message in Europe was clear: we stand shoulder to shoulder to confront terror and Russian aggression. https://t.co/05Y96MWDOA pic.twitter.com/niLAR0hBpk

— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) April 24, 2017
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Promoting Economic and Security Cooperation, Ryan Delegation Meets with UK Officials

2017/04/20

LONDON—At an historic moment, a bipartisan congressional delegation led by House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) arrived in the United Kingdom this week, just following the unexpected announcement of a new election in June.

In London, the delegation met with UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson. The members made clear to the secretary that, no matter the shifting politics in the UK, the special relationship between our two nations will be as strong as ever. The group also discussed economic issues and reasserted the importance of the NATO alliance at this time. Following the meeting, Secretary Johnson showed the speaker and delegation the Churchill War Rooms.

In addition, the delegation held separate meetings with the Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond and Secretary for International Trade Liam Fox. With these leaders, the speaker echoed messages delivered in an address Wednesday evening at the Policy Exchange. He expressed support for a bilateral trade agreement between the United States and United Kingdom, in addition to the US-EU agreement currently being negotiated. And he underscored the need for the US, UK, and our NATO allies to strengthen our partnerships to promote prosperity and combat growing security challenges around the world. 

As the speaker said in his address, “We should measure the success of the special relationship not just by how we treat each other…We should measure this relationship by how it promotes security and prosperity for the world.”

Also while in London, the delegation received a briefing on current security threats in the region, as well as a review of US military activities and personnel from Army General Curtis Scaparrotti, EUCOM Commander.

From here, the delegation will head to Poland and Estonia, two important NATO allies that, like the US and UK, are meeting their obligation to spend two percent of GDP on defense. 

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Highlight Reel: Speaker Ryan’s Address at Policy Exchange in London

2017/04/20

This week, Speaker Ryan is visiting NATO allies across Europe, including Norway, Poland, Estonia, and Great Britain. Yesterday, he spoke at Policy Exchange in London about the importance of NATO and the need to ensure our transatlantic alliances remain strong far into the future.

Below is a highlight reel from the event:

The Special United States-Great Britain Relationship

The US-UK relationship should draw on the characters of our peoples, and the pillars of our societies—freedom, democracy, and enterprise. pic.twitter.com/qRYOcuBeXV

— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) April 19, 2017

NATO Is Essential to Countering Russian Aggression

NATO remains critical to the safety and security of the United States, Great Britain, and the world. It must be strengthened. pic.twitter.com/jTBUGIhkXZ

— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) April 20, 2017

A US-UK Bilateral Free Trade Agreement

We stand ready to forge a new trade agreement with Great Britain so that we may further tap into the great potential between our people. pic.twitter.com/TwercXmYPB

— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) April 20, 2017
President Trump’s Strikes in Syria were Appropriate and Just

The strikes in Syria ordered by President Trump Were appropriate and just. We must continue to work together to end this nightmare. pic.twitter.com/D5BawDNCcm

— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) April 20, 2017

Terrorist Attack in Westminster was Pure Evil

The terrorist attack in Westminster Was pure evil. Our ideals of freedom, compassion, and peace will always prevail over violence and hate. pic.twitter.com/FuSowYPNty

— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) April 19, 2017
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London Speech: Ryan Praises NATO, Calls for US-UK Trade Deal

2017/04/20

Yesterday, Speaker Ryan addressed UK think tank Policy Exchange in London to discuss the unwavering bonds between the United States and Great Britain, the importance of NATO in countering Russian aggression, and the need to strengthen transatlantic economic cooperation.

Click here to watch the full speech and check out some of the top headlines below:

Speaker Ryan: ‘NATO Is Essential’“Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) praised the enduring alliance between the United States and United Kingdom Wednesday while calling on Britain to help combat ‘Russian aggression’ through NATO, which he deemed ‘essential.’ ‘So let’s be clear: The actions of Russia are not the actions of a friend,’ Ryan said at the U.K. think tank Policy Exchange in London.” (The Hill)

Paul Ryan Calls for New US-UK Trade Deal“Paul Ryan addressed the conservative think tank Policy Exchange in London today, stating that he is in the United Kingdom to send the message that ‘the United States stands ready to forge a new trade agreement with Great Britain as soon as possible’ as Brexit progresses. Dismissing the notion that votes for Brexit and Trump meant the U.S. and U.K. were ‘turning inward,’ Ryan said: ‘We are determined more than ever to lead. We don’t want China to write the rules of the 21st century economy. We want to do that together.’” (Axios)

Paul Ryan: Brexit, Trump Victories a Blow Against ‘Arrogant’ Elites“British and American voters have called for ‘a renewal of first principles’ through their votes in favor of Brexit and President Trump, House Speaker Paul Ryan suggested while traveling in Europe this week. ‘Our countries have voted for sweeping change,’ Ryan said Wednesday. ‘Some try to say too much change. But if anything, we are seeing a renewal of first principles, of people reasserting their right of self-determination against arrogant and paternalistic elites. As President Trump has said, the forgotten men and women . . . will be forgotten no longer.'" (Washington Examiner)

Paul Ryan Praises ‘Bold Leadership’ of Theresa May and Proposes US-UK Free Trade Deal“Paul Ryan, the speaker of the US House of Representatives, has praised Theresa May’s ‘bold leadership’ ahead of the snap general election. . . . He was speaking shortly after MPs voted to give the May the authority to bring forward the scheduled 2020 election to this year. ‘We just had a pretty interesting election. And I guess well, you felt like you were being left out,’ Ryan told the Policy Exchange think-tank. ‘The one thought that came to mind when I watched what transpired, was that this is a time for bold leadership and Theresa May is certainly setting the standard.’” (HuffPo UK)

Paul Ryan Reaffirms US Commitment to UK and NATO on London Visit"In an address to UK think tank Policy Exchange on Wednesday (19 April), US House Speaker Paul Ryan spoke about the special relationship between the US and the UK and wished the UK luck on the upcoming general election. Ryan also praised Prime Minister Theresa May for ‘setting the standard’ on ‘bold leadership’. ‘Times like these call for bold leadership, and Theresa May is certainly setting the standard,’ Ryan said. The House speaker called news of the upcoming general election a ‘historic event’ but joked that British politicians would not receive much sympathy from the Congressional delegation.” (International Business Times)

Top Republican Paul Ryan Assures UK of US Trade Ties in London Visit“The US stands ready to agree a free trade deal with the UK as soon as possible, Paul Ryan, the Republican speaker of the House of Representatives, has said in London. He also predicted that the UK would be able to sign a Brexit agreement with the EU, adding that the US, as a special ally, would be standing by the UK all the way through the talks. Ryan’s remarks, echoing previous promises by Donald Trump, will be music to the ears of the international trade secretary, Liam Fox, who was in the Policy Exchange think tank audience addressed by Ryan.” (The Guardian)

Paul Ryan Announces US Is Ready to Forge a New Bilateral Trade Deal with UK ‘as soon as possible’“Paul Ryan, the US House speaker, has said America was ready to forge a new bilateral trade deal with the UK as soon as possible. His commitment to a new economic relationship between the US and UK came almost a year to the day that Barack Obama, the former president, threatened to send Britain to the ‘back of the queue’ if it voted to leave the European Union. The House speaker said Brexit should be viewed as ‘a real opportunity for our two nations’ and warned against China ‘writing the rules of the 21st century global economy.’” (The Telegraph)

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Speaker Ryan Announces Additions to Policy and Press Offices

2017/04/20

WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) today announced two new additions to the Office of the Speaker.

  • Kiel Weaver will join the Speaker’s office at the start of next month as Assistant to the Speaker for Policy, handling energy and environmental issues. Since 2003, he has been with the House Natural Resources Committee, where he serves as Staff Director for the Subcommittee on Water, Power, and Oceans. Kiel received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Mary Washington.
  • Paige Waltz has joined the Speaker’s press team as Digital Media Coordinator. She previously served as Digital Media Manager for the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies. Paige received her bachelor’s degree from Virginia Tech and a Masters in Public Administration from The University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill.

“We are excited to add these outstanding professionals to our team,” Speaker Ryan said. “Kiel is a Capitol Hill veteran whose experience building consensus and setting policy will be essential as we work to strengthen our nation’s energy sector. Paige is a first-rate talent in design and digital media who adds depth to our communications team. I am glad to have them on board.”

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FULL TEXT: Speaker Ryan’s Remarks at Policy Exchange in London

2017/04/19

LONDON—Today, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) addressed the UK think tank Policy Exchange in London, England to discuss the critical role that the United States and Great Britain play in promoting regional and global stability, new opportunities for trade and economic partnerships, and the enduring importance of the special relationship between our two countries, particularly following the recent initiation of the Article 50 process. Below are Speaker Ryan’s full remarks as prepared for delivery:

“Thank you so much for the warm welcome. And thank you especially to Dean Godson and Policy Exchange for hosting us. For 15 years now, this organization has been injecting new thinking into this country’s battle of ideas, shaping the direction of your country and its role in the world. It’s a real privilege to be here.

“I am joined here tonight by a bipartisan delegation of my colleagues from the House of Representatives—both Republicans and Democrats.

“As you know, we just finished an interesting election, and I guess, well, you all felt a little left out.

“In seriousness, it’s quite something to be here at this moment.

“Times like these call for bold leadership, and Theresa May is certainly setting the standard. Yesterday’s news and today’s vote is indeed a historic event.

“And I know it will be a hard fought election, but hey, don’t expect too much sympathy from us . . . you see we in the House of Representatives are used to doing this every two years.

“Ultimately, it is up to the British people to decide their political future—as only they can. And honestly, as my colleagues can attest, we Americans have enough on our plate . . . so I will simply say good luck and please know that no matter the outcome, the United States will proudly stand by your new government.

“Now the way I see it, any American leader must do two things when in London: be grateful that we don’t have Prime Minister’s Questions . . . and quote Winston Churchill.

“In our Capitol, we have a great bust of Churchill. It has been there about three years now.

“The best way to find it, actually, is to ask to see the steps that the British used to burn down the place in 1814.

“They don’t call it a ‘special relationship’ for nothing.

“Etched on the bust is a quote from Churchill’s address to Congress in the weeks after the attack on Pearl Harbor.

“And in that speech, delivered in such a perilous hour, he challenged our peoples to turn from the ‘convulsions of the moment to the broader spaces of the future.’

“We are certainly at one of those hinges of history now.

“Over the last year, our countries have voted for sweeping change. Some try to say too much change. But if anything, we are seeing a renewal of first principles . . . of people reasserting their right of self-determination against arrogant and paternalistic elites. As President Trump has said, ‘the forgotten men and women . . . will be forgotten no longer.’

“Shaking up the status quo always takes time. We will have our share of speed bumps and roadblocks.

“There may be an instinct to simply stay put, lower our sights, and just confine ourselves to taming all this change. We can cross our fingers, and maybe just aim for good stewardship.

“Or we can raise our gaze . . . and draw on the characters of our peoples, and the pillars of our societies—freedom, democracy, and enterprise.

“Because what good is a compass without a course? What good are values without vision? What good are ideas without leaders determined to advance them?

“We should measure the success of the special relationship not just by how we treat each other, but rather by how well we can leverage this moment to seize a real opportunity for our two nations.

“We should measure this relationship by how it promotes security and prosperity for the world.

“We were reminded of this obligation in the worst way not too long ago—four weeks ago today, to be exact. “The evil in Westminster—at the epicenter of European democracy—rattled us to our core. We shared your pain. We mourned your victims. “America knows this horror all too well. We’ve seen it in New York and Boston . . . in Orlando and San Bernardino . . . in Texas and in a field in Pennsylvania. “Churches, schools, city streets, institutions of government—radical Islamist terrorism targets innocents in their everyday lives.

“And in doing so, they seek to divide us against one another. They want us to point fingers and cast blame. They want us to cower in fear of leaving our homes and living our lives. They want us to lose faith in our values and principles—to give up hope.

“We will not let that happen. We cannot let that happen. The way we defeat this scourge of evil is by working hand-in-hand. By strengthening military and counterterrorism cooperation. By winning the battle of ideas. By demonstrating how our ideals of freedom, compassion, and peace will always prevail over violence and hate.

“Under President Trump’s leadership, we are rebuilding our military for the 21st century and giving our troops the tools they need. And here in Great Britain, you have made great strides matching words with action by enacting critical counterterrorism measures to provide the resources necessary to keep your citizens safe. “Tonight, I also want to thank the British government for backing our recent action in Syria.

“The strikes ordered by President Trump were appropriate and just. They demonstrate our resolve and refusal to stand on the sidelines as Assad slaughters his people—and their children—with the cruelest weapons known to man.

“You understand, as we do, that preventing the use of chemical weapons is a vital national security interest. So we must continue to work together—the United States, Great Britain, and all of our allies—to finally end this nightmare.

“And let’s be honest, this is not just about Assad. We must also hold his enablers accountable. Iran and Russia are complicit in these crimes against humanity. But that’s not all. Russia is determined to exploit weakness and opportunity wherever it may surface.

“As they seek to expand their sphere of influence in the Middle East, they continue to challenge the sovereignty of our allies in Eastern and Central Europe. Their aggression has also taken on other forms. Russia interfered in our elections, and they are interfering in elections here in Europe as we speak.

“We have learned a thing or two about their tactics. And we commit to sharing those lessons learned with our allies so you can be better prepared.

“So let’s be clear: The actions of Russia are not the actions of a friend. We cannot allow a provocateur in Moscow to threaten our allies or interests. This is a direct affront to the post-Cold War global order. “And by ‘we,’ I do not just mean the US and Britain. To truly combat Russian aggression, we need a strong NATO alliance—and we need that now more than ever. “Our delegation has just come from Norway, and later this week we will visit two more key NATO allies: Poland and Estonia. “Please let there be no ambiguity here: NATO is essential. It has been and remains critical to the safety and security of the United States, Great Britain, and the world. “And it must be strengthened. Member states should follow the lead of the US, UK, Poland, Estonia, and Greece and contribute two percent of their GDP to defense spending. And we should enhance our lines of communication to ensure NATO countries receive the most timely, actionable information possible.

“Close security cooperation must also be coupled with enduring economic ties. Today, our countries boast the world’s largest foreign direct investment partnership, and America stands as the single greatest importer of UK goods.

“But there are those who say the United States and Great Britain are today turning inward—that we’re retreating and closing ourselves off from the rest of the world. Let me put that myth to rest.

“We are more determined than ever to lead. We don’t want China to write the rules of the 21st century global economy. We want to do that. We want a level playing field for our businesses. And yes, we want free trade deals, but they have to be smart trade deals. They need to help workers and raise wages. They need to create high-paying, sustainable jobs. The good news is that these are exactly the type of jobs you get from smart free trade agreements. And we must continue to sharpen tools to combat unfair trade practices.

“Now that Article 50 has been invoked, the UK and EU will determine the best path forward over the course of negotiations. We want the parties to come together and strike a lasting agreement. A strong UK-EU relationship is in all of our best interests.

“In that same vein, the United States will continue to work closely with our EU friends, and chart a path forward on T-TIP negotiations. At the same time, we are committed to work with President Trump and your government to achieve a bilateral trade agreement between the United States and Great Britain.

“This is one of the bipartisan messages I bring with me: that the United States stands ready to forge a new trade agreement with Great Britain as soon as possible, so that we may further tap into the great potential between our people.

“Here is the last point I would make: “At times, we will get mired in the slog of governing. But we can never lose sight of the battle of ideas. To secure freedom and free enterprise, we must believe in these things, apply them to the problems of the day, and defend them at every turn.

“So let me just close by saying thank you. Thank you for your friendship. Thank you for your hospitality. And, from the bottom of my heart, thank you for working to ensure our special relationship grows stronger far into the future. I look forward to your questions.”

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Watch Guide: Speaker Ryan’s Speech in London

2017/04/19

Today at 2 p.m. ET, Speaker Ryan will speak live at the UK think tank Policy Exchange in London, England.

The speaker will discuss the critical role that the United States and Great Britain play in promoting regional and global stability, new opportunities for trade and economic partnerships, and the enduring importance of the special relationship between our two countries, particularly following the recent initiation of the Article 50 process.

Here’s how you can follow along:

1.      Watch the full speech on the Policy Exchange Facebook page or speaker.gov/live.

2.      Get real-time updates and video highlights of the address by following @SpeakerRyan on Twitter.

3.       Visit speaker.gov for recaps and more information about Speaker Ryan’s bipartisan congressional mission to NATO allies in Europe.

More: Ryan Delegation Witnesses Military Cooperation with Norway, Visits U.S. Marines (4/19/17) Speaker Ryan and Delegation Reaffirm Strong Partnership in Norway (4/18/17)

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Ryan Delegation Witnesses Military Cooperation with Norway, Visits U.S. Marines

2017/04/19

Our Congressional delegation made a stop at Værnes Air Station in Norway, home to an important prepositioning program of the @USMC. pic.twitter.com/pqzhY0u042

— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) April 19, 2017

STJØRDAL, NORWAY— On the second and final day in Norway, a bipartisan congressional delegation led by House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) traveled north to tour military installations in Norway, meet with U.S. and Norway military personnel, and see first-hand the longstanding military-to-military relationship between our two countries.

Værnes Air Station in Norway is home to an important prepositioning program of the United States Marine Corps, with significant equipment and resources in the country to allow U.S. and NATO forces to respond quickly to urgent security threats in the region and around the world.

At Værnes, the delegation had lunch with American Marines stationed in Norway on a rotational basis for cold weather training and joint military exercises.

Later, the delegation also visited Bodø, home to the Norwegian National Joint Headquarters. There, they saw the Norwegian military’s quick reaction alert (QRA) capability, utilizing F-16s as part of Norway’s efforts to fulfill the NATO mission in the high north of the country. In Bodø, the delegation was able to witness how Norway serves as the eyes and ears of the northern flank in support of NATO.

Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI) with Wisconsin Marines stationed at Værnes Air Station in Norway.

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Speaker Ryan and Delegation Reaffirm Strong Partnership in Norway

2017/04/18

OSLO, NORWAY — Beginning a four-nation visit focused on strengthening our transatlantic alliances, a bipartisan congressional delegation led by House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) arrived in Norway to meet with top government officials. 

“We believe that the NATO alliance is as important today as it ever has been, and that is something that we in the United States government and the Trump administration are in total agreement about,” Speaker Ryan told Norway Prime Minister Erna Solberg at a meeting at the Prime Minister’s residence. 

Norway, an important U.S. ally, plays a critical security role guarding NATO’s northern flank. The country recently committed to an increase in defense spending, something Speaker Ryan expressed gratitude for with the Prime Minister. The leaders discussed a number of issues of mutual concern, including increased Russian military activity in the region and beyond.

While in Norway the delegation also met with Minister of Defense Ine Eriksen Søreide. Norway has been host to pre-positioned U.S. military assets, and in early 2017, a rotational deployment of U.S. Marines arrived in the country for training and exercises. With the Defense Minister, the group discussed this important military cooperation as well as numerous regional and global security threats. 

Throughout their meetings, the delegation encouraged Norway to build on their recent increase to achieve the NATO defense spending benchmark of two percent of GDP. 

Finally, Speaker Ryan and members of the delegation visited with Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende. In addition to reaffirming the important alliance between our two nations, the leaders discussed the current political landscape of Europe, security challenges from Syria, Iran, and Russia, as well as economic and trade issues. 

Members of the delegation joining Speaker Ryan are House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-TX), House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY), Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI), Rep. Martha Roby (R-AL), Rep. Don Bacon (R-NE), and Rep. Brian Mast (R-FL).

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Statement on Today’s Tragic Accident on Capitol Grounds

2017/04/18

WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement today:

“This morning, a tragic accident on Capitol grounds took the life of Matthew McClanahan, a pipefitter for the Architect of the Capitol. Matthew and his wife, Lauren, have two young children, Evie and Matthew. Their loss is so sudden and unimaginable. I ask my colleagues and everyone in the Capitol community to keep Matthew’s loved ones in your thoughts and prayers.”

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#TaxDay: Our Tax Code Should Work For Us

2017/04/18

Imagine, for a moment, if you could file your taxes on a form the size of a postcard. Wouldn’t that be something? This is one of the things we are working on right now.

For too long, we have had a tax code that no one really understands. Long and complicated forms are only part of the story.

If you’re a family trying to pay for college tuition, you have to wade through more than a dozen different tax provisions and almost 100 pages of IRS instructions to figure it out. Even the word "married" takes 218 words and five paragraphs to define. I know marriage can be complicated, but that’s a little ridiculous.

So it is no wonder many of us just end up paying someone else to do our taxes, and hope for the best. But it shouldn’t be like that. Our tax code should work for us, not against us. And the same goes for the IRS.

Let’s make the tax code—and Tax Day itself—simpler for all Americans.

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A Blessed Easter from Speaker Ryan

2017/04/16

One of the most important messages that Christianity has brought the world is one of hope.

In today’s world, that may sound naïve.

We are surrounded by stories of war, poverty, disease, addiction, loneliness, and failure—to name a few.

Our work to try and eradicate these social ills certainly has its ups and downs. It’s never over.

But today, on Easter Sunday, we are reminded that suffering isn’t the whole story. We believe that there is a different ending for us all.  

Diverse though we may be, Christians around the world are united in our shared belief that Jesus rose from the dead. Yes, we will struggle. But after our struggle, there is always redemption. And there is always hope.

Today, I wish you and your loved ones a blessed Easter.  

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Speaker Ryan on Pro-Life Congressional Review Act Legislation Now Law

2017/04/13

WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) released the following statement after President Trump signed H.J. Res 43 into law:

“This is a major pro-life victory. Today, another Congressional Review Act bill undoing harmful Obama regulations becomes law. H.J. Res 43 voids a regulation that forces states to use Title X money to fund Planned Parenthood. Taxpayers should not be forced to fund abortion, plain and simple. We remain united and steadfast in our commitment to life and religious liberty.”

Related:

House to Vote to Protect Taxpayers from Funding Abortion

Speaker Ryan on Congressional Review Act Legislation Now Law

Congressional Review Act Progress in Review

Keep Those Reg Bills Rolling

Statement on Stream Protection Rule CRA Signed into Law

Statement on First CRA Bill Signed into Law

House Repeals Rule Threatening American Pastime

GOOD NEWS → We are overturning an Obama-era regulation that tried to force states to give Title X funding to abortion providers like Planned Parenthood. Next stop: The White House

Posted by Speaker Paul Ryan on Wednesday, April 5, 2017
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An update on our effort to fix the VA

2017/04/12

Fundamental VA reform is one of this government’s highest priorities. Our veterans should get the care they need when they need it. 

It was three years ago this week when the country learned that dozens of veterans died while waiting for care at the VA hospital in Phoenix. As it turned out, wait lists were being manipulated to hide the extent of the problem. This was the epicenter of a scandal that exposed fraud and abuse at VA facilities across the country.

President Obama repeatedly promised change, but the problems persisted. By the end, he was falsely claiming that he “fired a whole bunch of people.”   

Congress is sending a bipartisan bill to President Donald J. Trump’s desk that preserves the Veterans Choice Program,...

Posted by Speaker Paul Ryan on Saturday, April 8, 2017

Under President Trump, Congress has taken some positive steps to make good on his commitment to take care of our veterans:

  • We recently sent bipartisan legislation to the president’s desk that reduces out-of-pocket costs for veterans seeking care through the VA Choice Program. It will also improve service by make it easier to share medical records in a timely fashion.
  • The House has also passed a reform measure that will make it easier to hold bureaucrats accountable and change the culture. It will make it easier to bring in new leaders to VA medical centers. 

This is good news as we work to make the big changes needed at the VA.

This week, Dr. Phil Roe (R-TN), chairman of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, visited the Phoenix VA to tour the hospital and meet with its leaders. More from the Arizona Republic:

“Rep. Phil Roe, R-Tennessee, chairman of the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, toured the Carl T. Hayden VA Medical Center and afterward stressed continuing efforts to provide more timely appointments and enhanced accountability at America's roughly 150 veterans hospitals.

“Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., who accompanied Roe, said the department still faces major challenges, but added, ‘I am glad to see there has been tremendous work … to make a change.’

“Meanwhile, they said, legislation known as the VA Accountability Act already has passed the House and appears likely to win Senate approval. They said that measure would give new VA Secretary David Shulkin authority to expeditiously fire employees for malfeasance, and to hire workers quickly.”

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Reinforcing NATO Bonds, Speaker Ryan to Meet with Allies in the UK, Norway, Poland, and Estonia

2017/04/12

WASHINGTON—Next week, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) will lead a bipartisan delegation traveling to key European ally nations, with the goal of strengthening economic and security ties with our NATO partners. In the United Kingdom, Norway, Poland, and Estonia, the delegation will meet with government officials and military leaders to review and discuss evolving security threats facing Europe as well as opportunities for greater economic cooperation. 

Members joining the speaker are House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-TX), House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI), Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY), Rep. Martha Roby (R-AL), Rep. Don Bacon (R-NE), and Rep. Brian Mast (R-FL). 

While in the United Kingdom, the speaker will deliver remarks and take audience questions at an open press event. He will speak about the critical role that the United States and United Kingdom play in promoting regional and global stability, new opportunities for trade and economic partnerships, and the enduring importance of the special relationship between our two counties, particularly following the recent initiation of the Article 50 process. 

Media information for that event can be found below. Photo sprays for meetings and any additional media opportunities throughout the trip will be advised locally by the host nations. 

Remarks by House Speaker Paul Ryan  Hosted by the UK think tank Policy Exchange Wednesday, the 19th of April at 7PM Media interested in covering the event should contact Amy Gray at the Policy Exchange Policy Exchange plans to livestream on its Facebook page

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See How the GOP Tax Plan Will Grow Jobs in Your State:

2017/04/12

It’s that time again. Tax Day is right around the corner. For millions of Americans, that means cutting a big fat check to Uncle Sam. Frankly, we think that check is way too big. That’s why we’ve crafted a tax reform blueprint aimed at creating jobs and raise incomes for hardworking Americans.

A new analysis from the nonpartisan Tax Foundation finds that our blueprint will:

·         Create 1.7 million new full-time jobs..

·         Raise average household incomes by 8.7% after taxes.

·         Allow families to save $4,917 more of their income each year.

The study also breaks the numbers down state-by-state. In Speaker Ryan’s home state of Wisconsin, for instance, the plan will lead to 34,257 more jobs and an average $4,822 gain in household income. See how our blueprint will benefit your state directly.

There are a lot of reasons to support the GOP plan. It will level the playing field for American businesses, simplify the tax code to make it flatter and more fair, and usher in a new era of economic growth in our country.

But ultimately, this is about making sure you can find good-paying jobs and keep more of your hard-earned paychecks. The moment to fix our broken tax code is now.

To learn more, visit speaker.gov and check out the links below.

A Fair and Rational Tax System (3/13/17)

A Helpful Explainer on the Border Adjustment Tax (3/3/17)

President Trump: ‘We Must Create a Level Playing Field’ (3/1/17)

GOP Tax Blueprint ‘Could Lead to a Lot More Jobs in the United States’ (2/24/17)

American Manufacturing Leaders Embrace Republican Tax Plan (2/21/17)

Republican Plan Will Vault U.S. Tax Code to the Top (2/17/17)

A Tax Code to Level the Playing Field (2/9/17)

Momentum Builds for Republican Tax Plan (1/31/17)

A Destination-Based Tax Code to Increase American Competitiveness (1/19/17)

A Simpler and More Competitive Tax Code (1/6/17)

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‘Life by 1,000 Hugs’

2017/04/11

National Pet Day is the perfect day to recognize the thousands of service dogs that help America’s disabled veterans and active duty personnel.

Posted by Speaker Paul Ryan on Tuesday, April 11, 2017

In case you haven’t heard, it’s #NationalPetDay—which is the perfect occasion to share a little color from one of Speaker Ryan’s meetings last month.

In March, America’s VetDogs—an organization that provides guide, service, and specialized therapy dogs to America’s disabled veterans and active duty personnel—made a visit to the Capitol. Dedicated to our men and women in uniform, America’s VetDogs is one of the many organizations that gives back to those who protect us at home and ensure our safety abroad.

Speaker Ryan sat down with the organization’s CEO, two veterans—Joe and Melanie—and a service dog named Liberty to hear more about the organization’s mission. During the meeting, the speaker learned a lot about what these dogs are trained to do, like providing help with daily life activities to more specific challenges. In fact, Liberty, pictured above, is trained to contact 911 should she find her owner, Melanie, unresponsive. Pretty amazing, isn’t it?

As Joe described it, life alongside his dog, Benjamin, is like “life by 1,000 hugs.” Speaker Ryan appreciated the opportunity to learn more about one of the many groups that give veterans nationwide a second chance at health, happiness, and recovery.

Have your own #NationalPetDay story? Tweet us at @SpeakerRyan—pictures encouraged. 

Dedicated to our men & women in uniform, thousands of service dogs give back to those who ensure our safety abroad. https://t.co/VYaTctD48b pic.twitter.com/so6LvUw5Zk

— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) April 12, 2017
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Happy Passover from Speaker Ryan

2017/04/10

Passover is an opportunity to remember the hardships that ancient Israelites endured as slaves in Egypt, but also a time to celebrate their exodus to the Promised Land.

It is a story of suffering, resilience, and faith in God. It is also a story of hope—a reminder to never forget your roots, and to always look towards the future.

So, on behalf of the whole House, I want to wish everyone celebrating a joyous and Happy Passover. 

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Congratulations to Judge Gorsuch

2017/04/07

I want to congratulate Judge Neil Gorsuch on his confirmation as Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court. And I commend President Trump on having his nominee confirmed.

As we saw during his confirmation hearings, Judge Gorsuch is a thoughtful jurist who has the utmost respect for the rule of law. The Court—and the country—will benefit from his experience and his character.

Justice Scalia’s seat will now be filled by a judge committed to our Constitution and first principles.

This is a good day for our country.

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ICYMI: Speaker Ryan Joins Charlie Sykes on ‘Indivisible’

2017/04/07

Summary: On Wednesday night, Speaker Ryan joined Charlie Sykes for an interview on Indivisible, a national radio show produced by WNYC-FM in New York, Minnesota Public Radio, and The Economist. You can listen to the full interview here, or check out two of our favorite moments below:

Making progress toward health care reform:

“We’re making progress. We’ve gotten some reforms that we’ve agreed to, and we’re working on some others. We’re making good steps in the right direction. We’ve got a number of concepts that our members are working toward to improve the bill. It’s all about how do you bring down premiums even more. And so we’ve got some ideas we’ve already agreed to, and we’re working on some others.”

“We think the Obamacare system is collapsing and failing and we want to replace it with something that will actually work, that’s going to be better health care, with better, lower prices and more choices. We believe in a patient-centered system. That means choice and competition in health care. You don’t have one insurer to choose from, but many insurers to choose from, so they compete against each other for our business.”

Getting to the root cause of poverty:

“I just don’t believe that more government, more spending, more top-down, bureaucratic micromanagement from Washington is the way to save people from poverty. . . . Fight poverty in its root causes and help break the cycle of poverty. . . . We are now in the 52nd year of the war on poverty. Trillions were spent and yet the poverty rate is about the same as it was when we started—it is a stalemate. So this idea of measuring success and fighting poverty based on how much money we spend, or how many rules and programs come out of Washington, is a ridiculous notion that doesn’t work, because we are not measuring the right thing. We should be measuring whether our reforms actually get people out of poverty, actually create wealth, and opportunity, and upward mobility, so people can get out of poverty. Those are the kinds of reforms we’re talking about. How do you do reforms to help local communities, help poverty fighters, to get people out of the cycle of poverty? And I would strongly argue that we have a lot of federal programs that make it harder for people to get out of poverty, that are trapping people in poverty, that are disincentivizing work and upward mobility. And so we have a long, wide variety of ideas and reforms that we’re moving through Congress and we’re proposing.” 

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Statement on Syria

2017/04/07

WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement on Syria:

"Earlier this week the Assad regime murdered dozens of innocent men, women, and children in a barbaric chemical weapons attack. Tonight the United States responded. This action was appropriate and just. These tactical strikes make clear that the Assad regime can no longer count on American inaction as it carries out atrocities against the Syrian people. Resolving the years-long crisis in Syria is a complex task, but Bashar al-Assad must be held accountable and his enablers must be persuaded to change course. I look forward to the administration further engaging Congress in this effort." 

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Progress In Our Work to Repeal and Replace Obamacare

2017/04/06

Summary: This morning at his weekly press conference, Speaker Ryan was joined by members of the House Republican conference to discuss the progress made in our effort to repeal and replace Obamacare.

Opening Statement:

"This has been a productive week in the House as we continue our efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare. As I have said before, this promise is just too important and the consequences of inaction are too dire for American families for us to just give up.

"That’s why over the last couple weeks we have encouraged members from across the conference—you see many of them represented here today—to come together and try to find consensus. In particular, I want to thank Kevin Brady and Greg Walden—our two chairman—for being so engaged in these conversations and these talks. While we still have work to do to get all the way there, we have made some real progress this week. That’s why we’re all here today. 

"We have come together on a new amendment that we all believe will lower premiums and provide added protections for those facing real challenges gaining access to affordable care. This brings us closer to the final agreement we all want to achieve. This idea was offered by two of our most conservative members, Gary Palmer and Dave Schweikert, but it has been embraced by a broad spectrum of our conference, as you can see by just a few of the members here today. 

"I’ll let the authors speak more about it, but let me just say briefly: This amendment would create a new federal risk-sharing program. It is a high-risk pool that will lower costs for people with pre-existing conditions and lower costs for everyone else. And the authors of this amendment will go into more detail. Following votes today, I have asked the House Rules Committee to mark up this amendment and add it to what we were already considering before. 

"I want to thank Gary and Dave for being so productive throughout this process. Their amendment makes this a much better bill. It gets us closer. This is the kind of collaborative, bottom-up effort that we have been looking for. Like I said, we have more work to do, and those conversations continue to take place and they really show promise. But this amendment alone is real progress and will help us build momentum for delivering on our pledge to the country." 

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Speaker Ryan Statement on Chairman Nunes

2017/04/06

WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) today released the following statement: 

“Devin Nunes has earned my trust over many years for his integrity and dedication to the critical work that the intelligence community does to keep America safe. He continues to have that trust, and I know he is eager to demonstrate to the Ethics Committee that he has followed all proper guidelines and laws. In the meantime, it is clear that this process would be a distraction for the House Intelligence Committee’s investigation into Russian interference in our election. Chairman Nunes has offered to step aside as the lead Republican on this probe, and I fully support this decision. Chairman Mike Conaway, a senior member of the Committee, will now lead this investigation in the House. I am confident that he will oversee a professional investigation into Russia’s actions and follow the facts wherever they lead.”

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Three Highlights From Q&A at WisPolitics Luncheon

2017/04/05

Earlier today, Speaker Ryan took questions at an event held by WisPolitics.com. In case you missed our livestream, here are a few highlights from the 45-minute session:

Syria

There is no justification for the events that occurred in Syria. pic.twitter.com/hkKt97TQWB

— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) April 5, 2017

Russia

We need to stand up to Russia and help our allies stand up to Russia. pic.twitter.com/3jZrgecHkJ

— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) April 5, 2017

Infrastructure

We want to create a 21st century infrastructure system that's a good foundation for solid economic growth. pic.twitter.com/8aJPYdoeWm

— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) April 5, 2017
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Statement on Meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi

2017/04/04

WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement after hosting a bipartisan meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi:

“After visiting with President al-Sisi in Cairo last year, I enjoyed the opportunity to host him at the Capitol this afternoon. The strategic partnership between the United States and Egypt is essential to securing regional stability and defeating terrorism. The House is committed to building on this constructive cooperation with our Egyptian counterparts in the months and years to come.”

NOTE: Today’s meeting took place in the Speaker’s office in the U.S. Capitol. Participants included:

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA)

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)

House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD)

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Statement on Syria Chemical Weapons Attack

2017/04/04

WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement on the chemical weapons attack in Idlib, Syria:

“No words can capture the depth of this horror. Nothing can justify the mass murder of innocents, especially children. We join the Trump administration in condemning this barbaric attack on the Syrian people.”

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Ending the Culture of Overregulation: Speaker Ryan’s Remarks from Leadership Press Conference

2017/04/04

Summary: Today, Speaker Ryan discussed the steps Congress and the Trump administration are taking to reverse the Obama administration’s regulatory overreach.

Opening statement:

“As of today, Congress has approved more than a dozen separate measures to take excessive regulations off the books. This includes measures that save jobs in coal country, protect retirement savings, cut costs for small businesses. “After years of sluggish, pathetic economic growth, this is one way we are working to boost our economy and create jobs.

“Of course, it’s not just Congress taking action. The Trump administration has initiated a review of a number of major regulations that are strangling job creation.  It has been estimated that, so far, these changes—just this year—have saved families and businesses more than $63 billion. “Think about that. That is a big, broad number, but what it comes down to is this: After years of talk about cutting red tape, it is now actually happening. We are reversing the Obama administration’s most recent and last regulatory onslaught. And, more fundamentally, we are returning power from unelected bureaucrats in Washington to the states and the people that we represent.

“For example, one of the rules that we have overturned is called the ‘BLM Planning 2.0 Rule.’ That sounds pretty innocuous and anodyne to some of us. But for the people in Liz Cheney’s state in Wyoming and all around the West, it was a huge power grab that would have hurt jobs and local industry. It was imposed with little input from the states and with no input from landowners. And it was another example of a distant, arrogant bureaucracy that simply just was not listening to the people.

“Ending the culture of overregulation is going to take more than a few months, but we have made a good start. And this is something we’re going to keep tackling so that we can help this economy create more good-paying jobs.”

 

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House Takes Action on North Korea

2017/04/03

The Obama administration's policy of 'strategic patience' towards North Korea was a total failure—and the results speak for themselves. The Kim regime remains a destabalizing force intent on tormenting the west and developing intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of carrying a nuclear warhead. That is why, following President Trump's leadership, we are taking the concrete actions necessary to finally hold Pyongyang accountable for its actions and keep Americans safe.

Today, the House will vote on two bipartisan bills to address the threats posed by the Kim regime:

1.       North Korea State Sponsor of Terrorism Designation Act — Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX): To require the State Department to determine whether it should designate North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism following recent new evidence, including the apparent regime-sponsored assassination of Kim Jung Un’s half-brother in Kuala Lumpur.

2.       Condemning North Korea’s Development of Multiple Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles — Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC): To formally condemn Pyongyang’s continued development of its intercontinental ballistic missile program. This follows last year’s enactment of new economic sanctions targeting North Korea for its range of illicit activities.

As President Xi Jinging visits the United States this week, we hope President Trump will urge Chinese assistance in confronting these threats to the United States and our allies. In the meantime, these measures demonstrate our commitment to working with the Trump administration to defend ourselves against this rogue regime. 

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ICYMI: Speaker Ryan on CBS This Morning

2017/03/30

Missed today’s episode of CBS This Morning? Speaker Ryan joined to discuss tax reform, health care, and more during an interview with Norah O’Donnell. Catch up on what the speaker had to say by watching the video below:

PLUStwo more media appearances:

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Protecting Jobs and Stopping Overregulation: Speaker Ryan’s Remarks from Weekly Press Conference

2017/03/30

Summary: This morning at his weekly press conference, Speaker Ryan provided an update on congressional action to protect jobs and reverse Obama-era overregulation.

Opening Statement:

“Congress continues to take action to reverse the tide of overregulation. The Congressional Review Act does exactly what its title suggests. It gives Congress the authority to review—and reverse—regulations that have been recently finalized. “In its first 20 years on the books, Congress was able to successfully use this authority just once. But since President Trump took office, we have already sent 11 measures to his desk. And the Senate is acting on another one today. “Many of these initiatives are designed to protect jobs, especially for America’s energy workers. With one bill, we stopped a rule that would have wiped out one-third of the jobs in coal country alone. Combine our actions with the steps that the president has taken to jumpstart pipelines and reverse President Obama’s assault on affordable energy. These things will help get people back to work, and after years of sluggish growth, give a real boost to our economy. “But with all of these measures, we are doing something very, very fundamental. And that’s the point I think is really worth seeing here. For too long, we have had unelected bureaucrats writing our laws. We have been having unelected bureaucrats dictating the rules that we have to live under, and the rest of the government just goes along with it. But now we are returning power from Washington to states and communities and to the elected branch of government. “We are giving people more control and more of a say in the decisions that are made in their classrooms, at their businesses, on their lands. This is good progress, and we’re going to make more in the weeks to come.”

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Speaker Ryan Meets with Conservative Leaders

2017/03/30

WASHINGTON—This morning, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) welcomed leaders of free-market and pro-life organizations to the Capitol to discuss advancing a conservative agenda. Below are his opening remarks from the top of the meeting:

“I asked leaders of the conservative movement here in America to come today to talk about how we move forward, and how we advance our principles. We believe in the principles of conservatism. We believe in liberty and free markets. We believe in life, the Constitution. These are important principles that we have an historic opportunity to make good on.

“And so we have here some of the leaders of the conservative movement, and people I’ve been working with in the conservative movement for over 20 years. We’ve got:

  • Doug Holtz-Eakin from the American Action Forum;
  • Jay Sekulow from the American Center for Law and Justice;
  • Matt Schlapp—who is on his way, because he’s dropping his kids off at school right now—from the American Conservative Union;
  • We’ve got Grover Norquist from Americans for Tax Reform;
  • Dan Weber from the Association of Mature American Citizens;
  • Tom Schatz from the Citizens Against Government Waste;
  • Ryan Ellis from the Conservative Reform Network;
  • Ralph Reed from the Faith and Freedom Coalition;
  • Grace-Marie Turner from the Galen Institute;
  • Darla St. Martin from the National Right to Life Committee;
  • Pete Sepp from the National Taxpayers Union;
  • Karen Kerrigan from the SBE Council; and
  • Marjorie Dannenfelser from the Susan B. Anthony List.

“These are leaders of the conservative movement who’ve been toiling, day in and day out, for many years to make good on our principles.

“We had a setback last week, but we’re not going to let that get us down. We’re going to talk about how we move forward and advance this agenda and truly seize this historic opportunity we have in front of us to improve people’s lives and make a difference and advance these conservative principles.” 

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Speaker Ryan on Executive Order on Energy

2017/03/28

WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement on President Trump’s executive action on energy:

“Today’s executive order is based on a fundamental truth: Energy drives our economy. President Obama disregarded this, and the result was a barrage of regulations that crippled America’s energy industry. That is all in the past now.

“President Trump’s executive order will help America’s energy workers and reverse much of the damage done. In particular, I hope that this action will result in full repeal of the Clean Power Plan, which ravaged coal country and was temporarily blocked by the Supreme Court last year. We are committed to repealing regulations that hurt jobs and drive up the cost of energy. To build on this, the House will act on legislation this week that ensures any new EPA regulations are rooted in science.”

Related:

Congressional Review Act Progress in ReviewStatement on Stream Protection Rule CRA Signed into LawStatement on President Obama’s Latest Action to Ravage Coal CountryAgainst the LawThe President’s War on Coal is Unlawful

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Highlight Reel of Speaker Ryan’s Remarks to AIPAC

2017/03/28

Last night, Speaker Ryan addressed 18,000 pro-Israel activists from across the country at AIPAC’s annual policy conference. His speech focused on strengthening this historic alliance, confronting the threat posed by a nuclear Iran, and pushing back against efforts to delegitimize Israel.

Below is a highlight reel from the event:

Threats On Jewish Americans Must Be Rejected

Recent threats on Jewish Americans are vile and disgusting. They must be wholeheartedly rejected. #AIPAC2017 pic.twitter.com/4HB2f4LUd3

— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) March 27, 2017

We Cannot Let Down Our Guard

Threats to Israel still remain. We cannot be complacent and let down our guard. #AIPAC2017 pic.twitter.com/B6oCxvbQuA

— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) March 28, 2017

The Iran Deal Has Been An Unmitigated Disaster

Retweet if you agree: President Obama’s Iran deal has been an unmitigated disaster. #AIPAC2017 pic.twitter.com/a57GWV97AV

— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) March 27, 2017

Our Commitment To Israel Is Sacrosanct

Congress is committed to Israel. @POTUS is committed to Israel. We don't take Israel for granted. #AIPAC2017 pic.twitter.com/eiY76Jx8c8

— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) March 28, 2017

We Will Not Tolerate Anti-Israel Bias At The UN

We must not tolerate the anti-Israel bias of the United Nations. #AIPAC2017 pic.twitter.com/mXEoxtCEi5

— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) March 27, 2017

Read more:Times of Israel: At AIPAC, Paul Ryan talks tough on Iran, says US will no longer tolerate UN’s anti-Israel bias

Washington Examiner: Ryan tells AIPAC to ‘turn the page’ on Israel from Obama to Trump

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United on Principle and Moving Forward: Speaker Ryan’s Remarks from Leadership Press Conference

2017/03/28

SUMMARY: Today, Speaker Ryan delivered remarks at a press conference with House Republican leaders on advancing the cause of freedom and limited government around a united set of principles.

Opening remarks:

“We just had a very, very good meeting with our members. As I said on Friday, we all have to reflect on what we could have done better. And this discussion was an honest and very constructive step forward.

“We are united around a common set of principles. We are united around our agenda. And we all want to advance the cause of freedom and limited government. We all want to make it easier for families to pay the bills and take care of their loved ones. We all want a system in health care where everybody can have access to affordable coverage, where we have more choice and competition. We don’t want a government-run health care system. We all agree on these things.

“So we are not going to retrench into our corners, or put up dividing lines. Today, we broke down many of those dividing lines within our conference. There is too much at stake to get bogged down in all of that.

“We are going to move forward on the things the American people sent us here to do. Today, the House is going to act on another Congressional Review Act measure to reverse bad regulations. So far, Congress has sent 10 of these measures to the president’s desk. In the 20 years before this, Congress did one of these.

“We are also committed to securing our border, rebuilding our military, and fixing our infrastructure. And we want this to be the last tax season Americans have to put up with this broken tax code.

“Since I became Speaker, I have talked about the need to go from being an opposition party to being a proposition party and a governing party. It may take a little bit more time, but we are certainly listening and we’re going to get there.

“The way I would just describe the meeting we just had with our members is we’re all going to work together and listen together until we get this right. It is just too important. Obamacare is a collapsing law. Obamacare is doing too much damage to families. And so we’re going to get this right. And in the meantime, we’re going to do all of our other work that we came here to do.” 

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FULL TEXT: Speaker Ryan’s Remarks at 2017 AIPAC Policy Conference

2017/03/27

WASHINGTON—Today, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) addressed the 2017 AIPAC Policy Conference in Washington, D.C. to reaffirm the strategic alliance between the United States and Israel. Below are Speaker Ryan’s full remarks as prepared for delivery:

"To Lillian Pinkus, Howard Kohr, and my buddy Howard Friedman: Thank you so much for having me. It is so great to be back at AIPAC, but what happened to the turntable from last year? I liked that thing. Sometimes it feels like politicians are just talking in circles. And last year we really did. 

"First of all, how many people do we have here from Wisconsin?

"I’ve been coming to this conference nearly every year since I arrived in Congress, and each time I ask myself, 'How could they possibly get more people than last year?' You’ve done it again. This is really incredible.

"I am inspired to see so many people from all walks of life rally together in support of a strong U.S.-Israel relationship. I am especially encouraged to see so many young activists here from across the country. You are the next generation of leaders, and I can’t thank you enough for getting involved. Let’s give them a hand.

"Friends, this has been quite a year. When I spoke on this stage last March, I was just a few months into this job. I hadn’t even decked out my office in Packers gear before my team asked me where I’d like to go on my first overseas trip as speaker. To me, the answer was obvious: I would return to the Jewish, democratic state of Israel.

"It was an incredible visit. From the unparalleled security cooperation to the miracle of Iron Dome, I saw first-hand the difference our support for Israel makes. Any American who has ever traveled there has heard the same thing from political leaders to everyday citizens you meet on the street: 'Thank you.'

"You see, Israel does not take our support for granted. And neither should we. The U.S.-Israel relationship is not a one-way street—it is a strategic partnership rooted in shared values and interests.

"But let’s be frank: These past eight years have been tough. Our friendship has been tested. No single political spat or public disagreement can sever our historic alliance with Israel, but it can erode trust. And I think the actions of this past administration damaged this trust.  

"But now, it’s time to turn the page. We have a new president—a president who I’ve gotten to know quite well. And let me assure you right here and now: President Trump’s commitment to Israel is sacrosanct. Congress’s commitment to Israel is sacrosanct. We don’t take Israel for granted. We know that this special relationship is central to our national security. And we believe that words must always be backed up with real, concrete actions.

"Let’s start with Iran. My views on the nuclear agreement struck by President Obama are pretty well known. But we must not forget the failures of the past if we want to do better. Simply put: This deal has been an unmitigated disaster. And I don’t say that lightly. We provided billions of dollars in sanctions relief, sent more than a billion dollars in cold-hard cash, and opened up Tehran to the global markets. Meanwhile, Iran has stepped up its support for terrorism, increased its human rights abuses, and ramped up its ballistic missile program—all while keeping its sights on a nuclear weapon. Republicans in Congress repudiated this deal and for good reason—it is dangerous for the United States and the world.

"So where does this leave us? For starters, I think it is long past time we rigorously enforce this deal and hold the Iranians accountable when they violate it. But that’s not enough. A fatal flaw of this agreement is that, even if Iran cooperates, it provides them with a patient pathway to a nuclear weapons capability. In about seven years, key restrictions on centrifuge advancement and ballistic missile development begin to sunset, and in nine to fourteen years restrictions on uranium enrichment and plutonium reprocessing mostly disappear. This is unacceptable. So we must tighten the screws on Iranian compliance, and continue to hit the regime with punishing non-nuclear sanctions for its range of illicit activities. The Trump administration already did this in February by swiftly imposing fresh sanctions in response to more illegal missile tests. And just last week, with the help of AIPAC, we introduced new bipartisan sanctions targeting Iran’s missile program.

"At the same time, we can’t embrace this deal as a fait accompli. We must reserve the right to explore options aimed at addressing its most fatal flaws—the sunset provisions, insufficient inspections, and acceptance of Iran’s centrifuge development. So when it comes to preventing a nuclear Iran, all options can and must remain on the table.

"But the problem here extends well beyond a bad nuclear deal and ballistic missile tests. This is a revolutionary and expansionist regime bent on the destruction of Israel and the west. They continue to prop up a genocidal dictator in Damascus, arm an insurgency in Yemen, and bankroll terrorist organizations from Baghdad to Beirut. Their goal is regional hegemony, and it is compounding instability and bloodshed across the globe.

"To combat these threats, we must harness every instrument of American power. We must work with our allies—and Israel in particular—to counter this aggression at every turn. We should expand sanctions on Iran’s army of terror—the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps—and consider designating them as a Foreign Terrorist Organization. And we should take steps to stop Iranian airlines like Iran Air and Mahan Air from delivering arms and fighters to terrorists across the Middle East.

"Next, we must fulfill our security commitment to Israel. It wasn’t too long ago that suicide bombings felt like a near-daily occurrence in the streets of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv—and rockets from Gaza and southern Lebanon rained down on city centers and schools. Despite all the turmoil and violence in the Middle East, Israel has largely been able to calm its borders and prevent major terrorist attacks.

"But threats still remain. At this very moment, tens of thousands of rockets are pointed directly at Israel from Gaza, Lebanon, and Iran. That’s why the United States, with support from Congress, has worked with Israel to deploy Iron Dome, David’s Sling, and Arrow 3. And we must continue to develop not only new missile-defense technologies, but also cutting-edge tools to detect and destroy terror tunnels snaking into Israel from Gaza and potentially Lebanon. We cannot be complacent and let down our guard. That’s why I want to pledge right here and now that, so long as I am speaker, we will meet our military assistance commitments to Israel and provide additional funding in times of crisis.

"Israel today also faces a new threat. Their success in fighting terrorism has led enemies to resort to an insidious campaign of political and economic warfare designed to undermine Israel. Many of the college students here have seen this on your campuses, but all of us have seen this on the international stage. It is called the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions—or BDS—movement.

"We know the goal is to delegitimize Israel and isolate her under the thin veil of social justice and human rights. We saw this in December at the United Nations—an organization obsessed with singling out and demonizing Israel. So I want to say to the UN: We will not tolerate your anti-Israel bias. The Trump administration will not tolerate your anti-Israel bias. And our new ambassador, Nikki Haley, will certainly not tolerate your anti-Israel bias.

"Make no mistake, and I want to be very clear about this, the BDS movement is nothing short of another incarnation of anti-Semitism. So do not be fooled by those who tell you this is about peace. This has never been about peace. In fact, it only makes a lasting agreement between Israelis and Palestinians more unlikely. No, this is about one thing and one thing only: Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish, democratic state.

"And let me just say a few words about peace. I still believe peace is possible, but it requires leadership. How can we ask Israel to make peace with a Palestinian Authority that forms a unity government with Hamas? How can we ask Israel to make peace with a government that incites anti-Semitism and violence, and names public squares after terrorists? How can we ask Israel to offer painful concessions in the name of peace when the other side still refuses to acknowledge her right to exist? This to me is the crux of the issue.

"We have heard the case that this is all about settlements—that if Israel just ceased building we would have peace tomorrow. But let’s look at the facts. When Israel offered the Palestinians 95 percent of the West Bank and 100 percent of Gaza at Camp David in 2000—and even greater concessions in 2008—they were rebuffed. When Israel completely withdrew from Gaza in 2005, they didn’t get peace—they got Hamas rockets, terror tunnels, and three wars. And when Prime Minister Netanyahu instituted an unprecedented 10-month settlement moratorium in 2010, the Palestinians only agreed to direct negotiations in the final month, and then blamed Israel for the talks collapsing.

"And all this is not to say that Israel is perfect. They are not, and neither are we. But they are a free and vibrant democracy. They share our interests. They train alongside our military. They provide critical counterterrorism assistance. And they remain our strongest ally in the Middle East.

"Finally, I would like to address something closer to home for all of us. In recent months, we have seen an uptick in vandalism, acts of desecration, and bomb threats against Jewish communities nationwide. I’ve seen it in my own backyard. In Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin—right outside the district I serve, a community right on the north side of Milwaukee—there have been several threats on the local JCC. I was just there in February. To think about parents getting those calls in the middle of the day, it makes your stomach turn.

"These threats and attacks on Jewish Americans are vile and disgusting. They are rooted in a poisonous ideology of hate, and they must be wholeheartedly rejected. So I just want to say this: You are not alone. I stand with you. My colleagues in Congress stand with you. And the American people stand with you. Together, we will root out this evil wherever it may surface.

"Friends, we are living in dangerous times. ISIS still threatens our troops abroad and inspires terrorism here at home. North Korea continues to spew belligerent anti-American rhetoric while testing long-range missiles and nuclear devices. Iran fans the flames of sectarian warfare in the Middle East while marching towards a nuclear weapons capability. And Russia remains an ever-present threat to the post-Cold War order.

"In the coming years, dictators will rise and fall. Geopolitical landscapes will shift. Threats to our nation will evolve. But as I look out over this vast horizon of uncertainty, I remain optimistic, and so should you. That’s because, for all the challenges we face here and around the globe, one thing—one vital thing—remains constant: Our unbreakable alliance with Israel.

"So with that I want to say a final thank you. Thank you for being here. Thank you for using your voice for good. And, on behalf Congress, thank you for sending a clear and unequivocal message to the world that the United States stands with Israel now, tomorrow, and always. God bless you. God bless Israel. And God bless the United States of America. Good night."

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Speaker Ryan on Congressional Review Act Legislation Now Law

2017/03/27

WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) released the following statement after President Trump signed Congressional Review Act legislation:

“Today is a good day for American jobs. Over the past two months, Congress passed a series of important bills that roll back harmful, Obama-era regulations and today, thanks to President Trump, those bills are now law. From reforming our education system to properly managing our nation’s resources, our Congressional Review Act legislation empowers states over the federal government. This will free up innovation and create jobs in the private sector. We will continue to reverse bad regulations and stand up for the American workforce.”

Related:

Congressional Review Act Progress in Review

Keep Those Reg Bills Rolling

Statement on Stream Protection Rule CRA Signed into Law

Statement on First CRA Bill Signed into Law

House Repeals Rule Threatening American Pastime

Read More

TONIGHT: Speaker Ryan to Address AIPAC

2017/03/27

Tonight, Speaker Ryan will address 18,000 pro-Israel activists from across the country at AIPAC’s annual policy conference.

This is a critical opportunity to reaffirm our historic alliance with Israel, which remains a cornerstone of American leadership today. Speaker Ryan will discuss how we can strengthen this special relationship to ensure the peace and prosperity of both nations.

Watch the speech live at 5pm ET at speaker.gov/live or policyconference.org. And, as always, follow Speaker Ryan on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for live updates and behind-the-scenes photos.

In the meantime, check out the Speaker’s recent floor speech condemning the anti-Israel resolution adopted by the United Nations Security Council in December, or watch his remarks from last year’s policy conference.

 

 

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Speaker Ryan's Remarks from Today's Press Conference

2017/03/24

WASHINGTON—Today, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) delivered the following remarks on the American Health Care Act

"You've all heard me say this before: Moving from an opposition party to a governing party comes with growing pains. And well, we’re feeling those growing pains today.

"We came really close today, but we came up short. I spoke to the president just a little while ago, and I told him the best thing that I think to do is to pull this bill, and he agreed with that decision. I will not sugar coat this: This is a disappointing day fo us. Doing big things is hard. All of us. All of us—myself included—we will need time to reflect on how we got to this moment, what we could have done to do it better.

"But ultimately, this all kind of comes down to a choice. Are all of us willing to give a little to get something done? Are we willing to say yes to the good—to the very good—even if it's not the perfect? Because if we're willing to do that, we still have such an incredible opportunity in front of us. 

"There remains so much that we can do to help improve people’s lives. And we will.

"Because, I got to tell you, that’s why I’m here. And I know it’s why every member of this conference is here: to make this a better country. We want American families to feel more confident in their lot in life. We want the next generation to know that, yes, the best days of this country are still ahead of us. 

"I’m really proud of the bill that we produced. It would make a dramatic improvement in our health care system and provide relief to people hurting under Obamacare. And what's probably most troubling is the worst is yet to come with Obamacare.

"I’m also proud of the long, inclusive, member-driven process that we had. Any member who wanted to engage constructively, to offer ideas, to improve this bill, they could.  And I want to thank so many members who helped make this bill better. A lot of our members put a lot of hard work into this.

"I also want to thank the president, I want to thank the vice president, I want to thank Tom Price, Mick Mulvaney, and the entire White House team. The president gave his all in this effort. He did everything he possibly could to help people see the opportunity that we have with this bill. He's really been fantastic.

"Still, we have to do better. And we will. I absolutely believe that. This is a setback. No two ways about it. But it is not the end of this story.

"Because I know that every man and woman in this conference is now motivated more than ever to step up our game. To deliver on our promises. I know that every one is committed to seizing this incredible opportunity that we have. And I sure am." 

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It's Go Time

2017/03/22

Watch the latest video at video.foxnews.com

Summary: This afternoon, Speaker Ryan joined Dana Perino on Fox News’s America’s News Headquarters to offer a simple reminder: Failing to pass the American Health Care Act means the Obamacare collapse continues—and good people will get hurt along the way.

Remember: Obamacare is collapsing:

Obamacare is a collapsing law—double-digit premiums this year, a projection of even higher premium increases next year. Basically forced insurance monopolies—five states, one plan left; a thousand counties, one insurer left. Insurers are pulling out of the marketplace. So the thing’s collapsing. So people are trying to compare what we’re doing with a law that is quickly collapsing, and it’s really kind of a faulty comparison. And what we have long said is we need to repeal and replace this law with patient-centered health care to give people choices. Let people buy what they want to buy, not what the government forces them to buy. I know people on the Left don’t like that, but . . . that’s what we think will save the American health care system—having a patient-centered system with choice and competition.”

Doing nothing is not a choice:

Doing nothing means the collapse occurs and good people get hurt. Doing nothing means skyrocketing premiums coming up in 2017 and 2018. Doing nothing means more insurance companies pull out and people have nothing. So we just believe we have a moral obligation and a duty now that we’re the governing party to step in front of that collapse—and, by the way, replace it with good reforms that work. These reforms, whenever tested, have worked. So we really believe we’re onto something good here.”

That’s why it’s go time:

We are in the fourth quarter of the House passing this bill, which is the fourth committee. Now that we’re getting to the fourth committee of a four committee process, that’s when a lot of negotiations really intensify, near the end of the process. And that’s what this is—this is called legislating. . . . What’s important for us is, we have to broker compromises to make sure that we draft legislation that can actually pass. . . .We know we’ll feel good at the end of the day here because members promised that we would repeal and replace this disastrous and collapsing law. And that is what we are intent on doing.”

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Speaker Ryan on Prong Three Health Care Legislation

2017/03/22

WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement after the House passed H.R. 1101, the Small Business Health Fairness Act and H.R. 372, the Competitive Health Insurance Reform Act

“We are wasting no time to act on prong three of conservative health care reform. The Small Business Health Fairness Act empowers small businesses to offer health care to their employees through association plans. This comes on the heels of the Competitive Health Insurance Reform Actwhich passed with major bipartisan support of 416 votes. This legislation levels the playing field for health insurance providers and creates more competition in the marketplace. These bills will work in tandem with the American Health Care Act to fulfill our promise to give all Americans access to high quality health care at a lower cost.”

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Speaker Ryan Celebrates Opening of ‘First Women in Congress’ Exhibit

2017/03/22

WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) today hosted a reception to mark the opening of a U.S. Capitol exhibit honoring The First Women in Congress. Following are the Speaker’s remarks at the reception, as prepared for delivery:

“Hi everybody. Thank you all for coming. I want to thank the people who made this exhibit possible: our Clerk, Karen Haas; our House curator, Farar Elliott; and our House historian, Matt Waisniewski. You—and your teams—do incredible work, and you really have outdone yourselves yet again.

“This exhibit is about Jeanette Rankin and the First Women in Congress, but I want to recognize all the current women in Congress who are here. Also with us today is the first woman in our history to serve as Librarian of Congress, Dr. Carla Hayden. Thank you all for the example that you set. 

“I only wish that my daughter Liza could be here. She is actually the vice president of her 9th grade class. Which just goes to show you that someone in my family can be elected vice president…

“But something we have taught Liza—and all our kids—is the importance of daring…the notion that nothing is impossible if you’re willing to go out and fight for it. And that, to me, is what this exhibit is all about.

“Think about the story of Edith Nourse Rogers. Edith was elected in 1925 as a Republican from Massachusetts. That alone makes her a pioneer…

“Edith was elected to finish her husband’s term after he passed away from cancer. And the political bosses told her that, as much as they appreciated her, the plan was to find a suitable male replacement.

“Well, Edith had other ideas. You see, during and after World War I, she had become deeply invested in the plight of disabled veterans. In fact, they called her the ‘Angel of Walter Reed Hospital.’

“And so Edith ran again, and she was re-elected—17 times.

“In those 35 years, Edith secured pensions for army nurses, created the women’s army auxiliary corps, and sponsored a package of measures to help veterans that would later be called the GI Bill of Rights.

“The American Legion made Edith the first woman to receive the Distinguished Service Cross.

“Here is someone who was told she would have her seat for a matter of months. And to this day, Edith Nourse Rogers holds the longest tenure of any woman to serve in the House.

“We owe so much to our pioneers, and this exhibit makes a rich addition to our collection. It is a chance to remember public servants who made this institution and this country what it is today—for all of us, especially our daughters.”

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AHCA Is a Promise Kept: Speaker Ryan Joins Hugh Hewitt

2017/03/22

Summary: This morning, Speaker Ryan joined The Hugh Hewitt Show to discuss the American Health Care Act. Listen to the interview here.

Three reasons we will get this done:

The reason I feel good where we are, is number one: This is good policy. We are repealing Obamacare, and replacing it with good Republican tax policy. And, number two, Tom Price is working really hard in getting us the kind of regulatory relief—he’s doing what Kathleen Sebelius and Silvia Burwell did in reverse, which will dramatically deregulate the health insurance marketplace. Let the states go back to being in charge of regulating their marketplaces. . . . We have good reforms.

Number two: We’ve got a promise to keep. We promised the American people we would repeal and replace this law. We have to do it for real. . . . a real promise kept is one where we actually use the only process we have to actually repeal this law. And so, I believe at the end of the day, members are going to say, ‘I’m going to keep my promise to the people who voted for me and sent me to office.’

And number three: We have a very engaged president. I am so pleased and impressed with Donald Trump and Mike Pence, who are really leaning into this thing, working hard, talking to members, brokering things, getting it done, leaning into it. So we have an engaged president, we have a prominent promise to keep, and we have good policy. Those three combinations are very, very good.”

It will reverse government-run health care:

“[Liberals] just have this ideological quest for basically government-run health care—single-payer health care. They see Obamacare as a means to that end. They wanted to get it all in the full swoop and they have always believed that the system would probably collapse the insurance companies, they would be in power when that happens, and then they’d have what we call the public option where they’d just put in place a government program that would give cradle to grave health care and voila—you got government-run health care. They want to hold on to that dream and that’s why they’re in denial that this stage of their march toward government-run health care is collapsing. The insurers are leaving the market, the premiums are skyrocketing, and no one is using it. A lot of folks just can’t afford it and you’ve got the pull-outs where they don’t have a choice anymore.”

And it will mean a promise kept:

The health care law is collapsing. If we don’t replace it with patient-centered, Republican-based conservative reforms, it will just increase the cry for socialized medicine, and it will be a fundamental broken promise. There is no more prominent promise any Republican has made over the last seven years than this one. . . . This is the one real chance and opportunity we have to repeal and replace the law.”

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Throwback Video: "There's a Difference Between Us"

2017/03/22

It is the winter of 2010. Republicans and Democrats are meeting for an historic health summit at the Blair House in Washington, DC. Paul Ryan, ranking member of the House Budget Committee, leads things off for Republicans—and in just two simple sentences, he gets to the heart of the health care debate:

p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 14.0px Arial; color: #ff0000; -webkit-text-stroke: #ff0000} span.s1 {font-kerning: none} "We don't think the government should be in control of all of this. We want people to be in control."

Fast-forward seven years later, and Paul Ryan's point is as true as ever. But now, Republicans have an opportunity to do something about it. That is why tomorrow, the House of Representatives will take the first big step in taking power away from Washington and returning it to the people.

Full transcript from the throwback video

"When you take a look at this, it's really deeper than the deficits or the budget gimmicks or the actuarial analysis. There really is a difference between us.

"And we've been talking about how much we agree on different issues, but there really is a difference between us. And it's basically this: we don't think the government should be in control of all of this. We want people to be in control. And that, at the end of the day, is the big difference.

"Now, we've offered lots of ideas all last year, all this year. Because we agree the status quo is unsustainable. It's got to get fixed. It's bankrupting families. It's bankrupting our government. It's hurting families with pre-existing conditions. We all want to fix this.

"But we don't think that this is the answer to the solution. And all of the analysis we get proves that point.

"Now, I'll just simply say this. And I respectfully disagree with the vice president about what the American people are or are not saying or whether we're qualified to speak on their behalf. So...we are all representatives of the American people. We all do town hall meetings. We all talk to our constituents. And I've got to tell you, the American people are engaged. And if you think they want a government takeover of health care, I would respectfully submit you're not listening to them.

"So what we simply want to do is start over, work on a clean-sheeted paper, move through these issues, step by step, and fix them, and bring down health care costs and not raise them. And that's basically the point."

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Statement on Meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi

2017/03/21

Today, I had the pleasure to host a bipartisan meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister @HaiderAlAbadi. https://t.co/EB3BVAffJm pic.twitter.com/exAV0llKFx

— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) March 21, 2017

WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement after hosting a bipartisan meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi:

“I appreciate Prime Minister Al-Abadi making a visit to the Capitol today. During this important meeting, we pledged to redouble our efforts to defeat ISIS while also supporting the political work necessary for a stable post-ISIS Iraq. We also discussed the need to strengthen the capabilities and sovereignty of the Iraqi security services as they continue to confront grave threats. The House is committed to working with Prime Minister Al-Abadi to advance the safety and security of our nations.”

NOTE: Today’s meeting took place in the Speaker’s office in the U.S. Capitol. Participants included:

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA)

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)

House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD)

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Health Savings Accounts: A Staple of Conservative Health Care Reform

2017/03/21

Conservatives have long advocated for expanding Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) to help Americans afford health insurance. pic.twitter.com/d4aavJ8bzh

— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) March 14, 2017

Health Savings Accounts, or HSAs, are tax-free health care savings accounts for Americans with high-deductible health plans. This may sound like more beltway jargon, but HSAs are critical for helping Americans save and spend their health care dollars more wisely.

The American Health Care Act would nearly double the amount Americans can contribute to their accounts, which will give you greater choice and flexibility in purchasing coverage. This idea was in the Better Way plan released last June, and it is modeled after a bill introduced by now-HHS Secretary Tom Price. That proposal was cosponsored by 84 House Republicans.

Conservative leaders have long advocated for making HSAs a focal point of health care reform. Take a look:

Heritage Foundation: “Health Savings Accounts offer Americans a new coverage option for their health care needs. They give them a new choice in coverage design, greater control of their health care spending, and the ability to own their own health care plans. These are all key features in moving America's health care system to a consumer-based system.”

American Enterprise Institute: HSAs should be a central component of health care in the United States. The accounts provide strong incentives for their owners to seek the best value for their health care purchases, and they provide a ready vehicle for providing additional protection against high medical expenses.”

Cato Institute: HSAs reduce government’s influence over consumers’ medical decisions by reducing the price distortions created by the federal tax code. . . . HSAs should be expanded further still to give individuals full ownership of and control over all their health care dollars.”

2017 Project: The key to lowering health costs is to inject new life into the individual market, which has long labored under a huge government-created disadvantage. . . . we propose borrowing from the 2009 House Republican bill, from the Republican Study Committee’s recently released America Health Care Reform Act, and from the Coburn-Burr-Hatch proposal, all of which would liberalize rules regarding contributions to, and spending from, health savings accounts (HSAs).”

Americans for Tax Reform: Expanding and protecting HSAs is one component to ensuring Americans have access to patient centered health care that best fits their needs and keeps costs low.”

Freedom Works: “We need to expand and strengthen patient-friendly HSAs in order to allow more Americans to save money for their own health care and to continue driving down costs.”

Americans for Prosperity: “Unleashing the full potential of HSAs by allowing Americans to use the funds they have saved to pay for the type of health care they want–without the government needlessly interjecting prohibitive restrictions–is certainly a patient-centered reform.”

Learn more about the American Health Care Act here, and read the full bill at passthebill.gop.

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American Health Care Act: Historic Shift of Power Back to States

2017/03/21

Medicaid is a critical lifeline for many of America’s most vulnerable citizens. Unfortunately, because of Washington bureaucracy and rules, the program isn’t helping those it is meant to serve as well as it should.

One in three physicians are unwilling to accept new Medicaid patients. Unfortunately, Obamacare simply added more people to a broken system. 

Simply put: We need to reform Medicaid so that it is flexible and responsive to those it was created to serve. That’s what the American Health Care Act—including improvements introduced last night—is designed to do, by transferring power back to the states.

For starters, our proposal will prohibit states from expanding into the current broken Medicaid system, effective immediately. It will maximize state flexibility by providing the choice between a per capita allotment or a traditional block grant, depending on a state’s specific needs. It will provide the option for states to implement work requirements for Medicaid recipients. Most importantly, it will ensure the rug isn’t pulled from underneath any able-bodied patient as he or she transitions to other coverage, like a plan purchased with refundable tax credits.

Ultimately, by giving states new control to protect their populations, they can implement solutions that actually work for their most vulnerable—especially the aged and disabled. Because what works in Wisconsin may not translate to California—so we’ll give governors and state legislatures the control and flexibility they need to improve quality of care and increase access to vital services for their citizens.

Consider this: In New Mexico, 61 percent of the Medicaid population are children, while 20 percent are adults. In comparison, New York’s Medicaid population is 37 percent children, 40 percent adult. No two states are identical—why should their approach to caring for their most vulnerable have to be?

As Speaker Ryan explained on Fox Business, “It turns Medicaid over to the states. . . . and the state legislatures and the governors take it from there. And then they craft Medicaid how they want to in their states. That is what this bill does.”

Here’s what a dozen grassroots conservative organizations wrote about these ideas in a letter to Congress:

By converting Medicaid to a per capita allotment and putting the massive program on a budget, it would shield taxpayers from rapidly escalating costs, encourage innovation, and shift power out of Washington and into state capitals.”

The American Health Care Act is designed to make sure the most vulnerable patients—the children, the elderly, the blind, the disabled—get the care they need and deserve. Through historic reforms, our proposal will save taxpayer dollars and increase state control, allowing Medicaid to best serve those who need it most.

Want to learn more about the American Health Care Act? Visit speaker.gov/healthcare

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Health Care Bill Restores Pro-Life Principles

2017/03/21

The American Health Care Act (AHCA) fulfills a lot of promises.

It repeals Obamacare—the taxes, the mandates, the subsidies. It replaces Obamacare with a conservative system—one that empowers the individual and utilizes the free market.

Here’s one more important thing that the AHCA does:

It defunds Planned Parenthood.

That’s right, the AHCA blocks more than $500 million of federal dollars currently going to Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the country, for one year, and instead sends money to community health centers, which far outnumber Planned Parenthood clinics.

That's why the National Right to Life—the oldest and largest pro-life organization in the U.S.—expressed its support in a letter to Congress last week.

Women’s health will not be neglected. Instead, the AHCA will redirect $422 million to community health centers around the United States—ones that do not perform abortions and have a proven record of helping women.

The AHCA restores pro-life principles to the health care system—a system that should inherently protect life, not seek to destroy it.

House Republicans have made a commitment to life. The time is now to make that commitment a reality.

RELATED:

National Right to Life Sends Letter of Support for American Health Care Act Conservative Health Care Reform House to Vote to Protect Taxpayers from Funding Abortion

FACT: The American Health Care Act restores pro-life principles to our health care system. #PassTheBill https://t.co/vSAD1nTKD5 pic.twitter.com/CGX4MEd7sm

— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) March 21, 2017
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Speaker Ryan on the Radio: AHCA Reflects ‘Decades of Conservative Policymaking’

2017/03/21

Summary: This morning, Speaker Ryan called The Mike Gallagher Show to highlight three key factors of the American Health Care Act:

Levels the playing field:

What we’re doing here is we’re letting people decide what they want to do with their lives, what kind of health insurance they want for themselves. And we’re going to equalize the tax treatment of health care so that finally people who don’t get job-based insurance get a tax benefit. Right now, if you get insurance from your job, you get a massive tax benefit—it’s not taxed, that benefit. But if you don’t get health care from your job—and you’re working hard—there’s no tax benefit for that. We equalize that so that everybody has an opportunity to go buy health care of their choosing.”

Incorporates years of conservative reform:

“[This bill] reflects decades of conservative policymaking for health care reform. Decades of work from the Heritage Foundation, American Enterprise Institute, and conservative thought scholars. And so this reflects that. This is the Tom Price bill, basically, that he’d been carrying for years—which is basically considered the gold standard of health care reform for conservatives.

Empowers states:

Look at what this bill does. It, for the first time in history, defederalizes a major entitlement—meaning gets the federal government out of it, sends it back to the states, and caps its growth.”

Not to mention we haven’t even gotten to phase two, which is deregulation of the health insurance markets that Tom Price is bringing to the table, which gives us a free market system. Which lets the states go back and open up free health care markets so the people can buy what they want to buy, not what the government makes you buy.”

Listen to the full interview here.

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Speaker Ryan on President Trump's Visit: “We Are All-In To End This Obamacare Nightmare”

2017/03/21

At a press conference with Republican leaders today, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) recapped President Trump’s appearance before the conference urging passage of the American Health Care Act—conservative legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare.

Key Quote: “Seven years of this failed experiment is enough. This is our chance to build a better, fairer health care system for all Americans.

Opening Statement:

“We were honored this morning to welcome the President of the United States to our House Republican Conference. I want to thank him for taking the time to come here to the Hill to talk to our members. And for his leadership throughout this entire process.

“President Trump was here to do what he does best, and that is to close the deal. He is all-in—and we are all-in—to end this Obamacare nightmare.

“I think what this comes down to is what it said on those banners last night at his rally last in Kentucky: ‘Promises made. Promises kept.’ Obamacare was anything but that. People were promised one thing and they were given another. “They were promised that they would get lower premiums. Instead, premiums are skyrocketing and people are paying much more. They were promised that they could keep their plan, and many millions have lost their plan. They were promised more choices, and now millions of Americans have no health care choice at all. “Seven years of this failed experiment is enough. This is our chance to build a better, fairer health care system for all Americans. “All of us—the President, the House, and the Senate—we made a promise that we would repeal and replace this disastrous law. And we are going to keep our word.”

Today, @POTUS visited the Capitol to do what he does best: close the deal. #PassTheBill #RepealAndReplace pic.twitter.com/kAAe9K6WmH

— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) March 21, 2017
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Speaker Ryan Touts AHCA Improvements on Hannity

2017/03/21

Summary: Last night, Speaker Ryan appeared on Fox News’s Hannity to discuss the improvements made to the American Health Care Act to accelerate tax relief, give states additional flexibility as to how they spend their health care dollars, and ensure necessary resources to help older and disabled Americans.

Excerpt:

“What we’ve been doing this entire process, Sean, has been listening to our members, finding out where the consensus is, and making improvements to the bill as we’ve gone on through the legislative process. As you know, it’s a four committee process. At the Budget Committee, there was an effort to say, let’s look at work requirements, let’s look at even more federalism for Medicaid—something very important to conservatives. There already is a per capita block grant, but some governors are saying, let me just take the whole thing in a block grant—and that’s what a lot of conservatives were asking for as well. Something we figured out we could get this bill to do. We always have to make sure that every change we make conforms to the Senate rules, which we have to play by, to make sure it can’t get filibustered. So that’s what we’ve been doing. So all these changes that have been added, we’re doing to make sure they’re done in such a way that it can’t get filibustered.

“We feel really good where we are. So, a lot of members have brought a lot of good ideas to the table—and you mentioned [tax credits]. That’s something that’s also important to the president. The president has said, let’s see if we can add to the people who are getting assistance who don’t get health care from their job, who are older—maybe in their 50s or their 60s—to make sure they’re in a good place as well. So we’re doing even more assistance there. More federalism, work requirements for Medicaid for able-bodied people. So these are the kinds of things that get Republicans in a good place.

“We feel very good. Our members have been working really hard at this. And we realize that this is coming to the point—the president’s going to do something in Kentucky tonight, he’s coming to talk to us tomorrow morning to give sort of a rally to our members to get this done—because you know what? We all promised this. We all said we would repeal and replace Obamacare if you give us a Republican president, a Republican House, and a Republican Senate. Well we have that now, and we’re working very closely with the administration. I got to tell you Sean, I’m really, really impressed with the president himself, rolling up his sleeves, getting involved, listening to members, brokering compromises, getting us on the same page, and getting to this place. So I feel very good where we are, and we’re going to move this through the House and go and take it on to the Senate.”

 

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Speaker Ryan Statement on Improvements to the American Health Care Act

2017/03/20

WASHINGTON—Today, the House Rules Committee – the fourth House committee to consider the American Health Care Act – posted two amendments to the legislation. The amendments include some purely technical revisions needed to comply with the Senate rules, as well as limited substantive changes, both those recommended by the House Budget Committee during its consideration of the bill and those proposed by House Republican members and the White House. The following is a statement from House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) as well as a summary of the changes. 

The American Health Care Act is the result of a long, member-driven process, and these improvements are an extension of that inclusive approach. I want to thank the White House and members from all parts of our conference who have helped make this the strongest legislation it can be. With this amendment, we accelerate tax relief, give states additional options to spend health care dollars how they choose, strengthen what were already substantial pro-life protections, and ensure there are necessary resources to help older Americans and the disabled. With the president’s leadership and support for this historic legislation, we are now one step closer to keeping our promise to the American people and ending the Obamacare nightmare.”

The first amendment makes technical revisions to the original bill to ensure compliance with the Senate rules governing reconciliation bills. It is purely technical and achieves the same policy goals as previously drafted. 

The second amendment includes improvements drafted by both of the authorizing committees.

Under jurisdiction of the Ways and Means Committee: Moves up repeal of Obamacare taxes from 2018 to 2017, strikes a provision allowing excess tax credits to be deposited into Health Savings Accounts, and provides budgetary space for the Senate to increase tax credits for older Americans. 

Under jurisdiction of the Energy and Commerce Committee: Immediately prohibits any additional states from expanding the current broken Medicaid program, allows states to opt-in to a traditional Medicaid block grant as well as implement work-requirements for Medicaid, protects the equitable state-federal partnership, and enhances the growth rate for the aged and disabled population on Medicaid. 

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Speaker Ryan Joins Fox News Sunday to Discuss the American Health Care Act

2017/03/19

Summary: This morning, Speaker Ryan appeared on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace to discuss the American Health Care Act

Making good on our promise with President Trump:

“It’s exactly where we want to be. And the reason I feel so good about this is because the president’s become a great closer. He is the one who has helped negotiate changes to this bill with members from all over our caucus. . . . You’ve got to get 218 Republicans who’ve come from all different walks of life to come together and agree on the best possible plan to repeal and replace Obamacare. The reason I feel very good where we are? We all—all of us, all Republicans in the House, Senate, and the president—made a promise to the American people that we would repeal and replace this faulty, collapsing law. And we’re going to make good on that promise.”

The choice between the status quo or patient-centered, affordable health care:

“When we bring this to a vote, either we’re going to keep the Obamacare status quo—the law is collapsing, five states have one plan left, over a third of the counties in America have only one insurer left, some are already pulling out. Massive premium increases in the future—a collapsing law. Or, we replace it with patient-centered health care that works. Where we give people more freedom. Where we let the states go back to running their health insurance markets. That is what we ran on. This is the plan we ran on all last year.”

“The answer is not a government one-size-fits-all, arrogant, micromanaging system where the government forces you to buy something you don’t want, don’t need, or can’t afford. The goal here is to give every American access to affordable coverage. That means we have to bring the cost of health care down. That means we don’t want monopolies. That is what we’re achieving.”

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National Right to Life Sends Letter of Support for American Health Care Act

2017/03/17

Today, National Right to Life—the oldest and largest pro-life organization in the United States—endorsed the American Health Care Act. In a letter to members of Congress, the group urged passage of Republican legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare, highlighting key provisions of the bill to defend life and prevent federal taxpayer funding of abortions:

The National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), the federation of state right-to-life organizations, strongly supports the American Health Care Act in the form reported out by the Budget Committee on March 16, because it contains the following essential provisions: 1) prevents federal tax credits from being used for plans that pay for abortions, 2) preserves non-taxed employer-provided health plans, 3) postpones the "Cadillac tax" until 2025 and 4) eliminates roughly 89% of federal Planned Parenthood funding for the next year.

“While we recognize that additional changes may be made to the bill before it reaches the House floor, if the essential elements listed above are retained, and no objectionable new components are added, NRLC intends to include the roll call on passage of the American Health Care Act in our scorecard of key right-to-life roll calls of the 115th Congress.

View the full letter here or below, read the bill at passthebill.gop, and learn more about the American Health Care Act at speaker.gov/healthcare.

 

Dear Member of Congress:

The National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), the federation of state right-to-life organizations, strongly supports the American Health Care Act in the form reported out by the Budget Committee on March 16, because it contains the following essential provisions: 1) prevents federal tax credits from being used for plans that pay for abortions, 2) preserves non-taxed employer-provided health plans, 3) postpones the "Cadillac tax" until 2025 and 4) eliminates roughly 89% of federal Planned Parenthood funding for the next year.

This legislation would eliminate multiple abortion-subsidizing and abortion-expanding provisions of Public Law 111-148, the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).”

As enacted, the PPACA contains multiple provisions authorizing federal subsidies for abortion, and abortion-expanding regulatory mandates. A 2014 GAO report revealed that over 1,000 federally subsidized plans nationwide were covering elective abortion. The American Health Care Act would repeal the provisions of law that created this system, and prohibit any future federal tax credits from subsidizing the purchase of plans that cover elective abortion, thereby restoring the longstanding principles of the Hyde Amendment with respect to federally funded health coverage.

NRLC also strongly supports the language in the bill that would block, for one year, most federal payments to affiliates of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA). It would close the largest pipeline for federal funding of Planned Parenthood, Medicaid, and apply as well to the CHIP and the Title V and Title X block grant programs, thus covering roughly 89% of all federal funds to Planned Parenthood. The amounts denied to Planned Parenthood, in effect, are reallocated to community health centers. Over one-third of all abortions in the U.S. are performed at PPFA-affiliated facilities. For additional up-to-date information on the extent of Planned Parenthood’s involvement in abortion, see: www.nrlc.org/communications/ppfamediabackground.

In addition, the American Health Care Act retains employer-paid health insurance as a fully untaxed benefit. The American Health Care Act postpones the “Cadillac tax” which is designed to create a tax disincentive to suppress private, nongovernmental health care spending beyond a governmentally imposed limit. It is critical that Americans have access to quality life-saving healthcare to preserve their lives, care that will not be rationed more each year.

While we recognize that additional changes may be made to the bill before it reaches the House floor, if the essential elements listed above are retained, and no objectionable new components are added, NRLC intends to include the roll call on passage of the American Health Care Act in our scorecard of key right-to-life roll calls of the 115th Congress.

Thank you for your consideration of the position of National Right to Life on this matter of grave importance to our organization.

Sincerely,

Carol Tobias President

David N. O’Steen, Ph.D. Executive Director

Jennifer Popik, J.D. Legislative Director

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Quick Highlights: Speaker Ryan at the National Review Summit

2017/03/17

With support for the American Health Care Act growing, Speaker Ryan pressed the case for the bill at National Review Institute’s 2017 Ideas Summit.

In case you missed it, some quick highlights are below, or watch the full video here:

This Is the Legislative Process

This is how things should work: you make changes to the legislation as it goes through the committees. #NRISummit17 pic.twitter.com/jkHehszeAt

— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) March 17, 2017

Our Bill Repeals AND Replaces Obamacare

This is how things should work: you make changes to the legislation as it goes through the committees. #NRISummit17 pic.twitter.com/jkHehszeAt

— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) March 17, 2017

Conservative Principles Into Action

Our conservative principles have to translate into real results that improve the lives of Americans who feel like they've been forgotten. pic.twitter.com/PIFaqooSiq

— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) March 17, 2017  

The Cusp of Major Entitlement Reform

We’re on the cusp of doing something we’ve long believed in: major entitlement reform. #NRISummit17 pic.twitter.com/BFCQQRqXaa

— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) March 17, 2017

The Worst Tax Code in the Industrialized World

We have a 20% GDP government, but we have inarguably the worst tax code in the industrial world. #NRISummit2017 pic.twitter.com/XIm67l2wMI

— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) March 17, 2017

 

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5 Photos to Help Put You in the Irish Spirit

2017/03/17

It’s a tradition that dates back to 1983, when President Ronald Reagan and Speaker Tip O’Neill had lunch together on St. Patrick’s Day in honor of their Irish heritage. Yesterday, the Friends of Ireland luncheon continued under another Irish speaker whose own family traces their roots to the potato farms of Kilkenny.

1) Speaker Ryan, Taoiseach Kenny of Ireland, and Rep. Peter King (R-NY) welcome President Trump and Vice President Pence to the Capitol.

2) Despite his best efforts, Speaker Ryan’s attempt at an Irish accent had the whole room laughing.

3) President Trump, Speaker Ryan, and Taoiseach Kenny swap stories over lunch.

4) In a customary gift exchange, Speaker Ryan presents Taoiseach Kenny with a Green Bay Packers hat. The Speaker went on to explain that generally, “Americans regard the Packers as the greatest football team in the world.”

5) A bagpiper leads the way for the President’s departure from the Capitol, thus concluding the 34th annual Friends of Ireland luncheon.

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Related: Watch Speaker Ryan’s Toast at the Friends of Ireland Luncheon

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Seven Years of Obamacare Is Enough

2017/03/17

Next week marks seven years since the Affordable Care Act was signed into law. With it came Democratic promises of government dependence and Republican warnings of fiscal insolvency. Fast forward seven years later, and we are able to see a more complete picture of how Obamacare has broken our health care system. From skyrocketing premiums to insurance monopolies in counties all across America, we are reminded that the Obamacare experiment simply has not worked.

Now, we—as a country—have a very small window of opportunity to make things right by repealing and replacing it with common-sense reforms.

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Speaker Ryan Continues Push for the American Health Care Act

2017/03/16

Speaker Paul Ryan on health care plan: "It's not MY bill, it's OUR bill"... we wrote it with the administration https://t.co/kKj2njW4D0

— The Situation Room (@CNNSitRoom) March 16, 2017
Hours after the American Health Care Act received approval from a third House committee, Speaker Ryan appeared on MSNBC’s MTP Daily and CNN’s The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer.

The Closest We’ll Ever GetWhat I meant when I said ‘This is the moment’—this process, this reconciliation bill that we’re producing, is the closest we’ll ever get to repealing and replacing Obamacare. I mean that—it is that. But the whole process is one where we legislate and work and nail down agreements. Now that we have our score, we can make even more fine tuning. This is always going to be an open process where we get feedback from people, where we get feedback from members, where we fine tune all the way to the end. That’s the way the process works. . . . This process, which ultimately ends up with a budget bill—a law—is the closest we will ever get to repealing and replacing Obamacare.” (From MSNBC)

This is Legislating “This is legislating. We’re listening to our members, and making the kinds of refinements, the kinds of additions and improvements to the bill that we think, as I say, gets the sweet spot. Gets a bill that everybody likes, that everybody can support, because it’s just really important we get this right. The reason it’s really important we get this right is because Obamacare is collapsing. We can’t just sit back and watch it happen. We have an obligation and a duty to do what we said we would do when we ran for office, and that is replace Obamacare with a much better system. And that’s what we’re trying to do." (From CNN)

The Reason I’m Excited for This “The reason I’m excited for this is because I think this is an opportunity. It’s an opportunity for us to fix a broken system that is failing, that is crashing, and to get at the goal of giving people access to affordable coverage. And we want to make sure we get it right, and that’s why we didn’t just take this to the floor. We didn’t write this in Harry Reid’s office on Christmas Eve like they did [with] Obamacare and jam it through. We’re going through regular order.” (From CNN)

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Speaker Ryan Hosts Annual Friends of Ireland Luncheon

2017/03/16

Ireland may be a small island, but look at all she has given us. Her light floods the world. pic.twitter.com/75Eenfeq9G

— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) March 16, 2017

Today, Speaker Ryan hosted President Trump and Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny at his second Friends of Ireland luncheon, a tradition dating back to 1983 that signifies America’s bipartisan commitment to peace and security in Ireland. Below are Speaker Ryan’s remarks as prepared for delivery:

“Mr. President, Mr. Vice President, Taoiseach and Mrs. Kenny, friends of Ireland, relatives of Ireland: I want to wish all of you – Céad míle fáilte. How was that? Good, good. Can’t let down the folks back in Graigudenamanag.

“This is the time of year when we celebrate the spirit and splendor of a small island tucked in the North Atlantic.  A small island generous enough to share the Glorious St. Patrick, and of course, the Guinness.

“Days like this take me back to my family’s visits to Ireland. Everyone is just so easygoing there. And when your name is Paul Ryan, you can really blend in. Not always though. One time I was in a pub, talking to this fellow. I tell him my name, and he says, ‘oh, Paul Ryan…you’re the hurler from Ballyboden!’ I said, ‘No, no…the musician from Wicklow.’

“Those are both real guys, by the way. The Irish are so passionate about their music and their sports too. There is actually a story they tell in Kilkenny about a family out to dinner. The father calls the waiter over and says, ‘Sorry lad, my son spilled the water.’ The waiter says, ‘No problem sir, I’ll get you a new one.’ The father grabs the waiter’s arm and says, ‘OK…but make sure this one likes hurling.’ My family is from Kilkenny, so I had to go with a hurling joke.

“It’s funny though. I asked my staff for a list of jokes to choose from for this lunch. I really did. And so I get the list, and at the top it says, ‘Number one. Your Irish accent.’ What can I say? Americans are always trying to endear ourselves to the Irish. Think about it. We went from a president who plays a lot of golf, to a president who owns a lot of golf courses. That’s about the closest thing to royalty in Ireland. 

“To my friend, an Taoiseach, on behalf of the Congress, I want to thank you for your steadfast leadership. When I think about all the work you did to set up a government . . . to turn your economy around . . . all the endless demands . . . the long nights and early mornings…the backbiting from the backbenches. And you’ve made it in this job, how long? Six years? Maybe you do have the ‘luck of the Irish’. 

“But we are so glad you made it here safely despite the snow. It reminds me of a story about my great-great-grandfather James Ryan. Like so many, he came over here after the potatoes stopped growing. He worked the rails until he made it to the outskirts of Janesville, Wisconsin. This was in the middle of summer. He looked around and said, 'this looks just like Ireland.' Then came winter . . . And he said ‘oh, crap.’ 

“But the closest point from here to Ireland’s shores is at Loop Head, where there is a very old lighthouse. In the 20s and 30s, the light was kept by another James. James McGinley.  He was among the first in his family to get an education and go beyond the farm. He played the fiddle. He enjoyed stout after Mass. He loved to fish. Today his grandson is the 13th prime minister of Ireland. 

“Ireland may be a small island, but look at all she has given us. Her light floods the world. To America, she is as General Washington himself said, ‘friend of my country in my country’s most friendless day.’ 

“In that spirit, I would like to offer a toast. To what our forefathers have started, and our children will continue. May the light always shine upon them. Slainte. 

“Ladies and gentlemen, at this time, it is my privilege to introduce a great leader and a great friend of the Irish people, the President of the United States.”

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One Step Closer: Third House Committee Approves the American Health Care Act

2017/03/16

WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) made the following remarks at his weekly press conference, after a third House committee approved the American Health Care Act as part of an open, transparent process:

“Today, the House Budget Committee took up the American Health Care Act. It is the third committee to debate this bill as part of our ongoing open and transparent regular order process. We look forward to strong support there, putting us another step closer toward keeping our promise—keeping our promise to repeal and replace Obamacare. From there, the bill will go to a fourth committee before it goes to the House floor. “Lastly, as we have said from the start, repeal and replace will be a step-by-step approach. That is why, yesterday, the Majority Leader announced that the House will begin considering additional legislation. This includes reforms like:

  • Eliminating the anti-trust protections to create more competition. This will help make sure people are not left with few or no choices, like we’re seeing across the country.
  • Allowing small businesses to pool together across the country, giving our small businesses more purchasing power so they will have more choices and lower costs, and they’ll be able to harness the power of bulk buying, like large companies do.
  • Medical malpractice reform. That helps prevent abusive lawsuits. It helps cut down on defensive medicine, which is another way that we can lower costs and increase choices.

“These are just a few of the ideas . . . ideas we strongly believe in—they were part of our Better Way plan—but we know that cannot advance all of them through the reconciliation process. “That is why we are acting on these reforms separately, but also immediately, concurrently. We’re not going to wait on these things.

“So, you all remember the slide last week: “First, we pass our bill to repeal Obamacare’s taxes, mandates, and spending, and we replace all that with reforms that build a better, patient-centered, market-based system.

“Second, Secretary Tom Price will take administrative actions to help lower costs and increase consumer choices, and restore market freedom and states’ rights.

“Third, we pass these additional reforms that I just mentioned, and there are others behind that, to further lower costs and increase choices for families. “We’re very pleased with where we are, because we’re on track and on schedule with where we have been intending to be this whole time. “We made a promise. We made a promise to repeal and replace Obamacare. We are going to keep our promise to the people that elected us.” 

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Statement on President Trump’s Budget Blueprint

2017/03/16

WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement on President Trump's 2018 budget blueprint:

“I welcome the president’s blueprint for next year’s budget, which turns the page from the last eight years. We are determined to work with the administration to shrink the size of government, grow our economy, secure our borders, and ensure our troops have the tools necessary to complete their missions. I look forward to reviewing this with the Appropriations Committee and our entire conference.”

 

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“A Responsibility to Do Big Things”: Speaker Ryan’s Remarks at Leadership Press Conference

2017/03/15

WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) made the following comments this evening at a Republican leadership press conference: “I want to thank Mike Pence. He gave a great presentation to our members, really rallied our members around our efforts here to repeal and replace Obamacare. So I want to thank the vice president for that. “As you know, going back to the transition, we have been working hand-in-glove with this administration on this agenda, starting with this health care plan. “Because we made a promise. We made a promise to all Americans to repeal and replace Obamacare. “We will end this nightmare and put in place reforms that will improve people’s lives, give people the kind of health care they want, not the kind of health care government is making them buy. “So for families, you know what this means for families? This means lower costs. “It means more choices. It means a more vibrant marketplace where insurance companies compete against each other for your business, not some monopoly. “Look, this system is collapsing. It is crashing, and a lot of these insurers don’t want to become monopolies. They have no choice, because they’re the last person standing. So we’ve got to step in, and arrest this problem, repeal this law, and replace it with a system that works for everybody. “It also means—finally—returning power from Washington back to the states, back to doctors, and back to families, back to patients. “We are not just committed to this plan. We are committed to this process. “This is an open, transparent process, where the bill goes through regular order. The reason you’re doing all this reporting on the ups and the downs, and the who’s-saying-what, is because we’re going through a very transparent, open process. “It goes through four committees. It has gone through two committees so far. One committee tomorrow. Rules Committee next week. That is called the legislative process. We’ve very proud of that. “As the governing party, we have a responsibility to do big things. As the governing party, we have tackle the big issues that are facing this country before they tackle us. “So the bottom line is: we made a promise to repeal and replace Obamacare. And we are going to keep our word.”

We are on the verge of ending the #Obamacare nightmare and making historic conservative reforms. #RepealAndReplace pic.twitter.com/Iaioj9SaKN

— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) March 15, 2017
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Speaker Ryan Gets Into Health Care Specifics on CNN

2017/03/15

Summary: This afternoon on CNN’s The Lead with Jake Tapper., Speaker Ryan explained in detail key aspects of the American Health Care Act.

Competition and Choice

Instead of having a government one-size-fits-all mandate system, which is currently in a death spiral—which is what Obamacare is—repeal that and replace it with more competition, more choice, lowers costs, lowers prices, and gives everybody better access to more affordable coverage. You combine our bill, which has tax credits, risk pools, health savings accounts—that dramatically expands people’s access to affordable health care coverage for those people who do not get health care coverage from their jobs.”

State-Specific Policy

We think the smarter way to go is to open up choice and competition, let more plans be offered, people buy what they want. And that’s why we’re big believers in state-based risk pools. By having federal financing to help states set up risk pools where you actually cover the catastrophic costs for people who have catastrophic illnesses, people with pre-existing conditions, you directly cover those expenses so that a person with a catastrophic illness doesn’t go poor when they get sick. But also, by covering it directly, you’re taking that cost out of the other pools. You’re dramatically lowering the price of health care for everyone else.”

Fair Tax Treatment of Health Care Coverage

What we’re proposing: Equalize the tax treatment of health care, so that if you do not have health care from your job, you also get a tax benefit to buy in a functioning, open marketplace where the catastrophic illnesses are not going to have to be borne by your insurance or your pool. . . .

If you give everybody an advanceable, refundable tax credit to go and buy a basic plan of their choosing in their state, which now has free market health care because we’re going to let the states set up free markets in health care . . . that stabilizes the market. That brings down prices. . . . And that’s before Tom Price, Secretary of HHS, brings forward a lot of reforms that let the states go back and open up market-based health care systems.”

We think this is a smarter way to go and it gives you more market freedom, it gives you more flexibility, it has more competition so we can have better innovation in health care. The alternative is the status quo, and the status quo is just in the middle of a collapse.”

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You Are Invited to an Irish Tradition

2017/03/15

In 1983, President Ronald Reagan and Speaker Tip O'Neill began a St. Patrick's Day tradition that continues to this day: the Friends of Ireland luncheon. Tomorrow at noon ET, President Trump, Vice President Pence, and Prime Minister Kenny of Ireland will all be attending this bipartisan event in the Capitol, hosted by Speaker Ryan—an Irishman in his own right. And you are invited to join them. Here's how:

  1. Morning - Check out Speaker Ryan's Instagram story for exclusive photos and video leading up to (and during) the luncheon.
  2. Noon - Watch the Facebook livestream of speeches from Speaker Ryan, President Trump, and Prime Minister Kenny (in that order). As always, you can also see it on speaker.gov/live.
  3. Night - Can't tune in live? No problem. Sign up for email updates to see behind-the-scenes photos of the whole event, delivered right to your inbox.

Last thing: Don't forget to wear green and BYOG (Bring Your Own Guinness).

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2015 Bill+ 2016 Ideas = 2017 American Health Care Act

2017/03/15

We recently received this comment on Facebook: “You can repeal the whole thing in one bill. You already did in 2015 with Obama as president.”

It is a valid and frequent question these days, so let’s tackle it directly.

First, the American Health Care Act (AHCA) in fact does repeal all the components of Obamacare that the 2015 bill did: the taxes, the mandates, and the spending. This effectively guts the law. What is not repealed are some of the parts of Obamacare that have to do with regulations. Of course we’d love to include those parts, but those provisions are not allowed under the Senate rules we are using to avoid the filibuster. The same was true in the 2015 bill. 

Bottom line, we are repealing just as much with President Trump as we passed with President Obama in office, but we’re also transitioning to a better, patient-centered system

Indeed, were we to pass the old repeal bill and leave it at that, we would be giving up an opportunity to make good conservative reforms that can’t be filibustered by Senate Democrats.

So, passing the old repeal bill, or the ‘2015 bill’ as it’s sometimes known, means:

  • No reforms to equalize the tax treatment of health care, leaving the deck stacked against people who don’t get insurance through work.
  • No reforms to health savings accounts, leaving in place old limits on what you can contribute and how you can use those dollars.
  • No reforms to repair state insurance markets, so that states can support high-risk pools, cut out-of-pocket costs, and improve access.
  • No reforms that give states greater flexibility over Medicaid dollars so they can better serve people in need, meaning no major entitlement reform whatsoever.  

With the American Health Care Act, we make these conservative reforms to improve people’s lives, and we keep our promise to repeal AND replace Obamacare. Without it, we make none of this progress.

More questions? Answers here. And of course visit our Facebook page to leave your comments.

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Speaker Ryan Talks Health Care on Fox Business, The Laura Ingraham Show

2017/03/15

Summary: This morning, Speaker Ryan appeared on Fox Business’s Mornings with Maria and The Laura Ingraham Show to discuss the American Health Care Act.

On Mornings with Maria, Speaker Ryan talked about how this plan was a long time coming:

This is something we wrote with President Trump. This is something we wrote with Senate committees. So just so you know, Maria, this is the plan we ran on all of last year. This is the plan that we’ve been working—House, Senate, White House—together on. And now, as we get closing to finish[ing], going through the committee process, you inevitably make those refinements and improvements as you go through that process. That’s exactly where we are right now.”

The promise that was made to voters by everybody running for House, Senate, and president was: We will repeal and replace. And so we’re using the budget tools that we have in the Senate to do repeal and replace. Remember Maria, this is why we have a three part process. If we could put everything we wanted into this one bill and have it voted on with 51 votes in the Senate, we would do that. But because of the Senate rules and how narrow they are to do what we call reconciliation, you can’t put everything you want in that bill, like say interstate shopping across state lines. And so, this bill is what we can pass through reconciliation, which effectively repeals and replaces the law. It’s a very good start.”

Watch the latest video at video.foxbusiness.com

On The Laura Ingraham Show, Speaker Ryan stressed the importance of the next phase of our three-pronged approach:

We’re taking out the taxes and the spending of Obamacare . . . and then we’re replacing it with Republican tax policy that’s been long standing stuff that the Heritage Foundation, American Enterprise Institute, have been talking for years. It’s the Tom Price bill that most conservatives cosponsored here just last year. . . .

Our goal is to improve access to health care by lowering the cost of health care and increasing competition. And so this is what phase two is all about. Tom Price can deregulate health care. When the Democrats wrote this law—which they took 60 votes to write it—they put 1400 provisions in the law that says the secretary has all this discretion. Well Tom Price is going to use that discretion in reverse. And the states will be able to create their own free markets in health care. He’s going to deregulate the federal system. . . .

“You take those first two moves: the repeal and replace—that’s reconciliation, that’s Republican only—and the Trump administration’s deregulation that they have the authority to do. Those two moves right there dramatically lower health care costs, increase choices, go back to states setting up free markets.” 

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Conservative Groups Send Letter of Support for the American Health Care Act

2017/03/15

Today, a broad coalition of leading conservative organizations endorsed the American Health Care Act. In an open letter to Congress, the groups urged passage of Republican legislation to repeal Obamacare and replace it with truly affordable, patient-centered, conservative reforms.

“As advocates of free market principles and limited government, we endorse this significant legislation that would take the first major step toward repealing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare. In its place, it would create a more market-oriented health care system that prioritizes liberty, consumer choice, and innovation over Obamacare’s government mandates.”

View the full letter here or below, read the bill at readthebill.gop, and learn more about the American Health Care Act at speaker.gov/healthcare.

On behalf of our organizations, representing millions of Americans from across the country, we write in support of the American Health Care Act (AHCA). As advocates of free market principles and limited government, we endorse this significant legislation that would take the first major step toward repealing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare. In its place, it would create a more market-oriented health care system that prioritizes liberty, consumer choice, and innovation over Obamacare’s government mandates.

AHCA repeals nearly all of Obamacare’s tax increases, thereby saving taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars. These taxes – including the prescription drug tax, “medicine cabinet” tax, and health insurance tax, just to name a few – have increased the cost of health care and placed an unnecessary financial burden on individuals and families. Further, the bill would eliminate both the individual and employer mandates, which are punitive measures that have effectively acted as hefty taxes. AHCA would also wisely expand Health Savings Accounts and significantly increase the flexibility of these funds.

Additionally, the legislation would implement the most significant entitlement reforms in more than 20 years. By converting Medicaid to a per capita allotment and putting the massive program on a budget, it would shield taxpayers from rapidly escalating costs, encourage innovation, and shift power out of Washington and into state capitals.

To ensure that all Americans have access to health insurance, AHCA would create a means-tested, advanceable, and refundable tax credit that would be available to individuals who do not have access to employer sponsored insurance or government programs. For decades, conservatives and libertarians have advocated for tax credits as the preferred mechanism to provide financial assistance to lower income Americans for the purchase of health insurance. Tax credits empower the less affluent to make their own health care decisions in the private marketplace, rather than relying upon inefficient and costly government programs.

The AHCA is the first of several necessary steps to fully repeal Obamacare and replace it with a patient-centered, free market approach to health care. We look forward to working with you and the Administration to make this and other important policy changes that will help reduce health care costs and improve the quality of care for all Americans.

Sincerely,

Brandon Arnold, Executive Vice President National Taxpayers Union

Grover Norquist, President Americans for Tax Reform

Dan Weber, CEO Association of Mature American Citizens

Peter Nelson, Vice President and Senior Policy Fellow Center of the American Experiment

Tom Schatz, President Council for Citizens Against Government Waste

Heather Higgins, President and CEO Independent Women’s Voice

Andrew Langer, President Institute for Liberty

Gregory T. Angelo, President Log Cabin Republicans

Charlie Sauer, President Market Institute

Ryan Ellis, Founding Co-Chair Obamacare Repeal Coalition

Jerry Rogers, Founder Six Degrees Project

Karen Kerrigan, President and CEO Small Business and Entrepreneurship Counsel

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Speaker Ryan on Fox News: We Have an Obligation to Keep Our Promises

2017/03/14

Tonight, Speaker Ryan appeared on Fox News’s First 100 Days with Martha MacCallum to discuss the American Health Care Act. Watch the interview here.

This is the plan Republicans promised to deliver.

This is the replace plan that we all ran on. Remember, we’ve been saying for well over a year that we want to repeal and replace Obamacare. The president made it very forceful in his campaign but also since the campaign that we’re going to repeal and replace at the same time. This is something we’ve all been saying we will do. Because we want to replace Obamacare, which is a government-run program, with market competition, with patient-centered health care, where people get to do what they want to do—where they have real choice. And so we’ve worked on this bill starting January 2016, and wrote this bill from January to June, released it to the country, ran on it all fall, and then transmitted it into legislative text. It has now passed with unanimous Republican votes out of two of our committees—we’re in that four committee process. So it’s going through what we call regular order on its way into law.”

We have an obligation to keep that promise.

As a governing party, we have an obligation to keep our promises, to pass the reforms that we told people we would pass if we got this opportunity, to be in the majority, with a Republican Senate, so we’re doing that. … Then when the House passes it, it goes over to the Senate, so if Senators have an issue, if Senators have a problem, they have their own process to go with over there, so I would suggest Senators should just amend the bill when it comes over there. This is the legislative process.”

And we will do so through a three-step process.

"We have to write this in such a way that it can’t get filibustered. That it can pass with 51 votes in the Senate. And that means this legislation can’t have everything we want in it. That’s why we have a three-part process, which is: part one, 51 votes to repeal and replace, which is this bill; part 2, Tom Price deregulates the marketplace and lets the states go back to opening up market competition so that the states regulate health care. That’s a huge act of federalism;. . . . Part 3, is what you were talking about. . . . These bills that we’re talking about in part 3 were never in the bill that we passed last year, in 2015, because they can’t because of reconciliation rules.” 

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Speaker Ryan on Fox News: Our Proposal Will Lower Premiums

2017/03/13

Summary: Today, Speaker Ryan appeared on Fox News’s Special Report with Bret Baier to discuss the CBO’s score of the American Health Care Act.

Our bill will lower premiums.“What I’m encouraged [by] is, once our reforms kick in, what the CBO is telling us is, it’s going to lower premiums—it will lower premiums 10 percent. It stabilizes the market. It’s a $1.2 trillion spending cut, an $883 billion tax cut, and $337 billion in deficit reduction. So of course the CBO is going to say if you’re not going to force people to buy something they don’t want to buy, they won’t buy it. But at the same time, they’re saying our reforms will kick in and lower premiums and make health care therefore more accessible.”

It’s part of a three-pronged approach. “This is just part one of a three part plan, and that’s why I’m excited. Just this they say lowers premiums, stabilizes the market, gives people more choice and freedom. Part two is Tom Price at HHS brings more choice and competition, lets the states open up markets, which will lower prices even more. And part three are the other bills that we will be passing—interstate shopping across state lines, association health care plans to let people bulk buy insurance nationwide, medical liability reform. Those will drop premiums even further, and make health care even more accessible than CBO is in an encouraging way saying.”

And it will deliver relief from the status quo.“Don't forget one thing here. Obamacare is in the middle of a collapse. Only five states have one insurer left. Over 1,000 counties in America have only one insurer left. Humana just announced that they are pulling out. That means zero plans in 2018 for those people. By the way, we just got a letter from Anthem, one of the biggest insurers, that are telling us if the status quo stays, they are going to surgically pull out of markets as well. So put this against the backdrop that Obamacare is collapsing. The insurers are telling us premium increases this year, 25% on average, will be even higher next year. This compared to the status quo is far better.”

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Key Points: AHCA Lowers Premiums, Increases Choices

2017/03/13

A new Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimate confirms that the American Health Care Act will lower premiums and increase access to quality, affordable care. 

The CBO’s estimate shows that the legislation advances the core goals of our plan to repeal and replace Obamacare:

  • Lowers premiums by 10 percent.
  • Reduces the federal deficit by $337 billion.
  • Makes major entitlement reform, capping Medicaid spending for the first time, saving taxpayers $880 billion.
  • Increases choices for consumers, creating a vibrant market where people will have more freedom and flexibility to get the plan they want.
  • Lowers taxes by $883 billion, providing massive tax relief for middle-income Americans and small business owners.

This report does not take into account additional steps Congress and the Trump administration are taking that will further lower costs and increase choices for families. 

  • As an example, HHS Secretary Tom Price wrote a letter to governors today offering additional flexibility to improve market stabilization and affordable choices.

We appreciate concerns about making sure people have access to coverage.

  • This report finds that most of the drop in coverage is attributed to repeal of the individual mandate, because people are no longer forced to purchase government-mandated coverage.
  • Under our plan, there will be a stable transition so that no one has the rug pulled out from under them.
  • People who do not receive coverage through work or a government program will be provided with a tax credit to help purchase the plan of their choice.
  • We are committed to making sure that every American has access to quality, affordable coverage.

Obamacare has proven that government-mandated coverage does not equal access to care, and now the law is collapsing.

  • Our plan repeals Obamacare’s flawed subsidies, which left millions of low- and middle-income Americans behind.
  • Instead of being forced to buy expensive, one-size-fits-all coverage, people will be able to buy a plan they want and can afford. More choices mean lower premiums, as this report shows.
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Speaker Ryan Statement on American Health Care Act CBO Score

2017/03/13

WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement in response to the Congressional Budget Office’s scoring of the American Health Care Act:

“This report confirms that the American Health Care Act will lower premiums and improve access to quality, affordable care. CBO also finds that this legislation will provide massive tax relief, dramatically reduce the deficit, and make the most fundamental entitlement reform in more than a generation. These are things we are achieving in just the first of a three-pronged approach. It’s important to note that this report does not take into consideration additional steps Congress and the Trump administration are taking that will further lower costs and increase choices. “I recognize and appreciate concerns about making sure people have access to coverage. Under Obamacare, we have seen how government-mandated coverage does not equal access to care, and now the law is collapsing. Our plan is not about forcing people to buy expensive, one-size-fits-all coverage. It is about giving people more choices and better access to a plan they want and can afford. When people have more choices, costs go down. That’s what this report shows. And, as we have long said, there will be a stable transition so that no one has the rug pulled out from under them. “This week, a third House committee will debate the American Health Care Act as part of an open, transparent process. We have set out a clear goal—to give every American access to quality, affordable care—and a clear plan to achieve it. Now we must keep our promise and deliver.”

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A ‘Fair and Rational’ Tax System

2017/03/13

We know the focus right now is on repealing and replacing Obamacare, but we didn’t want you to miss this important op-ed in the New York Times:

“The United States faces a choice: to mark time as our competitive position worsens, to join this race to the bottom or to take forceful action that replaces our corporate tax system with one that aligns with the national interests,” write professors Alan Auerbach and Michael Devereux. “We need to adjust to new ideas like a destination-based cash-flow tax. In the short-run economic adjustments required would be a small price to pay for an enduring, fair and rational tax system.”

This choice is real.

We haven’t overhauled our antiquated tax code in more than three decades. As a result, we’re stuck in neutral as our foreign competitors modernize their tax systems.

Meanwhile, the U.S. tax code ranks among the least competitive among Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) nations. The nonpartisan Tax Foundation believes adopting the Republican tax blueprint would leapfrog our economy to the front of the pack.

So, we can either do nothing and watch more U.S. companies move operations—and good-paying jobs—overseas, or we can seize this once-in-a-generation opportunity to reinvigorate our economy by enacting pro-growth tax reform.

To learn more about our plan, visit speaker.gov and check out the links below.

Learn more:

A Helpful Explainer on the Border Adjustment Tax (3/3/17)

President Trump: ‘We Must Create a Level Playing Field’ (3/1/17)

GOP Tax Blueprint ‘Could Lead to a Lot More Jobs in the United States’ (2/24/17)

American Manufacturing Leaders Embrace Republican Tax Plan (2/21/17)

Republican Plan Will Vault U.S. Tax Code to the Top (2/17/17)

A Tax Code to Level the Playing Field (2/9/17)

Momentum Builds for Republican Tax Plan (1/31/17)

A Destination-Based Tax Code to Increase American Competitiveness (1/19/17)

A Simpler and More Competitive Tax Code (1/6/17)

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We Made a Promise: Speaker Ryan Talks Health Care Reform on Face the Nation

2017/03/13

Summary: Yesterday, Speaker Ryan discussed Obamacare repeal and replace by way of the American Health Care Act on CBS News’s Face the Nation.

Key Quote: “It’s not our job to make people do something that they don’t want to do. It is our job to have a system where people can get universal access to affordable coverage if they choose to do so or not. That’s what we’re going to be accomplishing.”

On keeping the promise to repeal and replace Obamacare: Obamacare is collapsing. If we just did nothing, washed our hands of the situation, we would see a further collapse of the health insurance markets. So we feel an obligation to step in front of that collapse and replace this law with one that works, that has more freedom. . . . We made a promise to the people who elected us we would repeal and replace this law. And we basically said, this is what we would replace it with. And now we are keeping our word.”

“We ran for repeal and replace in 2010. We ran on repeal and replace in 2012, in 2014, in 2016. Oh, by the way, we spent six months last year developing a replacement plan. We ran on that replacement plan. . . . This has been a long and deliberative process. . . . Going through four committees, going through regular order, saying we are going to do this for seven years, and now come to the point where we are actually on the cusp of keeping our word, I hardly think that that is rushing things.” 

On the choices the American Health Care Act will bring: “This isn’t a government mandate. This is not ‘the government makes you buy what we say you should buy, and therefore the government thinks you’re all going to buy it’. . . . What we are trying to achieve here is bringing down the cost of care, bringing down the cost of insurance, not through government mandates and monopolies, but by having more choice and competition. And by lowering the cost of health care, you improve the access to health care. And by having the things that we’re talking about—tax credits, risk pools, health savings accounts—you dramatically increase the access to health care. But we’re not going to make an American do what they don’t want to do. You get it if you want it. That’s freedom.”

“It’s not our job to make people do something that they don’t want to do. It is our job to have a system where people can get universal access to affordable coverage if they choose to do so or not. That’s what we’re going to be accomplishing.”

Watch Speaker Ryan’s full interview here. Learn more about the American Health Care Act on speaker.gov/healthcare.

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Listen to Speaker Ryan’s Interview with Bill Bennett

2017/03/11

Summary: This week, Speaker Ryan appeared on The Bill Bennett Show to discuss Republican efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare. He explained how the American Health Care Act is part of a three-pronged approach to achieve real, conservative health care reform.

A Three-Pronged Approach“We have broken this process into three phases.

"This first bill, phase number one, which we cannot have a filibuster on, they can’t filibuster, it’s called reconciliation. That basically repeals all the fiscal pieces to Obamacare, which effectively repeals Obamacare. The taxes, the mandates, the subsidies. And it puts Republican tax policy in its place—health savings accounts, high risk pools, tax credits for people who don’t get health care at their job to go buy a health care plan of their choosing. It also allows the states to go back into regulating health care instead of the federal government. So we give freedom to people to buy whatever they want to buy—a radical departure from Obamacare.

"Phase two: Tom Price has so much discretion, because that’s what Obamacare did, it gave a lot of power to the secretary of HHS. He is going to use that discretion to further deregulate the market so that people can have the plan of their choice.

"Phase three are the bills we really like, that we want to pass, but can be filibustered in the Senate. It’s the things I just mentioned. It’s let people bulk buy their health insurance in nationwide buying pools. Interstate shopping across state lines. Medical liability reform. Things like getting rid of the IPAB. Things like that they can filibuster. We’re going to pass it in the House, send it to the Senate, and just go fight for it over there.”

Obamacare Is Collapsing“They [the Left] want single-payer health care. They want government to mandate what you must buy. They want the government to say ‘Here is your insurance plan, buy it, and we’ll help you pay for it’. That is an amazingly explosive entitlement. It actually isn’t working. It is death spiraling. It is collapsing. So even the scheme that they put together is collapsing. The insurers are telling us next year the premium increases will be even more than this year, and you’ll have even more pullouts. Only five states have one insurer left. A third of all counties in America have one insurer left. They’re leaving the market because the architecture of Obamacare is collapsing, it’s crashing. So this is really a mercy mission for the country, which is stepping in front, finishing the law off, and replacing it with patient-centered, Republican-based health care reform that we’ve been dreaming about for years is what we’re doing.”

Working In Sync With the White House“This bill we’re working hand-in-glove on with the president, the vice president, Tom Price, Mick Mulvaney, the budget director—all working together on the same page, the House Republicans, the Senate Republicans, the White House. We literally have been working off the same piece of paper, the same bill, for months now, and the president is full onto this, because what is this? It’s him keeping his promise to repeal and replace this law. Getting rid of all the fiscal pieces of this law effectively repeals this law. And replacing it with a better system is exactly what we are doing. So it really is a fulfillment of the promises we’ve been making.”

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The American Health Care Act: Your Questions Answered

2017/03/10

You’ve heard the news: Earlier this week, House Republicans introduced the American Health Care Act—legislation that keeps our promise to repeal Obamacare and replace it with a truly patient-centered system.

Here is what you need to know about the plan, and here are answers to some questions you may have:

Q: Why doesn’t this bill include reforms like allowing insurance to be sold across state lines?A: To put a repeal and replace bill on President Trump’s desk—and prevent a filibuster by Senate Democrats—we are using the budget reconciliation process. Those rules don’t allow for certain kinds of reforms, particularly those that have to do with regulations, but we are advancing these ideas simultaneously through the legislative process. Here’s more on the three prongs of repeal and replace.

Q: Is this ‘Obamacare 2.0’ or ‘Obamacare-Lite’? A: Of course not. Obamacare is a Washington-driven system built on higher spending, higher taxes, and onerous mandates. The American Health Care Act does the opposite. We send power back to the states and to patients. We will eliminate the taxes and mandates so that people are no longer forced to buy insurance they don’t want and can’t afford. Our bill will deliver the control and choices Americans need to get the coverage that’s right for them. Also, this bill is just one part of a larger, step-by-step approach to repealing and replacing Obamacare.

Q: Why not just pass the last repeal bill Congress put on President Obama’s desk? A: For a number of reasons, but primarily because we promised to both repeal AND replace this law. And this bill is simply better. It includes conservative reforms from the Better Way agenda we put forward last June, such as ending the way the tax code discriminates against people who don’t get health coverage through their job, expanded Health Savings Accounts, and much greater state control over health care dollars. Not to mention, the bill’s Medicaid reforms represent the biggest entitlement reform in a generation.

Q: The tax reforms you just mentioned—does that mean another government-funded entitlement?A: No. Whereas Obamacare represented a new entitlement program through a government takeover of health care, our plan will help ensure that small business owners, people moving from job to job, or early retirees have quality, affordable health care options—just like those who receive insurance through work or a government program. Available to those under a certain income who do not receive health coverage through work or a government program, these credits will be age-based, portable, and help create a true market for quality coverage. With this tax credit, we’ll incentivize competition to ensure there are quality, affordable plans for purchase. This is a policy conservatives have long advocated. 

Q: How many people will be covered by this plan? A: Our goal is to make sure every American has access to the coverage they want and can afford. And as we move to that better system, there will be a stable transition so the rug isn’t pulled out from under anyone. Our plan will protect the most vulnerable by strengthening Medicaid and giving power back to the states. What’s more, the advanceable, refundable tax credits will encourage competition and put consumers in the driver’s seat. That’s the kind of choice and control Americans deserve.

Q: Where is the Congressional Budget Office score? A: We expect to have a Congressional Budget Office score well before this legislation goes to the House floor for a vote.

Q: Will your bill protect people with pre-existing conditions?A: Yes. Our plan will introduce the Patient and State Stability Fund to help finance solutions designed by state leaders to meet the specific needs of their populations. Ultimately, our plan will give states the flexibility they need to protect their most vulnerable citizens.

Q: Do we have to pass the bill to find out what’s in it? A: No. Read the bill online at readthebill.gop. It is largely based on the Better Way plan Republicans put forward last June. And it will be scrutinized by four separate committees before it goes to the House floor. It is part of a transparent, step-by-step approach with three prongs: the American Health Care Act; administrative actions taken by HHS Secretary Price and the Trump administration; and additional legislative policies that can’t be included in the reconciliation bill. Put simply: Our unified Republican government is keeping its promise and delivering for the American people.

To learn more about the American Health Care Act, visit speaker.gov/healthcare and readthebill.gop

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VERIFIED: Refundable tax credits are longstanding conservative policy goals

2017/03/10

Refundable tax credits. They are an important component of the American Health Care Act (AHCA), designed to give people who don't receive health care at work the same tax benefit as those who do. The goal is to equalize the tax treatment of health care regardless of where you buy it and help create a vibrant individual market. 

Some people have been posing the question, where did this policy come from?

VERIFIED: These credits have long been part of the conservative health care reform ideal, supported by arch-conservatives in Congress as well as right-leaning think tanks going back for decades. 

VERIFIED: Refundable tax credits encompass fundamental conservative principles: they utilize the free market and empower individuals.  Of course they all differed slightly in their details, but the idea in all is the same: provide resources to people on the individual market to help them purchase coverage and spur market forces.

VERIFIED: These policy proposals aren’t abstract. Let’s take a look at a few examples of concrete proposals that include a refundable tax credit to purchase health coverage:

The Patient Choice, Affordability, and Responsibility, and Empowerment Act – This Obamacare replacement plan includes an "age-adjusted, advanceable, refundable tax credit to buy health coverage,” just like the AHCA. It was authored by, among others, former Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK), a legendary conservative and physician. 

The Empowering Patients First Act – This plan introduced over numerous Congresses by current HHS Secretary Tom Price was very popular with House conservatives. Last year, it had 84 co-sponsors in the House.

The Health Care Freedom Act of 2009 – The very first section of this bill provides for a "refundable tax credit for health insurance coverage." It was introduced by former Senator Jim Demint (R-SC), famed conservative and current president of the Heritage Foundation. 

The American Enterprise Institute (AEI) has also supported the policy. Here in a 2012 paper, an AEI scholar writes: "the reform approach advocated here would address this issue by providing anyone without a large employer health plan with a refundable tax credit that could be used only to secure health insurance coverage.” More recently, in 2016, AEI wrote: "A critical component of a replacement plan will need to be a refundable tax credit for health insurance for those households without access to employer-provided coverage." 

The Heritage Foundation has a very long record of supporting a refundable tax credit. Its website is packed with articles from its scholars proposing a tax credit similar to the one in the AHCA. In 2000, one scholar wrote: "Refundable tax credits represent the best way to address the problem of uninsurance.” The article insists on three criteria that are all explicitly in the AHCA. For just a few other examples, Heritage argued for the idea here in 2005, here in 2007, and here in 2010.

The 2017 Project was an effort spearheaded by conservative Bill Kristol. The plan it released last year says, "Ending the unfairness in the tax code by offering a refundable tax credit for the purchase of insurance through the individual market is the core element of a well-conceived alternative.”

And of course, there are other plans out there that, while approaching the issue in a different way, include tax credits for health care costs. The plan recently introduced by Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) for example, "Provides individuals the option of a tax credit of up to $5,000 per taxpayer for contributions to an HSA."

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This Is Regular Order: Speaker Ryan on Hugh Hewitt

2017/03/10

Summary: This morning, Speaker Ryan called into The Hugh Hewitt Show to discuss the American Health Care Act and how Republicans are repealing and replacing Obamacare through regular order.

Excerpt:

“This is regular order. This is how the system was supposed to work, unlike the way the Democrats did it. Let me step back.

“We spent January to June of 2016 designing this plan where every House Republican participated if they wanted to in how to design this plan. That gave us the Better Way agenda. It was basically modeled off of Tom Price’s legislation. And then, we introduced it to the country in June of 2016, and we all ran for election saying here is our plan to repeal and replace.

“Then, we win the election. Then, we proceed to work with the Trump administration, our Senate counterparts and the House Committees to take that plan and translate it into legislative text. Seven member meetings in February alone inviting feedback and explaining provisions to any House Republican who wants to see it.

“Then, you introduce it on Monday. The committees mark it up on Wednesday. Ways and Means, Commerce, now coming to Budget week 2. Week 3, Rules Committee and the floor. That is regular order. That’s as clear and transparent as it can ever get.”

Listen to the full interview here.

 

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Speaker Ryan Calls Into The Sean Hannity Show

2017/03/09

Summary: This afternoon, Speaker Ryan called into The Sean Hannity Show to discuss specifics of the American Health Care Act, clearing the air(waves) on some of the misconceptions surrounding the bill.

An improvement on the 2015 repeal bill “So 2015 wasn’t a full repeal either. It did the things that we are doing now: end the Medicaid expansion, defund the subsidies, kill the taxes, and kill the mandates. Those are the elements of repealing Obamacare that you can put through reconciliation, which basically guts the law. That’s exactly what we did in 2015 and no more. In this bill, we added our replace policy. That’s the only difference here is we basically said, President Trump and House Republicans said, we’re going to get one crack at this. The last thing we want to do is repeal it, and then have replace being filibustered. We want to repeal it, and put the replace in the repeal bill so that they can’t filibuster it so we can get House Republican conservative health care policy in place.” On tax credits as a so-called “entitlement”No, that’s not an entitlement. Letting people keep more of their own money and doing what they want with it is not an entitlement. . . . If you think letting people keep more of their own money and letting them do what they want with it is an entitlement, then you must believe this is Washington’s money. . . . So I don’t, for the life of me, understand why a person would say giving taxpayers tax credits is an entitlement.”

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Speaker Ryan Pays Tribute to Leader Robert H. Michel

2017/03/09

Today, we celebrate the life of The Honorable Robert H. Michel, the distinguished Leader from the State of Illinois. pic.twitter.com/7XahPIu6dv

— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) March 9, 2017

WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) today commemorated the life and legacy of former House Republican Leader Robert H. Michel, who passed away last month at the age of 93. The following are his full remarks as prepared for delivery at a memorial service for Leader Michel held in Statuary Hall of the United States Capitol:

“Ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon and welcome to our Old Hall. Today we celebrate the life of The Honorable Robert H. Michel, the distinguished Leader from the State of Illinois. On the day of his passing, it was my sad duty as Speaker to order the flags over the Capitol to be flown at half-staff. At this time, I want to ask the Capitol Police to present one of the flags from that day to the Michel family. “Bob Michel was a man of simple rituals. He pressed his own shirts. He whistled while he worked. He had time for everyone. Indeed, this is the kind of inclusive program the Leader would enjoy: three Republicans…two Democrats…and Ray LaHood. “This being a House event, we are about to hear some great stories. I want to start the bidding with two I have heard. One comes from Karen Haas, the Clerk of the House, a longtime aide to the Leader. Karen tells the story of a time she briefed the Leader on the details of a tax provision Bill Archer wanted to pitch. This way, they wouldn’t get bogged down about it on the floor. So they get to the floor, and sure enough, Archer sees the Leader and starts going into it. Well, the Leader proceeds to sit down and he says, ‘oh sure Bill, tell me ALL about it.’ Now Karen is fidgeting in her chair…But the Leader gently taps her, as if to say, this is the job. A leader takes a moment. A leader listens. “My predecessor, John Boehner, tells a story from his Gang of Seven days.  They were about to drop something big about the House bank. And Boehner, who is just a freshman, goes to the Leader and gives him a headsup. Here John is thinking, well now he’s gonna cut my legs off, he’s never going to speak to me again. And the Leader just nods and says, ‘well, you do what you have to do, and I have to do what I have to do.’ That was it. “Years later, when I was the rabble rouser causing John the problems, he showed the same decency to me.  And now I know who I have to thank…Bob Michel loved this place—this institution—but he really loved its people. He did not just shape events. He shaped people’s lives, and how they lived, and how they treated others. That is what makes a giant a giant. It is those values they instill in us…those moments that make you say, ‘I’ll never forget that.’ “Bob Michel had a lot of those moments in his good and long life. You wouldn’t know it given how humble and how genial he was. But today I hope he will permit us to speak out of order. So that we can give this great patriot—this man of the House—the due he so richly deserves. Thank you all for being here.”

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One Step Closer: Two House Committees Approve the American Health Care Act

2017/03/09

WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) today applauded the Ways and Means Committee and the Energy and Commerce Committee for approving the American Health Care Act, the first step in an open, transparent process:

“Two House committees have now approved the American Health Care Act. Next the bill goes to the Budget Committee as part of an open, transparent process.

“We promised to repeal and replace Obamacare, and now we are one step closer to giving families relief from this collapsing law. That means we are one step closer to going from a government-centered system to a patient-centered system, where you have lower costs, more choices, and greater control over your care.

“And—this is so important—we are one step closer to returning power from Washington back to states, to doctors, and to patients. Let’s come together. Let’s get it done.

“Read our bill online at readthebill.gop.”

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Watch Speaker Ryan’s Presentation on the American Health Care Act

2017/03/09

Yesterday, Speaker Ryan delivered a 30-minute presentation on the specifics of the American Health Care Act, explaining how it will repeal and replace Obamacare with a truly patient-centered system that increases access to quality, affordable coverage. In case you missed it, watch it in full here:

Learn more about the American Health Care Act on speaker.gov/healthcare. Read the bill at readthebill.gop

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Speaker Ryan on Fox News: Long-Standing Conservative Reform

2017/03/09

Summary: Last night, Speaker Ryan appeared on Fox News’s Tucker Carlson Tonight to discuss how the American Health Care Act is one of the three phases Republicans are rolling out to repeal and replace Obamacare with a patient-centered system.  

Excerpts:

This bill, which is the first phase of a three phase plan, is what we can pass without a filibuster in a budget bill. There are things like interstate shopping of health care, association of health plans to let people buy their health insurance nationwide buying pools, medical liability reform—all those things we very much believe in and part of our Better Way agenda, you cannot put in a budget bill, because then they can filibuster that entire bill.

So what we’re having here is: We’re passing this first installment, which is to gut Obamacare, repeal the mandates, repeal the taxes, repeal the spending. Then we replace it with conservative tax policy that has been long-standing conservative reform—health savings accounts, tax credits to go buy what you want to buy in state regulated marketplaces, not federal, and risk pools. This is something that conservatives, from the Heritage Foundation to AEI, have been pushing for years. And then the other pieces that we really believe in—Tom Price in phase two deregulates the marketplace. There are 1442 provisions in Obamacare that say the secretary has discretion. Tom Price is going to use that discretion to unwind Obamacare. And then phase three: Pass those other bills we very much believe in, like shopping across state lines, like medical liability reform…The point here is: we are keeping our promises. We’re excited about this. We’re taking one entitlement, we’re defederalizing it, and we’re capping it. The other entitlement, we’re repealing and replacing it with Republican conservative tax policy. This is nothing but a win for conservatives.”

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The American Health Care Act: A Four-Committee Process

2017/03/08

This week, we introduced the American Health Care Act, which keeps our promise to repeal and replace Obamacare. Read the bill here. Last month, Congress passed a budget resolution laying out an open, transparent process for this legislation. Let’s walk through it:

So this is a weeks-long process involving four House committees before the American Health Care Act can go to the floor for a final vote. Not only that, but remember that this bill is the culmination of an even longer process that dates back more than a year. Last February, Republicans set up a task force—co-chaired by now-HHS Secretary Tom Price—to hear ideas and take years of conservative health care ideas and combine them into one consensus plan. That bottom-up process resulted in the Better Way plan, which largely informed this legislation. As one outlet recently reported, “it’s clear we could have been reading House Speaker Paul Ryan's ‘A Better Way’ plan the whole time.”

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Conservative Health Care Reform

2017/03/08

The American Health Care Act is full of things conservatives should be happy about. #ReadTheBill https://t.co/jpNAQMaQuw pic.twitter.com/DXr2b1CQe3

— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) March 8, 2017

The American Health Care Act is conservative health care reform. It repeals Obamacare with all its mandates and spending, and replaces it with a truly affordable, patient-centered system. It is built on reforms conservatives have been pursuing for decades.

The Wall Street Journal writes that “The American Health Care Act would be the most consequential GOP social-policy reform since the welfare overhaul of 1996” because “it starts to correct many of the government-created dysfunctions that have bedeviled U.S. health care for decades.”

Conservatives should support the American Health Care Act because it:

Repeals Obamacare taxes in order to provide massive tax relief for families and for the cost of health care. As Americans for Tax Reform notes, “The Obamacare repeal bill abolishes 14 taxes that today siphon off nearly one trillion dollars from American Taxpayers each decade.”

Repeals Obamacare spending by phasing out Medicaid expansion and eliminating open-ended Obamacare subsidies that have soared alongside rising premiums.

Repeals Obamacare mandates on hardworking Americans and businesses so wages can rise and companies can grow.

Defunds Planned Parenthood to ensure taxpayer dollars don’t fund abortions, and sends that money to community health centers.

Reforms Medicaid by making it a per-capita block grant to give states the flexibility to better serve people in need. This is the biggest entitlement reform in a generation.

Strengthens HSAs by nearly doubling the amount you can contribute and giving you more flexibility to use them.

Creates a vibrant health insurance market where insurance companies compete for your business, meaning more purchasing power for you and your family.

Equalizes the tax treatment of health care so that the tax code no longer discriminates against people who don’t get coverage through their job.

Returns power from Washington to states, doctors, and patients.

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This Is What Good Conservative Health Care Reform Looks Like

2017/03/08

WASHINGTON—At a press conference with Republican leaders today, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) outlined how the American Health Care Act keeps our promise to repeal and replace Obamacare. Key Quote:It repeals Obamacare’s taxes, it repeals Obamacare’s spending, it repeals Obamacare’s mandates.

It creates a vibrant market where insurance companies compete for your business. Where you have lower costs, more choices, and greater control over your health care. And it returns power—this is most important—this returns power from Washington back to doctors and patients, back to states. This is what good, conservative health care reform looks like. It is bold and it is long overdue. And it is us fulfilling our promises.”

Opening Statement:

“This is a good day. The American people—the people we serve—they need relief from Obamacare now more than ever. You know why? Because this law is rapidly collapsing. Let’s not forget that.

“Premiums went up double digits this year in 31 states. Insurers are telling us it will be even worse next year if we stay on this path. Choices have dwindled to the point that one out of every three counties in America is left with just one insurer to choose from. The CEO of Aetna has stated that the law is in a ‘death spiral.’ So we know—without a shred of doubt—that this law is collapsing.

“That means this is the choice we face: Are we going to stay with Obamacare and ride out the status quo? Are we going to just let this law collapse and whatever happens, happens? Or are we going to do what we said we would do?

“Are we going to repeal and replace Obamacare with something better? This is the covenant that we made with the American people when we ran on a repeal and replace plan in 2016.

“This is what our bill does. Go online and read it for yourself. Go to readthebill.gop. It repeals Obamacare’s taxes, it repeals Obamacare’s spending, it repeals Obamacare’s mandates. It creates a vibrant market where insurance companies compete for your business. Where you have lower costs, more choices, and greater control over your health care. And it returns power—this is most important—this returns power from Washington back to doctors and patients, back to states.

“This is what good, conservative health care reform looks like. It is bold and it is long overdue. And it is us fulfilling our promises. So I encourage everyone to go online and read our bill at readthebill.gop.”

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Speaker Ryan Op-Ed: Our Health Care Plan for America

2017/03/08

By Speaker Paul RyanUSA Today

When I took the speaker’s gavel, I told my colleagues that it’s no longer good enough to just say what we’re against. We had to show what we’re for. That’s why last year we released a complete policy agenda—tracking closely with ideas from our presidential nominee, Donald Trump—to tackle all of the big challenges facing this country. The truth is, we have solutions to all of the many problems that Barack Obama left behind.

And there is no more urgent problem than Obamacare.

The collapsing law is driving up health care costs and driving out choices for American families. This year alone, premiums have gone up by double digits in 31 states. Choices have dwindled to the point that one out of every three counties in America has just one insurer to choose from.

Not too long ago, Bill Clinton called Obamacare “the craziest thing in the world.” He is on to something there.

That’s why we must end this law—repealing it once and for all. But rather than going back to the way things were, we must move to a better system that embraces competition and choice and actually lowers costs for patients and taxpayers.  

Introduced this week, the American Health Care Act keeps our promise to repeal and replace Obamacare. I hope you will read the bill online at readthebill.gop.

Our goal is to give every American access to quality, affordable health care. For families, that means lower costs, more choices and greater control. Let me walk you through how our plan will help get us there.

For starters, our bill repeals Obamacare. We cannot rebuild the American health care system on such a flawed foundation, and that’s why we eliminate Obamacare’s taxes, mandates and spending.

Next, and this is important, our plan ensures there will be a stable transition. As we move from a Washington-driven system to a more vibrant market, we will make sure no one has the rug pulled out from under them. This also means we will ensure vital protections for patients with pre-existing conditions and allow young adults to stay on their parents’ plan.

We will also give states more funding and flexibility to support high-risk pools and reinsurance programs. Where Obamacare was built on mandates and coercion that make coverage more expensive, our plan takes care of those in need without driving up costs for everyone else.

Next, while Obamacare just added people to a broken Medicaid system, we will strengthen Medicaid so that states have the tools they need to take care of their poor and most vulnerable populations at a lower cost. Our plan represents the most significant entitlement reform in more than 50 years.

Republicans have long said that we have to empower patients as consumers to spur competition and bring down costs. That’s why we will also nearly  double the amount of money you can contribute to health savings accounts to pay for out-of-pocket expenses. This will end Obamacare’s limits on how you save and spend your health care dollars.

Ultimately, we need a real marketplace for health insurance. Currently, the tax code discriminates against those who don't get coverage through their employer. To level the playing field, our plan offers an advanceable, refundable tax credit to those who don’t get insurance from work or a government  program. Instead of mandates forcing you to buy what the government wants, you will have real choices. Available to those under a certain income level, this tax credit will be age-based and portable so that you can take it with you from job to job.

And to help more people buy the kind of plan that fits their needs, we will get rid of costly insurance mandates and regulations.

In the weeks ahead, the House will consider this plan through an open and transparent process, including legislation to allow people to purchase health care across state lines. As we do, I encourage you to read the bill so you can see the changes we are proposing.

Here is the choice we face: Do we stay with Obamacare and the unsustainable status quo, or do we repeal it and replace it with something better?

The American Health Care Act offers a better way. It keeps our promise, begins to clean up the mess Obamacare has made, and builds a better system for all Americans. Now we must deliver.

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The Three Phases of Repeal and Replace

2017/03/08

From the start, we have been taking a step-by-step approach to repeal and replace Obamacare. Because building a better, patient-centered system is going to take more than just one bill.

As Speaker Ryan explained at his press conference, this approach has three overarching phases:

  • The American Health Care Act, which takes full advantage of the budget reconciliation process to avoid a Democratic filibuster;
  • Administration actions, notably by HHS Secretary Price, to stabilize the health insurance market, increase choices, and lower costs; and
  • Additional legislative policies, such as allowing individuals to purchase coverage across state lines, that by Senate rules cannot be included in a reconciliation bill.

Don't worry, getting rid of state lines, which will promote competition, will be in phase 2 & 3 of healthcare rollout. @foxandfriends

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 7, 2017

Here’s how Speaker Ryan put it:

“Let me describe to you what the three phases are…Number one is this bill, which we use as reconciliation. As you all know, you can’t filibuster a reconciliation bill so this repeal and replace bill is what we pass through reconciliation…Phase two: all the regulatory flexibility that the Secretary of HHS has to deregulate the marketplace to lower the cost and stabilize the marketPhase three is to pass the bills that we want to pass that we cannot put in reconciliation because of those budget rules. What’s an example of that? Interstate shopping across state lines. We love that policy, we think it’s critical, but as you well know, you cannot put that in a budget reconciliation bill.”

Here is what Secretary Price wrote in his letter to congressional leaders: “Achieving all of the President’s goals to reform healthcare will require more than what is possible in a budget reconciliation bill, as procedural rules on this type of legislation prevent inclusion of key policies such as selling insurance across state lines, lowering drug costs for patients, providing additional flexibility in Medicaid for states to manage their programs in a way that best serves their most vulnerable citizens, or medical legal reforms.” Secretary Price has also outlined the additional phases here

With Congress considering reconciliation legislation, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) continues its work on the next two steps: taking administrative actions that will create a healthier insurance market and alleviate the burden the current healthcare law imposed on Americans, and supporting work on legislation that will include reforms not permitted under reconciliation, such as purchase of insurance across state lines.”

Learn more about the American Health Care Act here.

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'It Keeps Our Promise': Speaker Ryan’s Press Conference on the American Health Care Act

2017/03/07

We have made a promise to #RepealAndReplace Obamacare, and we are going to keep it. #ReadTheBill pic.twitter.com/sVqo7oQvx6

— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) March 7, 2017

Summary: Today, Speaker Ryan held a press conference with Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Energy and Commerce Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) on the introduction of the American Health Care Actlegislation introduced by House Republicans to repeal and replace Obamacare.

Key Quote: “We made a promise to repeal and replace Obamacare with conservative solutions and reforms. That is exactly what this bill does, and that’s why we’re here.”

Opening Statement:

“This is the American Health Care Act. It’s been a long time coming. “This bill—the American Health Care Act—it keeps our promise to repeal and replace Obamacare. It delivers relief to Americans fed up with skyrocketing premiums and fewer choices. It moves us away from the broken status quo toward a better, patient-centered system. “That means lower costs for hardworking families. It means more choices and competition so that you can buy the plan that you need and that you can afford. It means greater control of your health care. “As you know, this is the culmination of a years-long, inclusive process that we’ve been doing here for years. Last June, as part of our Better Way agenda, we put forward our vision for health care. After the election, we began to work with our counterparts in the Senate and the Trump administration on this plan. “I want to thank President Trump, I want to thank Vice President Pence, and I want to thank Secretary Price for their support and their hard work in getting us to this repeal and replace point. “I also want to thank Chairman Brady, who’s going to be joining us in a minute, and Chairman Walden for their leadership. “Now this bill will go through the regular order process in the House. As it does, I encourage all Americans to read this bill online at readthebill.gop. Go online and read the bill at readthebill.gop. “Doing big things is never easy. But we have made a promise—and we are going to keep that promise. We made a promise to repeal and replace Obamacare with conservative solutions and reforms. That is exactly what this bill does, and that’s why we’re here.”

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The American Health Care Act: Fact Sheet

2017/03/07

The American Health Care Act:

Keeps our promise to repeal and replace Obamacare

  • Under Obamacare, premiums are soaring, choices are dwindling, and things are only getting worse. The head of a major insurance company recently stated that the law is in a ‘death spiral.’
  • The American Health Care Act rescues people from this collapsing law, and begins a stable transition to a patient-centered system that gives every American access to quality, affordable care.

A stable transition to a patient-centered system

  • With a stable transition, we will make sure that no one has the rug pulled out from under them.
  • Our plan protects patients with pre-existing conditions, and ensures young adults can remain on their parents’ plan.
  • Our plan protects access to quality care for the poor and most vulnerable.

Lower costs, more choices, and greater control over your health care

The American Health Care Act means lower costs, more choices, and greater control over your health care:

  • Protects the poor and most vulnerable by modernizing and strengthening Medicaid and giving states greater flexibility to serve the patients most in need. 
  • Helps middle-income Americans gain access to affordable coverage by providing advanceable, refundable monthly tax credits for people who don’t receive insurance through work or a government program.
  • Promotes more choice and competition among insurers by enhancing health savings accounts (HSAs) so that you have more freedom and flexibility with your health care dollars.
  • Empowers states to better serve people in need through patient-state stability funds that can be used to support high-risk pools, reinsurance programs, and cut out-of-pocket costs.
  • Eliminates costly insurance mandates so that consumers can more easily buy the kind of plan that fits their particular needs. 
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Secretary Price Sends Letter of Support for the American Health Care Act

2017/03/07

Today, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, M.D., endorsed the American Health Care Act on behalf of the Trump administration. In a letter to Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) and Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX), Secretary Price praised the Republican plan to repeal and replace Obamacare for its “patient-centered solutions that will provide all Americans with access to affordable, quality healthcare, promote innovation, and offer peace of mind for those with pre-existing conditions.”

View the full letter here or below, read the bill at readthebill.gop, and learn more about the American Health Care Act at speaker.gov.

March 7, 2017

Dear Chairman Walden and Chairman Brady:

On behalf of the Trump Administration, I am writing in support of the reconciliation recommendations recently released for consideration by your Committees. Together, they align with the President’s goal of rescuing Americans from the failures of the Affordable Care Act. These proposals offer patient-centered solutions that will provide all Americans with access to affordable, quality healthcare, promote innovation, and offer peace of mind for those with pre-existing conditions.

Your legislative proposals are consistent with the President’s commitment to repeal the Affordable Care Act; provide advanceable, refundable tax credits for Americans who do not already receive such tax benefits through health insurance offered by their employers; put Medicaid on a sustainable path and remove burdensome requirements in the program to better target resources to those most in need; empower patients and put healthcare dollars and decisions back into their hands by expanding the use of health savings accounts; ensure a stable transition away from the Affordable Care Act; and protect people with pre-existing conditions.

Achieving all of the President’s goals to reform healthcare will require more than what is possible in a budget reconciliation bill, as procedural rules on this type of legislation prevent inclusion of key policies such as selling insurance across state lines, lowering drug costs for patients, providing additional flexibility in Medicaid for states to manage their programs in a way that best serves their most vulnerable citizens, or medical legal reforms. Your proposals represent a necessary and important first step toward fulfilling our promises to the American people. We look forward to working with you throughout the legislative process, making necessary technical and appropriate changes, and ensuring eventual arrival of this important bill on the President’s desk.

Yours truly,

Thomas E. Price, M.D.

Secretary

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The American Health Care Act: What You Need to Know

2017/03/06

Obamacare has failed the American people. Over the past seven years, we’ve seen premiums skyrocket, choices dwindle, and government take more control over our health care. Left unchecked, the damage wrought by Obamacare would continue to spin out of control.

Enter the American Health Care Actlegislation introduced today by House Republicans to repeal and replace Obamacare. Our plan will create an environment for universal access to quality, affordable health care. It will help create more choices, lower costs, and give back control to individuals and families. It will move decisions away from Washington and into state programs, doctors’ offices, and family living rooms.

Of course, peace of mind is everything, and there will be a stable transition to make sure no one has the rug pulled out from under them. In addition, our plan takes care of people with pre-existing conditions and lets young adults stay on their parents’ plan. We will also work to ensure access to quality care for the poor and most vulnerable. Here’s how:

Modernize Medicaid

Medicaid is not sustainable in its current condition. By modernizing and strengthening the program, our reforms will empower states to create plans to best meet the specific needs of their citizens. It will put Medicaid on financial footing so it can do what it was designed to—protect the most vulnerable. It will help Americans in need of health coverage and return the focus of the program to its original intent.

Introduce the Patient and State Stability Fund

We have to repair the state insurance markets damaged by Obamacare. Our plan will do so through the Patient and State Stability Fund, allowing states to allocate resources in ways that will best take care of the most vulnerable of their populations. States can use these funds to support high-risk pools, cut out-of-pocket costs like premiums and deductibles, and promote health care accessibility. The Patient and State Stability Fund will give states the flexibility they need to care for their citizens.

Enhance Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)

Obamacare’s one-size-fits-all policies limit how individuals can spend and save their health care dollars. Our plan will do the opposite. By enhancing HSAs, we’ll empower individuals and families to spend their money how they see fit. This will create choice and competition among insurers. Ultimately, stronger HSAs will result in greater affordability and higher quality for Americans nationwide.

Provide Advanceable, Refundable Monthly Tax Credits

Obamacare subsidies are designed to drive people toward expensive, one-size-fits-all coverage—increasing costs and discouraging competition and work. After a stable transition period, our plan will repeal the open-ended subsidies and instead offer middle-income Americans an advanceable, refundable tax credit that empowers them as consumers. Available to those under a certain income who do not receive health coverage through work or a government program, these credits will be age-based, portable, and help create a true market for quality coverage. With this credit, we’ll incentivize competition to ensure there are quality, affordable plans for purchase.

Eliminate Costly Insurance Mandates

Obamacare mandates drive up the cost of coverage and stifle consumer choice. While the Trump administration has already acted to roll back the regulatory burdens of Obamacare, our plan will also reduce Washington control so consumers can more easily buy the kind of plan that fits their particular needs. These reforms will help provide consumers more affordable coverage options.  

Republicans made a promise to the American people—and today, we are turning those words into action. By repealing and replacing Obamacare, we will encourage greater choice, lower costs, and give power back to states and individuals.

This is the American Health Care Act.

BREAKING NEWS → We just introduced our bill to repeal and replace Obamacare. The American Health Care Act is a plan to...

Posted by Speaker Paul Ryan on Monday, March 6, 2017

 

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Contact Information

H-232 The Capitol
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-0600
Fax 202-225-5117
www.speaker.gov

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.