Speaker of the House

Paul Ryan

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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Statement on Introduction of the American Health Care Act

2017/03/06

 

WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement on introduction of the American Health Care Act:

“Obamacare is rapidly collapsing. Skyrocketing premiums, soaring deductibles, and dwindling choices are not what the people were promised seven years ago. It’s time to turn a page and rescue our health care system from this disastrous law. The American Health Care Act is a plan to drive down costs, encourage competition, and give every American access to quality, affordable health insurance. It protects young adults, patients with pre-existing conditions, and provides a stable transition so that no one has the rug pulled out from under them. “Working together, this unified Republican government will deliver relief and peace of mind to the millions of Americans suffering under Obamacare. This will proceed through a transparent process of regular order in full view of the public. I want to thank all of our members who have contributed their ideas, especially Chairman Walden and Chairman Brady, as well as Secretary Price and the Trump administration, for their commitment to keep this promise and get this right.”

Click here to read the bill.

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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Statement on Updated Executive Travel Order

2017/03/06

WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement on the Trump administration’s updated executive travel order:

“This revised executive order advances our shared goal of protecting the homeland. I commend the administration and Secretary Kelly in particular for their hard work on this measure to improve our vetting standards. We will continue to work with President Trump to keep our country safe.”

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Speaker Ryan Announces Annual Friends of Ireland Luncheon

2017/03/06

WASHINGTON—Today, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) announced that the annual Friends of Ireland Luncheon will be held on Thursday, March 16, in the Rayburn Room of the United States Capitol.

President Donald Trump and Prime Minister of Ireland Enda Kenny are scheduled to attend the St. Patrick’s Day tradition on Capitol Hill. The event was started in 1983 by President Ronald Reagan and Speaker Tip O’Neill as an ode to America’s commitment to peace and security in Ireland.

This is a great tradition that I am proud to carry on as speaker and as a Ryan with roots in Kilkenny,” Speaker Ryan said. “I am excited to welcome the Taoiseach and the president to the Capitol to honor the history between our peoples—and maybe tell a joke or two while doing so.”

Take a look back at last year’s Friends of Ireland luncheon and learn more about the tradition here

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Keeping Our Promise: Speaker Ryan Talks Obamacare Repeal with Bret Baier

2017/03/06

Summary: On Friday night, Speaker Ryan appeared on Fox News’s Special Report with Bret Baier to discuss how the House is working on repealing and replacing Obamacare through regular order.

Key Quote: “It is the plan that we ran on in all of 2016 that we said if we get the chance of having a Republican president, a Republican House, a Republican Senate, we’re going to repeal and replace Obamacare and this is what we’re going to replace it with. Well guess what—we are keeping that promise. And that is exactly what we are doing here.”

Excerpts:

Our committees that write these bills, working very, very closely with the administration, are fine-tuning the legislation. That’s what you have to do when you’re near the end of drafting a big piece of legislation like this. . . . So the [Energy and] Commerce Committee, the Ways and Means Committee—the two key committees in the House—they’re running point on this in the House.”

Let’s just review what we’ve been doing. Last year, in early 2016, we rolled out an Obamacare repeal and replace plan—we called that A Better Way. Go on the internet and read it. We ran on that plan. That plan resembled Tom Price’s legislation that so many people in Congress were cosponsors of. Then after the election came, and we won the election, we started putting that plan into legislative text, having hearings. . . . . We’ve been doing hearings all year long. Now we’re translating the findings of those hearings, that plan into legislative text—that’s the fine-tuning of the drafting that’s occurring. And then guess what? This bill’s not being written in my office like it was in Harry Reid’s office on Christmas Eve in 2009. This bill is being written by the committees that are in charge of health care, which is the regular order process. This bill will go through the committee process, go through the Budget Committee, then go to the floor of Congress under what we call regular order. That is precisely the most transparent and normal way of doing business—which is the opposite of what the Democrats did when they crammed Obamacare through.”

We’re doing this hand in glove with President Trump, with Tom Price, HHS secretary, with our counterparts in the Senate—we’re all working off the same piece of paper, the same legislation. . . . We’re talking about giving the states control of the Medicaid program, which is something conservatives have been fighting for for years. . . . And then on the tax front: We’ve long been saying we need to equalize the tax treatment of health care for everybody in America. Right now, the tax code discriminates against people who do not get health care from their jobs. There’s a huge tax benefit if you get health care at work. If you gotta go buy your health insurance, there’s no tax benefit for you. So what conservatives have long said is let’s equalize the tax treatment for health care so that it doesn’t matter if you get health care at work or not at work, let’s give you the same kind of tax benefit so that you can go buy what you want to buy. You can go into a free market as a consumer and buy the plan of your choosing—with Health Savings Accounts as well. This is what we have long stood on as conservatives. It is the plan that we ran on in all of 2016 that we said if we get the chance of having a Republican president, a Republican House, a Republican Senate, we’re going to repeal and replace Obamacare and this is what we’re going to replace it with. Well guess what—we are keeping that promise. And that is exactly what we are doing here.”

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Anti-Roundup: Never Let The Urgent Crowd Out The Important

2017/03/03

Everyone knows the rules: these are things we didn’t email out this week. Don’t get me wrong, the stuff we did e-mail out was great—especially this same-day series. I also recommend this refresher on our health care plan. But you get plenty of Friday roundups as is. That said, there are those moments in between, little things that remind me no matter what we’re snarking and stressing about, never let the urgent crowd out the important. Let’s do this:

1. By now, you know that Speaker Ryan sat down with Matt Lauer for a TODAY Show interview about the news of the day. But they also took a walk around the place, and Matt showed viewers “the best view in Washington” (live!) and some of the unique parts of the Capitol—the views and stories that bring people here every day from all around the world.

2. Big week for Wisconsin meetings, including one with Disabled American Veterans. This was on Wednesday, right before the Speaker went to the White House to have lunch with the president. Classic example of an in-between moment.

Congress is sending another bill to the president's desk. The Inspire Women Act will help young women pursue and succeed in #STEM careers. pic.twitter.com/VQy6cun47m

— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) February 27, 2017  

3. This week, the president signed two bipartisan initiatives to encourage more women to pursue careers in science, including one authored by Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-VA). As we’ve said before, bipartisanship isn’t rare—it’s just rarely noted.

4. Restoring upward mobility and the American Idea is the Speaker’s core mission every day. On Tuesday afternoon, before the joint session, he went over to the Library of Congress for an event with Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC), Rep. Mark Walker (R-NC), and the leaders of historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). (Busy day!)

 

Congratulations to @realbencarson. Together, we will work to get more Americans out of poverty and onto the ladder of opportunity.

A post shared by Speaker Paul Ryan (@speakerryan) on

Mar 2, 2017 at 9:25am PST

5. I really like this photo. (Folks, follow us on Instagram. That’s where the best behind-the-scenes stuff is.) As always, thank you for reading. When it comes to our content—and really anything we do here—thecompliments go to the team, complaints go to me. Have a good weekend.

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A Helpful Explainer on the Border Adjustment Tax

2017/03/03

There’s a lot of jargon floating around these days about tax reform, and one of the most commonly misunderstood terms is the border adjustment tax. But peel back some of the misinformation and scare campaigns, and, as this short video by TIME correspondent Haley Sweetland Edwards explains, it’s actually rather simple.

This proposal is one component of the GOP tax blueprint, which, as many American manufacturing CEOs have pointed out, will help level the playing field for our businesses.

As President Trump explained on Tuesday night, “Right now, American companies are taxed at one of the highest rates anywhere in the world. . . . We must create a level playing field for American companies and our workers. We have to do it.

We agree. That’s why we are determined to enact a pro-growth tax code that brings back jobs from overseas, lowers taxes for hardworking families, and revitalizes the American economy.

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

Read more: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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Speaker Ryan: A Quick Refresher of Repeal and Replace

2017/03/02

Summary: Earlier today at his weekly press conference, Speaker Ryan provided an update on the steps Republicans have taken to repeal and replace the failing health care law.

Key Quote: “We told America: Here's our vision for how we replace Obamacare after we repeal Obamacare. That's the bill we're working on right now. That's the bill we're working on with the Trump administration. We're all working off the same piece of paper, the same plan.”

Excerpt:

“Let me give you a quick refresher of history: We have been running on repealing and replacing Obamacare since 2010. In 2016, the House, in a bottom-up way, set a working group together—the [Energy and] Commerce Committee, the Ways and Means Committee, the Education and Workforce Committee, and then any other member of Congress who cares about this issue participated in a working group to come up with a plan for what we would replace Obamacare with. Much of it was modeled off the Tom Price legislation, which we, as conservatives, have always seen as sort of the gold standard for replacing Obamacare. He's now the Secretary of HHS. 

“That is the bill, the plan that we ran on in 2016. We told America: Here's our vision for how we replace Obamacare after we repeal Obamacare.

“That's the bill we're working on right now. That's the bill we're working on with the Trump administration. We're all working off the same piece of paper, the same plan.

“So we are in sync—the House, the Senate, and the Trump administration, because this law is collapsing. And you can't just repeal it. You have to repeal it and replace it with a system that actually works, and that is exactly what we are doing. And I am perfectly confident that, when it's all said and done, we're going to unify because we all—every Republican—ran on repealing and replacing, and we're going to keep our promises.”  

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Speaker Ryan Condemns Recent Anti-Semitic Attacks

2017/03/02

I join @POTUS in condemning anti-Semitic attacks and threats on #JCCs. The House stands with the Jewish community. pic.twitter.com/7MAgRhYzDu

— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) March 2, 2017  

WASHINGTON—At his weekly press conference this morning, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) condemned recent anti-Semitic incidents across the country, including at a Jewish Community Center near Milwaukee, Wisconsin: “I want to take a moment to echo the president’s strong condemnation of recent anti-Semitic incidents that have been taking place across the country. “Across this country, we have seen vandalism, acts of desecration, and bomb threats. “In Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin—right outside the district I serve, a community right on the north side of Milwaukee—there have been two threats on the Jewish Community Center there—a community center I have been to—one as recently as February 20th.

“To think about parents getting those calls in the middle of the day, it makes your stomach turn. “This is wrong. 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, on behalf of every Republican and every Democratic member, on behalf of the whole House, I want to assure our friends in the Jewish community that we stand with them. We stand with you. We have got to stand to help root out this evil wherever it may surface.” These are disgusting acts of violence and vandalism and bigotry, and must be rejected.

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8 Photos: Who Speaker Ryan Welcomed to the Capitol

2017/03/02

From early morning to late at night, Capitol Hill was buzzing with activity on Tuesday. As Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan is also the de facto host for Joint Session events. In that spirit of hospitality, here are some of the folks who Speaker Ryan welcomed to the Capitol complex.

1. The TODAY Show – Matt Lauer kicked off The TODAY Show live from the Capitol and spoke with Speaker Ryan about the issues of the day.

2. TV Correspondents - In keeping with tradition, the Speaker invited several national television correspondents to the Capitol for breakfast to talk about the president's upcoming address.

3. Wisconsin Veterans – Representatives from Wisconsin’s VFW and American Legion met with Speaker Ryan to talk about improving care for veterans.

4. Educators – At the Library of Congress, Rep. Mark Walker and Sen. Tim Scott hosted a discussion on education and the economy with leaders from Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

5. A Fellow Speaker – Speaker Gingrich and Speaker Ryan take every opportunity they can to talk policy — even at a reception before the president’s address.

6. The Widow of a Fallen Police Officer – Elizabeth Snyder and her brother, Officer Justin Sparks, came to the Capitol as guests of Rep. Rodney Davis and Rep. Ann Wagner. Last fall, Elizabeth’s husband was killed in the line of duty when he was responding to a disturbance at 5am.

7. Vice President Pence – He may serve as the Vice President, as well as the president of the Senate, but for last night, it was good to have Vice President Pence back in the House of Representatives. (And with such a stylish tie choice!)

Glad to have my good friend Vice President Mike Pence back in the House of Representatives last night for the President's address.

Posted by Speaker Paul Ryan on Wednesday, March 1, 2017

 

8. And of course, the President of the United States – It was his first address before a joint session of Congress, and as Speaker Ryan described it, "That was a home run."

That was a home run. President Trump delivered a bold, optimistic message to the American people. We now have a...

Posted by Speaker Paul Ryan on Tuesday, February 28, 2017

BONUS Video – Want to see who else came to the Capitol? Check out the 2 minutes worth of behind-the-scenes photos and video originally posted to @SpeakerRyan’s Instagram story.

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Statement on Meeting with Indian Foreign Secretary Subrahmanyam Jaishankar

2017/03/01

WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement after meeting with Indian Foreign Secretary Subrahmanyam Jaishankar:

“The relationship between the United States and India is rooted in shared values of democracy and freedom. We had a great opportunity today to build on this critical partnership by discussing ways to enhance our economic and defense cooperation. In our meeting, I expressed the House’s condolences on the death of Srinivas Kuchibhotla, who was senselessly murdered last week in Kansas. Our peoples must continue to stand together, and I look forward to working with Foreign Secretary Jaishankar in the years ahead."

Read More

President Trump: ‘We Must Create a Level Playing Field’

2017/03/01

Last night, President Trump laid out a path to delivering on our bold agenda, including fixing our broken tax code to deliver lower taxes for working families and a level playing field for our businesses.

“Right now, American companies are taxed at one of the highest rates anywhere in the world,” he explained. “My economic team is developing historic tax reform that will reduce the tax rate on our companies so they can compete and thrive anywhere and with anyone. It will be a big, big cut. . . . We must create a level playing field for American companies and our workers. We have to do it. Currently, when we ship products out of America, many other countries make us pay very high tariffs and taxes. But when foreign companies ship their products into America, we charge them nothing, or almost nothing.”

We agree. That’s why our plan will encourage companies to bring jobs back from overseas and do businesses right here at home. And don’t just take our word for it. A growing coalition of American business leaders have already embraced our proposal as the best way to jumpstart our economy.

And, CNBC reported today that the White House praised the GOP tax blueprint in a meeting with conservative activists.

We haven’t overhauled our tax code in more than three decades. Now, with a unified Republican government, we finally have an opportunity to get this done for the country.

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

Learn more:

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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United In Our Pledge to Repeal and Replace Obamacare

2017/03/01

In his first joint address to Congress, last night President Trump laid out a path to success—including one toward our promise to repeal and replace Obamacare. Working with the Trump administration, Congress will introduce patient-centered reforms that lower costs and increase accessibility to quality plans that fit individual needs.

As Speaker Ryan said after the speech, “Congress and the White House are united in our promise to repeal Obamacare and replace it with a patient-centered system. Tonight, we made progress on that pledge as President Trump demonstrated that he and the House are coalescing around a particular replacement plan, including a tax credit to help individuals buy a health plan that fits their needs.”

In the event you had an early bedtime last night, here’s a recap of what President Trump had to say:

Trump Gives Nod to Republican Tax-Credit Proposal on Obamacare (Reuters)U.S. President Donald Trump backed the use of tax credits to help people purchase health insurance in a speech to Congress on Tuesday. . . . ‘We should help Americans purchase their own coverage, through the use of tax credits and expanded Health Savings Accounts,’ Trump said. ‘But it must be the plan they want, not the plan forced on them by our government.’”

Trump: ‘We should help Americans purchase their own coverage’ (AP)“In his first speech to a joint session of Congress, Trump embraced a key element of the emerging House GOP health plan. . . . he announced his support for tax credits to help consumers buy health care.”

Donald Trump Asks Congress to Unite Behind Health Care, Tax Overhauls (WSJ)Mr. Trump repeated his promise to overturn the 2010 health law . . . . He backed the use of tax credits to help people buy coverage, expanding health savings accounts to pay for treatment and said governors needed the resources to continue to fund their Medicaid programs for the poor.”

President Gives Congress Five Principles for Obamacare Replacement (CNBC) “…He laid out five key measures he wants lawmakers to adopt in replacement legislation for Obamacare. ‘Tonight, I am also calling on this Congress to repeal and replace Obamacare with reforms that expand choice, increase access, lower costs, and at the same time, provide better health care,’ Trump said. ‘Obamacare is collapsing—and we must act decisively to protect all Americans. Action is not a choice—it is a necessity.’”

Trump: ‘The way to make health insurance available to everyone is to lower the cost of health insurance’ (The Hill) “Trump called again for repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act. ‘Mandating every American to buy government-approved health insurance was never the right solution for America,’ he said. ‘The way to make health insurance available to everyone is to lower the cost of health insurance, and that is what we will do.’”

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President Trump lays out a path to success:

2017/03/01

Last night, President Trump delivered a bold, optimistic message  to the American people. He laid out a path to keep the promises we have made and deliver on our agenda to improve people’s lives:

Repeal and Replace Obamacare President Trump: “Tonight, I am also calling on this Congress to repeal and replace Obamacare with reforms that expand choice, increase access, lower costs, and at the same time, provide better health care. Mandating every American to buy government-approved health insurance was never the right solution for America. The way to make health insurance available to everyone is to lower the cost of health insurance, and that is what we will do. . . . we should help Americans purchase their own coverage, through the use of tax credits and expanded Health Savings Accounts –- but it must be the plan they want, not the plan forced on them by the Government.”

  • Obamacare is collapsing, and we need to deliver relief to Americans struggling under this broken law. That’s why we are taking a step-by-step-approach to repeal and replace Obamacare with patient-centered reforms that give every American access to quality, affordable care.  

Enact Pro-Growth Tax Reform President Trump: “My economic team is developing historic tax reform that will reduce the tax rate on our companies so they can compete and thrive anywhere and with anyone. At the same time, we will provide massive tax relief for the middle class. We must create a level playing field for American companies and our workers.”

Fix the Regulatory System President Trump: “We have undertaken a historic effort to massively reduce job‑crushing regulations, creating a deregulation task force inside of every Government agency; imposing a new rule which mandates that for every one new regulation, two old regulations must be eliminated; and stopping a regulation that threatens the future and livelihoods of our great coal miners.”

  • Obama-era executive branch regulations have been crushing our economy and stifling growth. Congress has already taken action to repeal a number of these job-killing rules so our businesses can grow and prosper, and this work will continue in the days ahead.

Retweet if you are glad to have a @POTUS who knows empowering the people—not Washington—is the way to build a better future for America. pic.twitter.com/3XOJ929h96

— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) March 1, 2017

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Today’s Congressional Review Act Restores the Separation of Powers

2017/02/28

This is about more than repealing a bad regulation. This is about reining in federal bureaucrats and restoring the separation of powers.

In 2012, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals sided with a private company over the Department of Labor in a suit about an alleged recordkeeping violation—and it did so for one, very specific reason: that citation was beyond the six month window to file such complaints, as defined by law.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act, Congress authorized the Department of Labor to issue citations to private companies for violating recordkeeping regulations. However, the law is clear: this period must be limited within the last six months of the citation. This protects private companies from potential crusades by bureaucrats in Washington.

But instead of adhering to the court’s decision and the law written by Congress, the Obama administration sought to expand its authority—unlawfully. The Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) finalized a new rule in December, which extended the statutory limit to five years—effectively overturning the court’s decision.

As Speaker Ryan has said many times, the Constitution is clear: Congress writes laws, not the president or the executive branch.

What we have here is an agency simultaneously going around Congress and overturning a federal court’s decision. Not exactly the separation of powers the Framers had in mind. Furthermore, the rule would make millions of American businesses easy targets for federal agencies—while doing nothing to protect American workers.

That’s why we are using the Congressional Review Act to repeal this Obama-era rule. It’s time to restore the separation of powers and protect American businesses from overzealous bureaucrats.

NOTE: Take stock of our current CRA action-to-date here.

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Speaker Ryan Responds to President Trump's Joint Address to Congress

2017/02/28

That was a home run. President Trump delivered a bold, optimistic message to the American people. We now have a...

Posted by Speaker Paul Ryan on Tuesday, February 28, 2017

WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement following President Trump’s first joint address to Congress:

That was a home run. President Trump delivered a bold, optimistic message to the American people. We now have a government unified around a simple, but important principle: Empowering the people—not Washington—is the way to build a better future for our country. This is a president who is serious about tackling our biggest challenges and improving people’s lives.

“Obamacare is one of the biggest challenges that the American people face. Congress and the White House are united in our promise to repeal Obamacare and replace it with a patient-centered system. Tonight, we made progress on that pledge as President Trump demonstrated that he and the House are coalescing around a particular replacement plan, including a tax credit to help individuals buy a health plan that fits their needs.

“From repealing and replacing Obamacare to revamping our outdated tax code and keeping our country safe from the threat of radical Islam, we are committed to working with the Trump administration to deliver results. In fact, we have already delivered results on multiple fronts—including repealing harmful regulations that have hamstrung our economy. There is a lot more work to do, and we are ready to keep working for the American people. I want to thank President Trump for putting us on a path to a better future.

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Statement on WOTUS rule

2017/02/28

WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement on President Trump’s executive action regarding the Obama administration’s Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule:

“The Obama administration’s sweeping WOTUS rule has been a disaster for Americans in the West. This regulation is a federal power grab of epic proportions. It takes management authority away from the people who depend upon water to make a living. That’s why the House voted to repeal it last year. I welcome President Trump’s review of this rule and hope it will be repealed once and for all. The livelihoods of America’s farmers, ranchers, and cattlemen are at stake.” 

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#JointSession Preview: “A Bold, Optimistic Message”

2017/02/28

Here at the Capitol this morning, House leaders held a press conference ahead of President Trump’s first address to Congress. Speaker Ryan talked about how special and important this moment is:

“We are excited to welcome President Trump to the Capitol tonight.  We expect him to deliver a bold, optimistic message to the American people.

“Of course, anytime a new president speaks in this House chamber, it is an absolute tribute to our democracy. But tonight it has particular importance.

“What I think the president recognizes—what we all recognize—is that this is a once-in-a-generation moment. It is a once-in-a-generation opportunity. We have the opportunity to finally tackle big problems that have held us back for so long.  We can fix our health care system so that costs go down and choices go up. We can fix our broken tax code so that rates go down and growth goes up.  We can fix our regulatory system so that it protects us instead of punishing us. And we can secure our border, and rebuild our military for the 21st century. These are big, positive things we can achieve for the hardworking Americans we work for, by working together.

“That is why we are very much looking forward to having the president here tonight. It is a chance for the country to hear directly from him about our agenda, and how we intend to improve people’s lives. We have a lot of work ahead of us, and we are ready and willing to seize this moment.

ALSO:

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Keep Those Reg Bills Rolling

2017/02/28

One thing the president is sure to talk about in his address tonight is the work we are doing to protect jobs and grow our economy.

The Congressional Review Act is one powerful way we are fighting bad regulations. But that’s certainly not the only way. We will vote on three important bills this week that rein in the regulatory state.

1. The Searching for and Cutting Regulations That Are Unnecessarily Burdensome (SCRUB) Act sets up a five-year commission that will analyze the current regulations on the books. It will flag regulations that are ripe for repeal—those that are out of date, out of line, or are simply costing taxpayers too much money. 

2. Remember when the EPA engaged in a social media campaign regarding the controversial Waters of the United States rule? Yeah, that was illegal.  The Regulatory Integrity Act would make headway in preventing these types of abuses of taxpayer money before they happen by increasing transparency. It creates a searchable database that makes it clear to the American public and to Congress the state of current regulatory actions.

3. The third bill is one that codifies good rulemaking procedures to ensure that the federal government gathers adequate input from state, local, and tribal governments.  H.R. 1009 also ensures that the federal government is transparent and undertaking best practices in developing and implementing regulation.

That’s it for now, but stay tuned for more Congressional Review Act actions tomorrow. 

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#JointSession: Key Takeaways From Speaker Ryan’s TODAY Show Interview

2017/02/28

Speaker Ryan sat down with Matt Lauer this morning ahead of President Trump’s first address to Congress. Here are a few highlights from their interview, which took place in the Speaker’s office, the Rotunda, and National Statuary Hall:

  • Our plan to repeal and replace Obamacare: “People want peace of mind in the health care system. People want to be able to have choices in the health care system. We want to get costs down. We want to get people more choices. We believe in a patient-centered system, where all the providers of health care services—be they hospitals or doctors or insurance companies—compete for our business as patients, as consumers. We should make the decisions, not some distant government bureaucrat.”
  • The president’s speech tonight: “What I’m hoping, and I believe we’re going to hear from the president, is inspirational, is let’s go fix problems. We ran on solutions. We need to deliver for the American people. And I think it’s going to be a speech that speaks to all Americans… We’ve got big problems to fix in this country, and if we don’t tackle our problems in America, they will tackle us. And we have to do this together, as all Americans. And that’s the kind of tone and temperament I’m expecting from tonight’s speech.”
  • The privilege to serve: “This is an amazing opportunity. I look at this job…look at this place, it’s breathtaking. … I think, 'how did a kid from Janesville, Wisconsin, who grew up waiting tables, washing dishes, mowing lawns, working at McDonalds, end up doing this?' Only in America. So, to me, I just get a sense of awe and I appreciate the opportunity and responsibility that comes with it.”

Bonus highlight: Get the answer to the question: “Who’s #1 on Speaker Ryan’s speed dial?” 

Who's #1 on @SpeakerRyan's speed dial? His wife! @MLauer is going behind the scenes at the capitol #TODAYonthehill! https://t.co/7TOSlZjDPG

— TODAY (@TODAYshow) February 28, 2017

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“A Bold Agenda Ahead Of Us”: Speaker Ryan's Remarks After Meeting with President Trump

2017/02/28

WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) delivered the following remarks after meeting with President Trump at the White House:

“A BOLD, OPTIMISTIC MESSAGE FOR THE AMERICAN PEOPLE”

“Well, the majority leader and I just had a fantastic meeting with the president. He talked to us about how he is going to lay out a bold, optimistic message for the American people in his speech tomorrow. We’re excited to have the president in the Capitol. We’ve got a lot of work to do because we have to get on with solving people’s problems. The goal of what we’re trying to achieve is to improve people’s lives. We’ve got a bold agenda ahead of us, and the president is going to lay it out and why it’s going to make a difference in people’s lives. And that’s why we’re excited to have the president come tomorrow.”

“WE HAVE TO STEP IN AND PREVENT OBAMACARE FROM GETTING WORSE”

“We have to remember one thing: Obamacare is collapsing under its own weight right now. Plans are pulling out right now. Obamacare, to quote a head of an insurance company, is in a death spiral. So this is a rescue mission. We have to step in and prevent Obamacare from getting worse, from collapsing, and we will replace it with a law that’s better, that’s more durable, that lowers costs, improves access to more affordable plans. But more importantly, we’re not going to sit in the government and force people to buy something they don’t want to buy. We’re going to give people choice and freedom, and that’s what a patient-centered health care system does. And that is one of the reasons we must repeal and replace Obamacare, and that is top of our list this spring.”

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Three Things: Countdown to the #JointSession

2017/02/28

Tomorrow night, shortly after 9:00 p.m. ET, President Trump will make his first address to a joint session of Congress. You can watch the speech live on whitehouse.gov. As you begin the countdown to the speech, we’ve got you covered: 

Tomorrow on TODAY... @mlauer is live at the Capitol with @SpeakerRyan. #TODAYontheHill pic.twitter.com/k2JeZNsS2g

— TODAY (@TODAYshow) February 27, 2017  

MORNING Tune in at 7:00 a.m. ET as Speaker Ryan sits down with Matt Lauer for an interview on NBC’s TODAY Show. Lauer will co-anchor the program from the Capitol, and take viewers on a first-of-its-kind live tour of the building. Watch on NBC, or if you’re on the go, listen on SiriusXM Channel 108.

 

24 hours from now, #PresidentTrump will deliver his first address to a #JointSession of Congress. Follow along here (and on #Instagram Stories) for behind-the-scenes photos and video.

A post shared by Speaker Paul Ryan (@speakerryan) on

Feb 27, 2017 at 6:04pm PST

NOON There won't be too much calm before the storm, so follow @SpeakerRyan on Instagram for behind-the-scenes content from all around the building. Pro tip: pay special attention to our Instagram Stories. NIGHT We know once the night gets underway, you have a lot of options for your second screen. The best way to get real-time reaction and updates, 140 characters at a time, is by following @SpeakerRyan on Twitter.  Earlier today at the White House, Speaker Ryan offered this preview of the president's speech:

 

Just had a fantastic meeting with @POTUS. He is going to lay out a bold, optimistic message for the American people in tomorrow's address. pic.twitter.com/kxEO5Lr4e9

— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) February 27, 2017
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Tomorrow: Watch Speaker Ryan's Live Interview on The Today Show

2017/02/27

Join us tomorrow morning as Speaker Ryan sits down with Matt Lauer for a live interview on NBC’s TODAY ShowThey'll talk ahead of President Trump's first address to Congress.

  • Speaker Ryan will appear throughout the first half-hour of the program, which begins at 7:00 a.m. ET. Watch on NBC, or if you're on the go, listen on SiriusXM Channel 108.
  • Lauer will co-anchor the program from the Capitol, and take viewers on a first-of-its-kind live tour of the building.
  • Speaker Ryan last appeared on TODAY in January 2016, before President Obama’s final State of the Union address. 
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8 Photos from Speaker Ryan's Border Tour

2017/02/25

Speaker Ryan and his congressional delegation arrived in McAllen, Texas, on a record hot February day—98 degrees—with a busy schedule ahead of them. They came to listen and to learn from the experts who know best about border security. Now, in eight photos, here is what the speaker saw and did during his tour of the Rio Grande Valley.

1. Arrival - Speaker Ryan meets with men and women charged with keeping the border secure. Here, Chief Ronald Vitiello of the U.S. Border Patrol welcomes him to McAllen Station. 

2. Aerial Observation - Chairman Michael McCaul of the House Homeland Security Committee and Speaker Ryan tour the Rio Grande Valley in a Black Hawk helicopter for a bird's eye view of the topographical and logistical challenges with keeping the border secure.

3. Horse Patrol - Because of the terrain in South Texas, sometimes the best technology to get around is simply a horse. The Rio Grande Valley Horse Patrol has almost 40 horses that are adopted from the wild and trained for the field, and as the speaker attested after his own ride on one, "Those mustangs are great movers."

4. River Tour - Speaker Ryan tours the Rio Grande in a U.S. Border Patrol boat. The Rio Grande Valley Sector is responsible for operations along 316 river miles and leads the nation in deterred illegal entries, apprehensions, and narctocs seizures. Photo by NBC News

5. Security Briefing - Chief Manuel Padilla of the Rio Grande Valley Sector Border Patrol briefs the congressional delegation on both the challenges and the success stories of securing the border in South Texas. In total, the RGV sector has more than 3,000 agents, covers more than 300 miles of territory, and has constructed 54 miles of fencing.

6. McAllen Station - The McAllen Station is responsible for protecting and defending the homeland for a 53-mile stretch along the Rio Grande. Here, Chief Padilla explains the processing system for illegal immigrants who are apprehended by the RGV Border Patrol.

7. Local Leaders - Speaker Ryan meets with local leaders to listen and learn more about the challenges they face in their communities along the border. Several city and county elected officials were in attendance, as well as Bishop Daniel Flores of Brownsville and Sister Norma Pimentel, Executive Director of Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley.

8. Speaker Selfie - A Border Patrol agent takes a quick selfie with the speaker.

Following his tour of the Rio Grande Valley, Speaker Ryan praised the work of all the law enforcement working to protect our borders and reaffirmed Congress' commitment to supporting them in that effort.

BONUS VIDEO -  Speaker Ryan takes a Border Patrol mustang for a ride.

Related: 

  1. Speaker Ryan Tours Rio Grande Valley
  2. In Rio Grande Valley, Speaker Ryan Meets with Local Leaders
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GOP Tax Blueprint 'Could Lead to a Lot More Jobs in the United States'

2017/02/24

Yesterday, President Trump was asked about the GOP tax blueprint, and he rightfully noted it's all about jobs.

“It could lead to a lot more jobs in the United States,” the president told Reuters.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer echoed that sentiment at his daily briefing yesterday as well. "That benefits our economy, it helps American workers, it grows the manufacturing base," Spicer said.

They're absolutely right. 

Just this week, a broad coalition of American business leaders came out strongly in support of our tax reform agenda. In a letter to Congress, they explain how the proposal would level the playing field for our businesses and incentivize them to jobs back from overseas: “This reform is consistent with the tax policies of nearly every other country in the world, and it would effectively end the ‘Made in America’ tax that creates and unfair advantage for foreign-based companies at the expense of U.S. jobs and economic growth.”

This followed a new report from the nonpartisan Tax Foundation that found how these reforms would help the United States leapfrog the rest of the world in terms of tax code competitiveness.

It’s been over thirty years since we last overhauled our tax code. The system we have today is broken, but we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to fix it. We are determined to get this done on behalf of the American people.

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

Learn more:

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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Week in Review: Republicans Talk Obamacare Repeal and Replace Nationwide

2017/02/24

During this week’s district work period, Republican lawmakers all over the country participated in roundtables, town halls, interviews, and more to deliver the news that Obamacare repeal and replace is on the way. Here’s a quick glimpse:

Town Halls and Roundtables

Rep. Andy Barr (R-KY) met with rural hospital administrators and nurses to discuss increased access to quality, affordable health care.

Reps. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) and Mike Burgess, M.D. (R-TX) held a health care reform roundtable in Bismarck, ND, where they met with state officials and health care professionals to discuss repealing and replacing Obamacare. The state leaders responded with a unified message: “Lift regulations and let us innovate.”

Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) held a tele-town hall with more than 5,800 northeast Georgians to discuss the Republican plan to repeal and replace the failing health care law.

Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY) delivered a concise message at his town halls: “Obamacare is not functioning. It's producing a lack of choice. It's causing doctors not to accept patients. It's causing people to lose insurance. So we have to move forward.” He also recognized that there’s common ground to be found during this process: “We needed care for . . . preexisting condition, the reforms on allowing kids to be carried forward on their parents' plan. So we can find agreement there.”

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) participated in a roundtable with local health care leaders to discuss ways to reduce health care costs that have been inflated by Obamacare.

During a town hall, Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI) explained why repealing and replacing Obamacare is so important: “When the Affordable Care Act passed, you've got to remember the promises that were made. . . . You were told a family of four would on average see their premiums go down by $2,500 a year. You were told if you have a healthcare plan you like, you could keep your healthcare plan. If you had a doctor you liked, you could keep your doctor. Those things have not come to pass. . . . I think we have to take a step back and ask, 'How do we make healthcare work?”

Interviews and Op-Eds

House Budget Committee Chairman Diane Black (R-TN) discussed patient-centered health care on WBIR Knoxville. Watch her full interview here.

Rep. Mike Burgess, M.D. (R-TX) appeared on MSNBC’s For the Record with Greta Van Susteren to discuss how House Republicans will fix America’s health care system that’s been damaged by Obamacare.

Rep. John Moolenar (R-MI) wrote an op-ed in the Lansing Street Journal welcoming civil discussion as legislators walk the path toward a stronger health care system:  “We all want a personalized patient-centered system that provides care for Americans. . . . Health care is a serious issue that directly affects all of us, and I welcome your thoughts on it.”

Reps. Keith Rothfus (R-PA), Mike Kelly (R-PA), and Bill Shuster (R-PA) wrote an op-ed for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette explaining that relief from Obamacare is on the way for those who need it most: “It’s time for change. We have no choice but to scrap this failed program and replace it with a system that gives Pennsylvanians access to the care they need, at a price they can afford and from a doctor they choose.”

The Georgia Republican delegation— Reps. Buddy Carter (R-GA), Drew Ferguson (R-GA), Rob Woodall (R-GA), Doug Collins (R-GA), Jody Hice (R-GA), Barry Loudermilk (R-GA), Rick Allen (R-GA), and Tom Graves (R-GA)—wrote an op-ed for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution about rescuing the U.S. health care system with ideas from the #BetterWay agenda: “We are going to replace Obamacare with a 21st century health care system that empowers patients.”

Obamacare has failed—how do we fix it? Reps. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO), Sam Graves (R-MO), Billy Long (R-MO), Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO), Jason Smith (R-MO), and Ann Wagner (R-MO) tackled that question in an op-ed for Fox News—read it in full here.

Rep. Daniel Webster (R-FL) wrote an op-ed on why House Republicans are working on bringing our health care system into the 21st century.

Bonus Material

Rep. Trent Kelly (R-MS) sent a newsletter to constituents highlighting the progress made thus far in the 115th Congress toward a patient-centered health care system.

Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-IL) answered a series of questions from his constituents on YouTube, like how to reduce health care costs and increase coverage choices.

Rep. David Young (R-IA) released a newsletter earlier this week welcoming honest conversation about health care.

 

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Speaker Ryan Welcomes Miami University of Ohio Students to Capitol Hill

2017/02/23

It’s a busy time on Capitol Hill, making it the perfect opportunity for college students to get a behind-the-scenes look at the speaker’s office. That’s exactly what happened last week, when Speaker Ryan sat down with a group of students from Miami University of Ohio—his alma mater—who are spending the semester in D.C.

Speaker Ryan got to speak with 17 students—two of whom are economics and political science majors, just like he was—about a litany of topics from repealing and replacing Obamacare to achieving other conservative economic goals like tax reform and regulatory relief. Yes, even the Stream Protection Rule was discussed, legislation passed by the House and recently signed into law by President Trump to protect American coal mining jobs.

Speaker Ryan fielded questions from almost every RedHawk at the table and explained what we’re working on here in Congress. It was a conversation that, as evidenced by the photo above, was the right mix of fun and informative. These bright students will surely turn into leaders of tomorrow.  And Congress is never too busy to welcome and inspire these students. 

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In Rio Grande Valley, Speaker Ryan Meets with Local Leaders

2017/02/23

I met with local leaders in the Rio Grande Valley to learn about the challenges they face along the southern border. https://t.co/UILnoc4oKn pic.twitter.com/TWyKNIChri

— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) February 23, 2017

Yesterday, as part of his tour of the Rio Grande Valley, Speaker Ryan met with nearly a dozen local leaders from throughout the Rio Grande Valley region of Texas to listen and learn more about the challenges they face in their communities along the southern border.

The speaker made clear that Congress is committed to securing the border by providing law enforcement professionals the tools and support they need to stop the flow of illegal immigration. He also recognized the importance of partnering with local communities to develop effective border security measures and solutions for cross-border trade.

The local leaders expressed their appreciation for Speaker Ryan and the congressional delegation spending time in South Texas to truly understand the complex set of issues involved with border security, especially as it relates to those communities closest to our southern border. They also encouraged the delegation to pursue economic policies that would lead to mutually beneficial relations between the United States and Mexico.

To that end, Speaker Ryan reaffirmed his commitment to modernizing trade agreements with our neighbors, and he highlighted the House Republican plan for tax reform, which would help level the playing field so that American job creators can compete with the rest of the world. 

In their own words:

Mayor Tony Martinez of Brownsville

"Speaker Ryan, on Wednesday afternoon, held a meeting with local leaders that, in my opinion, was the most productive to date, inasmuch as the conversation was truly an exchange of the reality that exists currently in the Rio Grande Valley."

Judge Eddie Trevino of Cameron County

"Ensuring and improving legitimate trade and travel across our borders must be the starting point for any reform efforts on border security, taxes and trade policy, and I appreciate the Speaker's genuine commitment to understanding the Rio Grande Valley's priorities as he navigates the start of this legislative process."

Mayor Chris Boswell of Harlingen

"It was important to the people of Harlingen who live, work and thrive here for the Speaker of the House to come and meet those in our community and have an open ear to our priorities and concerns.  He conveyed his desire to ensure the conversation will continue, and I appreciate his level-headed tone and approach to the discussion."

Judge Ramon Garcia of Hidalgo County

"The Speaker led by example, and I would encourage more Members of Congress to follow his lead and that of Senator Cornyn in coming to the border and educating themselves first so they think before they speak on issues of such importance to our country."

Mayor Jim Darling of McAllen

"The meeting with Speaker Ryan was a unique opportunity for our local government officials to give an in-person viewpoint of the impact of the recent and proposed federal actions on our citizens. Speaker Ryan and Chairman McCaul's participation in the discussion was both heartening and informative."

Judge Eloy Vera of Starr County

"I appreciate Speaker Ryan coming to the Rio Grande Valley and seeing first hand the people and lands on the front lines of the border security debate. It was clear to me he came here to learn, listen and cut through the rhetoric, and I look forward to our community working with him and our congressional delegation in the months ahead."

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Speaker Ryan Tours the Rio Grande Valley

2017/02/22

MCALLEN, TEXASHouse Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and a delegation of House lawmakers from southern border states toured the Rio Grande Valley today to observe border security operations. The delegation began the day with an aerial examination of the area on helicopters, followed by a horse patrol demonstration and a Border Patrol boat tour. After a visit at McAllen Station, Speaker Ryan also met with local leaders to learn more about the challenges they face in their communities along the southern border. Upon the conclusion of his tour, Speaker Ryan offered the following statement.

"When you see with your own eyes the many challenges facing our law enforcement professionals along the border, it gives you even greater respect for the work that they do day-in and day-out. But more tools and more support are needed for them to do their jobs effectively. Congress is committed to securing the border and enforcing our laws, and together with the Trump administration, we will get this done." 

Members of the Speaker's Delegation:

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI)

Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX)Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security

Rep. John Carter (R-TX), Chairman of the Homeland Security Subcommittee

Rep. Martha McSally (R-AZ), Chairwoman of the Border and Maritime Security Subcommittee

 

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Congressional Review Act Progress in Review

2017/02/22

You’ve heard us talk a lot about the Congressional Review Act (CRA) over the past couple of months. Let’s, well, review, why it’s so important.

Significance: There are huge Obama-era regulations that are choking the economy and costing jobs and taxpayer money. Using the CRA to repeal regulations that were rushed through at the last minute of the administration is the quickest, most sure-fire way to undo President Obama’s liberal, jobs-crushing legacy.

History: Enacted in 1996, the CRA gives Congress a path to repealing harmful, costly regulations. Here’s how it works: Congress has 60 days from when the administration finalizes a rule to review it and vote on the rule. If Congress disapproves of the rule, it goes to the Senate, where it is exempt from the filibuster. It only requires 51 votes to get to the president’s desk. In the last Congress, we passed CRAs to hold President Obama accountable, forcing a veto that showed the American people where he stands.

Today: The good news is that now, with a new Republican president who understands how harmful these regulations are, these regulation repeal bills will become law. We’ve made CRAs the first priority of the 115th Congress. Why? 1) We are determined to give Americans immediate relief from President Obama’s harmful regulations, 2) Economic growth is at stake, and most importantly, 3) Because CRAs have a 60 legislative day time clock, the window to act on these midnight regulations is now.

CRA Progress:

Signed into law: 4

Stream Protection Rule: Repeals Department of Interior rule that could eliminate one-third of American coal mining jobs.

Resource Extraction: Repeals Securities and Exchange Commission rule that hurts American oil and gas companies on the world stage.

Unemployment Insurance Drug Testing:  Repeals Department of Labor rule that severely limits the ability of states to implement drug testing. 

Background Check Database: Repeals Social Security Administration rule that bars Americans from their Second Amendment rights under the Constitution without due process.

Pending Presidential signature: 6

Resource Management Planning 2.0: Repeals Bureau of Land Management’s rule that significantly shifts resource management decisions from states to federal government.

Blacklisting Regulation: Repeals rule that empowers federal government bureaucrats to deny government contracts based on alleged violations without due process. 

Every Student Succeeds Act—Accountability, state plans, and reporting: Repeals Department of Education rule that dictates stringent federal accountability requirements and violates the law’s prohibitions on the Education secretary’s authority.

Unemployment Insurance Drug Testing:  Repeals Department of Labor rule that severely limits the ability of states to implement drug testing. 

Higher Education Act – Teacher Preparation Issues: Repeals Department of Education regulation that unilaterally increases federal control in education.

Non-Subsistence Take of Wildlife: Repeals Fish and Wildlife Service rule that preempts state rules on hunting season for certain predator species on National Wildlife Refuges, which will limit the hunting season in Alaska and beyond.

 

House passed: 4

Methane Rule: Repeals Bureau of Land Management’s rule that regulates emissions on federal lands, effectively driving energy production from federal lands.

Title X Planned Parenthood: Repeals Health and Human Services regulation overriding state laws that prohibit federal funding of Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers in their states. 

Department of Labor Savings – Part 1: Repeals Department of Labor rule that would effectively force employees into state government retirement accounts with fewer protections and less control over their savings.

Department of Labor Savings – Part 2: Repeals Department of Labor rule that extends this provision to cities and municipalities, forcing employees into city government retirement accounts with the same problems.

We will continually update our CRA progress report, so you can see when these important regulation repeals become law. 

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American Manufacturing Leaders Embrace Republican Tax Plan

2017/02/21

Today, a coalition of American manufacturing leaders urged Congress to pass the Republican plan to overhaul our broken tax code.

“We applaud your efforts to pursue tax reform that is both big and bold,” they wrote in a letter to congressional leadership. “Incremental tweaks will not level the playing field or dramatically reinvigorate economic growth. If we miss this chance to fundamentally reshape the tax code, it might take another 30 years before have another chance to try it.”

That’s no joke. The last time we got real tax reform done was the year Speaker Ryan got his driver’s license. These opportunities only come around once in a generation, and we need to seize them.

Our plan will vault the U.S. tax code to among the most competitive in the world, ensure a level playing field for American businesses, and encourage companies to bring jobs back from overseas and manufacture products here at home. A key paragraph from the letter states:

“A critical element of the House blueprint is the provision that ensures goods and services produced abroad face the same tax burden as those produced in the United States. This reform is consistent with the tax policies of nearly every other country in the world, and it would effectively end the ‘Made in America’ tax that creates an unfair advantage for foreign-based companies at the expense of U.S. jobs and economic growth.”

This will rejuvenate our economy, foster innovation, and help create sustainable, good-paying jobs in the United States. That’s why we must finally get this done for the American people.

Learn more:

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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Republican Plan Will Vault U.S. Tax Code to the Top

2017/02/17

America has the worst tax code in the industrialized world. Now we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to fix it https://t.co/Or15bzLFyq pic.twitter.com/u4qwXwaPbY

— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) February 16, 2017

“America has the worst tax code in the industrialized world. It is killing economic growth. It is driving companies to become foreign companies. More and more and more U.S. companies are going to leave this country because of our tax laws.”

That was Speaker Ryan yesterday at his weekly press conference. So, just how bad is it, and just how much better can we do if we fix our tax code?

Well, the nonpartisan Tax Foundation’s International Tax Competitiveness Index ranks our tax code behind all but four Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) member nations. This means our tax code is putting American businesses at a steep disadvantage to our foreign competitors.

Now we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to change this.

A new report from the Tax Foundation analyzes the impact of the Republican tax plan on American economic competitiveness—and the results of staggering.

According to the assessment, “If the U.S. were to enact this reform, the U.S.’s ranking would improve significantly on the Index. Our tax code would move from 31st plan (out of 35 countries) to 3rd, just behind Estonia and New Zealand.”

This plan will make America’s tax code so competitive and so pro-growth that we will leapfrog from almost dead last to the front of the pack. That’s why we are so determined to finally get tax reform done. Leveling the playing field for our businesses and providing incentives to bring jobs back from overseas would revitalize the economy and help  more Americans get back to work.

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

Learn more:

A Tax Code to Level the Playing Field

Momentum Builds for Republican Tax Plan

A Destination-Based Tax Code to Increase American Competitiveness

A Simpler and More Competitive Tax Code 

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A Productive Start to the First 200 Days: Speaker Ryan on Hannity

2017/02/17

Summary: Last night, Speaker Ryan appeared on Fox News’s Hannity to discuss the progress Congress is making during the Trump administration’s first 200 days.

Key Quote: We have all of these things that we ran on that we said we would do—we’re now in the middle of doing those things.”

The First 200 Days “The reason we’re doing regulatory reform right now is we have a certain window of time where we can go back into the Obama administration and cancel their regulations. It’s a law called the Congressional Review Act, and it has a shelf life of just a couple of months. And so we’ve been consuming February and March [with] regulatory reform, going back into the Obama administration and canceling their regulations. First, it’s regulatory reform, because we had this window of time to cancel bad Obama regulations, then we’re doing Obamacare. After we’re done with Obamacare, then we’re doing our budget. And our budget—the second budget, which will be tax reform. So we’re doing two budgets in one year, which has never been done before. This is faster than it’s ever been done before. You have to understand: There’s a legislative process, and we have all of these things that we ran on that we said we would do—we’re now in the middle of doing those things.”

This will be the most productive presidency and Congress in our lifetimes.”

Obamacare The plan is to repeal and replace this law, like we said. We ran on a plan to repeal and replace it. Tom Price helped write that plan. He is now Donald Trump’s Secretary of HHS.”

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Statement on Leader Robert H. Michel

2017/02/17

WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement in tribute to former House Republican Leader Robert H. Michel, who has passed away at the age of 93:

“On November 29, 1994, an extraordinary thing happened on the House floor. Outgoing House Speaker Tom Foley, a Democrat from the Pacific Northwest, asked outgoing Minority Leader Bob Michel, a Republican from central Illinois, to take the gavel and preside over the House. More than a symbolic gesture, it was a fitting sendoff for a happy warrior revered for his decency and commitment to what’s right.

“A half-century earlier, as a combat infantryman, Bob Michel was in the Battle of the Bulge. He was at Normandy too. For his service in World War II, he received two Bronze Stars and the Purple Heart.

“I did not have the privilege to serve with Leader Michel. But I do have the honor of working every day in the office in the Capitol that bears his name. What a name and legacy it is. What a life well-lived by this great and gracious man. Today the members of the House—past and present—mourn with the family and friends of our former colleague and leader.”

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Statement on Stream Protection Rule CRA Signed into Law

2017/02/16

WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) released the following statement after President Trump signed H.J. Res. 38 into law. This legislation repeals the Department of Interior’s stream protection rule under the Congressional Review Act.

“Today, we delivered on another promise. The Department of Interior’s stream protection rule—which is now repealed—could have wiped out one-third of American coal mining jobs. Coal country will finally receive relief from the Obama administration’s eight-year war on affordable energy. This regulatory reprieve is just the beginning. Congress will continue to stand up for American workers by abolishing harmful regulations and revitalizing our economy.”

Related:

1. This is the first regulation repeal going to President Trump's desk: 

2. Poorly-crafted regulations that hurt people? Not on our watch. 

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Next Steps on Repeal and Replace: Remarks from Weekly Press Conference

2017/02/16

Summary: This morning at his weekly press conference, Speaker Ryan discussed the House’s plans to introduce legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare following the President’s Day work period. Key Quote: “Here is what is important for us all to understand: Obamacare is not simply stuck in some kind of status quo. It is getting worse by the day, and it will keep getting worse unless we act.”

Transcript:

“After the House returns following President’s Day, we intend to introduce legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare.

“It has become increasingly clear that this law is collapsing. People’s premiums are getting higher and higher. Their deductibles are soaring. And their choices are dwindling to the point that so many families have no choice left at all.

“But if it was not already clear, look at the events that happened this week. On Tuesday, another major insurance company announced that it, too, will leave the marketplace. In its decision, Humana cited a lack of young people signing up—a problem that has dogged Obamacare for years now. In many areas, Humana is the only carrier left, so this will mean even more instability.   “And then on Wednesday, the CEO of Aetna—another large insurance carrier—said that Obamacare is in a ‘death spiral.’ His words. “Here is what is important for us all to understand: Obamacare is not simply stuck in some kind of status quo. It is getting worse by the day, and it will keep getting worse unless we act. “We need to rescue people from this collapsing law, and we need to replace it with a true patient-centered system. One that gives every American access to quality, affordable coverage. “That means more choices and lower costs. It means real protections and peace of mind. And it means returning your care to your control. Patients and doctors should be making the big decisions—not government bureaucrats. “Step by step, this is what our plan to repeal and replace Obamacare will do. We look forward to making progress in the coming weeks and keeping our promise to the American people.” 

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House Repeals Rule Threatening American Pastime

2017/02/16

Another day, another good Congressional Review Act bill aimed at dismantling bad Obama regulations. 

Today, we’re tackling the Fish and Wildlife Service rule that undermines Alaska’s management of the federal lands within its state. Alaska is home to some of the most abundant and diverse wildlife in the world. Sportsmen come from all over to hunt the game. However, more than 60 percent of Alaska is owned by the federal government. That creates a tricky situation when it comes to the state managing its land. Congress has made it clear in numerous laws: Delegation by the federal government to the state governments—which know the land and its people best—is the proper approach.

However, this regulation, which the House is repealing today, overruled Alaska’s right to sustainably manage its own fish and wildlife resources and made it it more difficult for Americans to hunt, fish, and enjoy the unparalleled outdoor experiences that Alaska provides. Dozens of state, local, and national wildlife and sportsmen groups objected to this rule while it was being developed. But the Obama administration pushed it through at the last minute anyway.

What’s more, the repercussions wouldn’t end with Alaska. This regulation would create a harmful precedent for the federal government to seize more control in other states, which threatens the flourishing of America’s hunting and fishing.

That’s not acceptable for Speaker Ryan, who is an avid hunter, and it’s not acceptable for many Americans across the country.

This is another Obama-era regulation that upends the balance of federalism and hurts an American pastime. That’s why the House will vote to repeal it today, continuing to keep our promise to provide relief to people threatened by harmful regulations.

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Statement on Meeting with Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu

2017/02/16

Today, Prime Minister @netanyahu and I redoubled our commitment to strengthening the U.S.-#Israel alliance. https://t.co/vzfBrX1X21 pic.twitter.com/tstMS6D9yz

— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) February 16, 2017

WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement after meeting with Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu:

“Today, Prime Minister Netanyahu and I redoubled our commitment to strengthening the historic alliance between the United States and Israel. We discussed the need to hold Iran accountable for its actions, bolster Israel’s qualitative military edge, and push back against international efforts to delegitimize the Jewish state. The special relationship between our nations has been an anchor of stability during uncertain and dangerous times. It must remain a cornerstone of American leadership today. I want to thank Prime Minister Netanyahu for his unwavering friendship and support.”

 

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The Urgency of Obamacare Repeal: Speaker Ryan’s Interview on Morning Joe

2017/02/15

Summary: It’s been a busy 24 hours on the Obamacare front, with more bad news for consumers already struggling with higher premiums and fewer choices. Amid these developments, Speaker Ryan appeared on Morning Joe to talk about the urgency of rescuing people from this collapsing law. Key Quote: “Assuming that the status quo can stay with Obamacare is wrong—it’s collapsing as we speak. Humana, I think, just announced yesterday they are pulling out. ... So that’s one of the reasons why we’re doing Obamacare first because we’ve got to rescue people from this collapse. And we feel an obligation to do that.”

We’ve Got To Rescue PeopleAssuming that the status quo can stay with Obamacare is wrong—it’s collapsing as we speak. Humana, I think, just announced yesterday they are pulling out. ... The Blue Crosses are on their last breath in these plans. So the status quo isn’t staying put—it is collapsing. So that’s one of the reasons why we’re doing Obamacare first because we’ve got to rescue people from this collapse. And we feel an obligation to do that.”

The #Obamacare status quo is not staying put. This law is collapsing as we speak. https://t.co/yGRuCIspc3 pic.twitter.com/XYYaA1no5l

— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) February 15, 2017

More Plans and More Competition “We've long said that people ought to be able to stay on their insurance until they're 26 years of age. With respect to pre-existing conditions, we think the better and smarter policy is to revitalize our risk pools at the state level with federal financing. So I see sort of a cooperation between the federal government and the state government. We don’t want to have the federal government overregulate all of health insurance. It's why we only have one plan left in five states, one plan left in 33 percent of the counties in America. So we do want to go back to states' rights, so that you can have competition. More plans, more competition that's a good thing.” Urgency  “We have to do Obamacare first in our first budget, and the reason we have to do it first is because the law is collapsing so fast. The insurance companies need to know what the lay of the land is going to look like in 2018. And if we waited and did Obamacare in the summer, you would have so many pullouts. You would have people with zero plans left. So, we really feel that because the law is collapsing, there’s an urgent nature.”

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House to Vote to Protect Taxpayers from Funding Abortion

2017/02/15

In December, at the 11th hour of its tenure, the Obama administration pushed through a rule that effectively forces states to fund abortion services through Planned Parenthood.

Tomorrow, using the Congressional Review Act, the House will vote to strike down that rule.

This legislation fulfills two promises made to the American people:

1. It restores federalism, giving states their rightful powers under the Constitution.

The Health and Human Services rule bans states from withholding Title X funds from organizations that perform abortions, like Planned Parenthood.  Many states have distributed these funds, not to Planned Parenthood, but to effective community health centers that do not perform abortions. Ultimately, states know the needs of their communities better than bureaucrats in Washington. But this regulation strips states of their longstanding ability to decide how federal funds should be used in their state. This repeal would restore the proper balance of powers.

2. It is pro-life.

Taxpayers should not be forced to fund abortion, plain and simple. Just a few weeks ago, hundreds of thousands of people came to Washington, D.C. to demonstrate their commitment to life. Speaker Ryan has long been a defender of the right to religious liberty, and this regulation violates that right.

The federal government should not be in the business of forcing Americans to fund abortion procedures. That’s why we will vote to repeal this morally reprehensible provision. 

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We Saw This Coming: Another Major Insurer to Exit Obamacare

2017/02/15

We were warned Obamacare exchanges would see less competition and choice in 2018—and over the past 24 hours, two insurers have turned that fear into a reality.

“Humana to drop out of Obamacare marketplace at the end of 2017.” That headline flooded inboxes yesterday afternoon—one more sign that things are only getting worse under Obamacare.

But that’s not all. Just this morning, Aetna’s CEO declared that Obamacare markets are in a “death spiral,” predicting even more insurers will leave in the coming weeks. With shrinking competition in individual markets, incentives for Americans to sign up for coverage are dwindling. Now, incentives for insurers to stick around are fading, too.

The Humana news follows the decisions last year by insurance giants United and Aetna to leave the Obamacare markets. Here was Speaker Ryan’s reaction to Humana’s decision during his interview on Morning Joe:

Assuming that the status quo can stay with Obamacare is wrong—it’s collapsing as we speak. Humana, I think, just announced yesterday they are pulling out. So we’ve seen United pull out, we’ve seen Aetna pull out, we’ve seen Humana pull out. The Blue Crosses are on their last breath in these plans. So the status quo isn’t staying put—it is collapsing. So that’s one of the reasons why we’re doing Obamacare first because we’ve got to rescue people from this collapse. And we feel an obligation to do that.”

WHY THIS HAPPENED

Humana cited two main reasons for its decision: One, “the market has not stabilized enough to participate next year,” and two, the company “is losing money from taking on too many sick people without enough healthy people to balance the pools.” 

In other words: Obamacare markets are not sustainable. Aetna’s CEO admitted “it’s getting worse.” As designed, the system relies on young, healthy Americans to keep it afloat. Unfortunately, people just aren’t buying it, making health care across America less affordable. Last October, POLITICO delved into “Obamacare’s millennial problem”:

“The 18- to 34-year-olds who helped elect Barack Obama could consign his signature domestic policy achievement to failure. That’s because not enough millennials have signed up for Obamacare to make it work well. Despite repeated outreach—including entreaties from all manner of celebrities, including NBA stars and Obama himself —young people make up less than 30 percent of Obamacare customers. The White House had set a goal of 40 percent in that age bracket to sustain a healthy marketplace…”

Unfortunately, we saw this comingit’s more bad news for the country as a result of the collapsing health care law. As Speaker Ryan said Tuesday, “Insurers should compete for your business, and treat you fairly.” But as evidenced by the latest development, under the current system, they aren’t able to.

That’s why Republicans are pursuing solutions that will increase competition, lower costs, and put the patient back in control. Using ideas introduced last summer, we are working to repeal Obamacare and replace it step-by-step. We believe in a system that encourages choice and prioritizes the patient, not Washington’s mandates. It’s time to restore the competition that gives Americans the control and flexibility over their health care that they deserve.  

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Republican Steering Committee Recommends Rep. Diane Black for Budget Chair

2017/02/14

Pleased to recommend @RepDianeBlack as next chair of @housebudgetGOP. https://t.co/wziQ30FYhK pic.twitter.com/5frWauNzxh

— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) February 14, 2017

WASHINGTON—The House Republican Steering Committee today recommended that Rep. Diane Black (R-TN) be named chairman of the House Budget Committee. Rep. Black has served as interim Budget Committee chair since January 3, 2017, when Dr. Tom Price, the new Secretary of Health and Human Services, stepped aside to focus on his confirmation process. “Diane Black has devoted her time in Congress to tackling the big challenges, from patient-centered health care to pro-growth tax reform,” House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) said. “Diane has already hit the ground running as our interim Budget Chair, and we could not be more pleased to recommend her to succeed Dr. Price. Her experience and commitment to solving problems will serve the committee and the country well in the work ahead.  This recommendation will be presented to the full House Republican Conference on Thursday for official ratification.

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Statement on First CRA Bill Signed into Law

2017/02/14

WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) released the following statement after President Trump signed H.J. Res. 41 into law. Passed by Congress under the Congressional Review Act, it repeals burdensome Dodd-Frank regulations on the energy industry.

“This is the first of many Congressional Review Act bills to be signed into law by President Trump. H.J. Res. 41 repeals regulations that would have put American oil and natural gas companies at a disadvantage on the world stage, and actually could have threatened the safety of American workers abroad.

"Congressional Review Act legislation provides relief for Americans hurt by regulations rushed through at the last minute by the Obama administration. This means freeing up American entrepreneurs, creating jobs, and jump-starting our economy. The House continues to take up Congressional Review Act initiatives this week.”

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What Health Care Should Look Like: Speaker Ryan’s Remarks from Leadership Press Conference

2017/02/14

Summary: This morning at a press conference with Republican leaders—including Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) and Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR)—Speaker Ryan explained why House Republicans are working to repeal Obamacare and replace it with an improved health care system.

Key Quote: “Instead of more mandates, you should have the freedom and the flexibility to choose the plan that best meets your needs. Instead of more bureaucracy, the patient and the doctor should be at the center of our health care decisions. Instead of all this uncertainty—instead of worrying about whether or not you have to find a new plan or a new doctor—you should have real peace of mind. That’s what our health care system should look like.”

Transcript:

“Our promise to repeal and replace Obamacare is about two big things. First, it is about rescuing people from this collapsing law, where the premiums are getting higher and higher, and the choices are getting fewer and fewer, to the point where people just have no choices left at all. This law is in a collapse and we have an obligation to rescue people from that collapse. “It’s also about building a stronger health care system for the country. One that gives every American access to quality, affordable care. Instead of fewer choices, we want our health care system to be truly competitive. Insurers should compete for your business, and treat you fairly. “Instead of more mandates, you should have the freedom and the flexibility to choose the plan that best meets your needs. Instead of more bureaucracy, the patient and the doctor should be at the center of our health care decisions. Instead of all this uncertainty—instead of worrying about whether or not you have to find a new plan or a new doctor—you should have real peace of mind. That’s what our health care system should look like.

“All of this will help lower costs and end the annual sticker shock of higher premiums. “I fully recognize and respect the strong feelings that people have about this issue. We should be passionate about this issue. It is about people’s lives. This affects every person and every family in America. “That is why we are taking a step-by-step approach. So people can see the changes that we are making, so that they can see how they will help. And, working with Secretary Price, we will have a stable transition, where no one has the rug pulled out from under them while we work toward a better, more stable system. “So this step-by-step approach will rescue people from Obamacare’s collapse, and give every American access to affordable, quality health care. “This is how we will deliver on our promise to the American people. This is why we are doing what we are doing. We have to stop the collapse. And we have better ideas that have been time-tested that will make sure we give the American people the kind of relief they deserve.” 

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One of Our Greatest Love Stories

2017/02/14

On behalf of the whole House, I want to extend our best wishes to the Bush family. 

This Valentine's Day, we are reminded that George H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush are not just national treasures. Together, they are part of one of the greatest love stories in our history, more than seven decades running. 

And we are keeping them in our thoughts.

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Statement on Meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

2017/02/13

I appreciated the opportunity to welcome Canadian Prime Minister @JustinTrudeau to the Capitol this afternoon. https://t.co/fMMWSUthlj pic.twitter.com/9Wt3WmVkJ6

— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) February 13, 2017

WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement after meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau:

“I appreciated the opportunity to welcome Prime Minister Trudeau to the Capitol this afternoon. We had a productive discussion focused on ways to deepen ties between the U.S. and Canada with respect to trade and national security. This means reaffirming our commitment to NATO and increasing economic cooperation to make our nations more prosperous and secure. I also reemphasized the importance of breaking down trade barriers and improving market access for America’s dairy farmers. We look forward to continue strengthening the U.S.-Canada relationship.”  

 

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Meet the 103-year-old survivor of Pearl Harbor.

2017/02/10

Last week, Speaker Paul Ryan welcomed a very special guest: Jim Downing, the centenarian survivor of Pearl Harbor.

Now 103 years old but sharp as a tack, Jim brought Speaker Ryan back to that fateful day. He was at his home with his wife during the initial wave but immediately raced down to the harbor to help. He jumped aboard the USS Tennessee to help keep the fire from reaching the ammunition on board.

What did he feel that day? In short, Jim said, at first he felt shock, then fear, then shame and regret that America’s leaders could have been duped by the Japanese.

Speaker Ryan thanked Jim for sharing his story. He said it’s so important that Jim continue to tell Americans that story, so that “we don’t read history in a sterile way” and so Americans can fully understand—in a vivid way—the sacrifices made for freedom. Following December 7, 1941, Jim had a long and distinguished career in the navy, including in the Korean War and during the hydrogen bomb test. He currently lives in Colorado, and was accompanied by his representative in the House, Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO).

Jim Downing spoke with great hope and appreciation for the younger generation of Americans, who he has noted are especially interested by the history and thankful for their freedoms and the men and women who protect them. 

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Another Important Week toward Repealing and Replacing Obamacare

2017/02/10

Another Friday, another week’s end recap. Here are a few highlights from this week’s work toward repealing and replacing Obamacare:

Committee Action

  • On Tuesday, the Energy and Commerce health subcommittee advanced two bills to strengthen Medicaid. As Chairman Michael Burgess, M.D. (R-TX) said, both bills would reduce spending by hundreds of millions of dollars, “freeing up resources” for those who need it most. More info on these two bills here
  • That same day, the Small Business Committee held its first hearing of the 115th Congress to examine the health care marketplace for small businesses, when it discovered two things: One, Obamacare has had a disastrous impact the market; and two, ideas from the #BetterWay plan could reverse this course and improve access to quality, affordable health care. More on that hearing here

Helpful Reads

  • Last month, American Action Network (AAN) ran a survey to test whether the Democrats’ new slogan “Make American Sick Again” was registering with the American people. Unfortunately for the Left, it’s not. “Nearly six in 10 respondents say they do not believe that efforts to repeal Obamacare will make America sick again, including 65 percent of independents,” AAN’s Corry Bliss wrote, explaining why the average person is fed up with Obamacare’s failures and supports replacing it with a stronger system. Read the full piece here.
  • A new GAO report stressed the importance of updating Medicaid’s oversight and data collection. Currently, less than half of states are submitting new, updated data to the program—resulting in misallocation of federal payments, among other blunders. As House Energy and Commerce Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) said in a joint statement, “This GAO report reiterates that much work needs to be done to improve data integrity at CMS on the behalf of both taxpayer and patients.” 
  • Speaker Ryan discussed repealing and replacing Obamacare on PBS NewsHour: “Remember the promises of Obamacare: lower prices, more choices . . . those things did not happen. We believe we can make good on those kinds of promises, which is improve access to affordable health care coverage.” Watch his interview in full here. (Watching an interview doesn’t really count as a “helpful read,” but you get the gist.)

Senate Confirmation

For more information on the Republican plan to repeal Obamacare and replace it with patient-centered, affordable health care reform, visit speaker.gov.

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Statement on Dr. Price's Confirmation as HHS Secretary

2017/02/10

WASHINGTON—Today, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement upon confirmation of Dr. Tom Price as Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services:

"For Americans struggling under Obamacare, today is a big step forward. Having Dr. Tom Price at the helm of HHS gives us a committed ally in our work to repeal and replace Obamacare and finally provide Americans with a better system. As we have made clear, the time for patient-centered reform is now, and Tom iswithout questionthe leader at HHS we need to make it happen. We look forward to working with him to expand access to quality, affordable health care."

 

 

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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.